St. Elias Cathedral, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

From Friday of Passion Week through Bright Monday, Metropolitan Stephan celebrated the Divine Services at the Cathedral of St. Elias in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. St. Elias is the cathedral church for the Eparchy of Canada, the episcopal see of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan, the eparchial bishop. Joining him were Archbishop Michael, Archbishop of Cleveland and Archpriest George Ayoub, pastor of St. Elias Cathedral. Father George, his wife, Georgette and members of the cathedral parish showed everyone taking part in the solemn festivities warm Christian hospitality and joy.

During the holydays, the hierarchs had the opportunity to pray and visit with the people of the parish and also to meet various and distinguished members of the greater Toronto community, including the Ambassador from Syria to Canada. Father George was pleased to announce that the building campaign for the new Cathedral of St. Elias is well underway and already ahead of schedule. Joining the Metropolitan and Archbishop for the paschal holidays were family members from the New York/New Jersey area.

We invite you to share in the joy of Pascha through the pictorial tour below. Please run your mouse over each photo to see a caption of that particular moment. To view a caption again, just place the mouse back over the picture.

Metropolitan Stephan blesses the congregation with rose water during the Great Friday Lamentations Service, also known as Jerusalem Matins. His Beatitude chanted the lamentations in both Arabic and English. Fr. George stands before the Sepulchre.

Archbishop Michael proceeds through the church, blessing the faithful with the rose water. The Holy Gospel is read during the Lamentations Service.

The men of the parish prepare to carry the Epitaphios in procession. The choir of St. Elias Cathedral beautifully rendered the responses to the services.

Fr. George incenses the faithful during Resurrection Matins. Archbishop Michael blesses the four corners of the earth.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan chants the Gospel reading of Pascha. St. Elias Cathedral men escort the holy gifts of bread and wine, which will become the Body & Blood of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

During the Great Entrance, Archpriest George, preceded by cross, candle and incense bearers, carries the prepared holy gifts to the hierarchs who are waiting at the altar. The Metropolitan pronounces the dismissal of the liturgy.

His Beatitude presents the pastoral staff to cathedral pastor, Fr. George Ayoub as a symbol of the Metropolitan's continual spiritual presence at his cathedral church. Since Metropolitan Stephan is the eparchial bishop of Canada, St. Elias is his cathedral and the presence of the staff represents that fact. The crosier will rest near the icon of Our Lord, reminding the faithful of the Metropolitan's archepiscopal leadership and authority in the church. Vladyka Michael delivers a short homily and paschal greetings at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.

The Metropolitan prepares to venerate the altar. Archpriest George with his wife, Georgette.

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