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Metropolitan Joseph Presides Over Joyous Festal Weekend at St. George of Boston

Boston, MA – Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston was honored to host our beloved Metropolitan Joseph, as well as Bishop John of Worcester and New England, for a weekend of joyous celebrations from April 28–30, 2017. The patronal feast of the parish wonderfully coincided with the honoring of Mr. Robert Laham for his fifty years of service to the Archdiocese, and with the Nameday of His Eminence. (View the photo gallery)

The weekend began with a special program prepared by the young people of the parish, who enthusiastically greeted Metropolitan Joseph with hugs and shouts of “Christ is risen!” as he entered the parish hall. His Eminence greatly enjoyed the performance of a skit highlighting the life and martyrdom of St. George. The performance was followed by a “pop quiz” where the young people asked questions of the hierarchs and clergy to ensure they were paying close attention!

Saturday afternoon marked an especially warm and touching commemoration of the dedicated service given to the Archdiocese by Mr. Robert Laham. The celebration took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fawaz El Khoury, the Vice Chairmen of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees. All of the speakers took note of “Bob’s” tireless efforts stewarding the finances of the Archdiocese, and the gentle, humble ways in which he offered this vital ministry. In an especially moving moment, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph bestowed on Mr. Laham the Order of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, the highest award given by the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.

The weekend progressed with the celebration of Great Vespers at St. George, ushering in the liturgical commemoration of the patronal feast of the parish and the Nameday of our Chief Shepherd, who is under the heavenly patronage of St. Joseph of Arimathea and celebrates on the second Sunday after Pascha. The service was beautifully chanted antiphonally by Metropolitan Joseph, Dn. John El Massih, and a choir of students from Hellenic College Holy Cross led by Kamal Hourani, a student hailing from the parish and studying at the college. Vespers was followed by a creative culinary experience dubbed “International Night” – featuring New England, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Mexican cuisines.

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was the apex of the celebratory weekend. Metropolitan Joseph was joined by Bishop John, Protosyngellos Timothy Ferguson, Fr. Gregory Harrigle, Fr. Nicholas Belcher, and Dn. John El Massih. His Eminence left an indelible impact on all during his homily when he reminded the worshippers of the reverence and love with which his patron saint took down the immaculate body of the Savior from the cross; the Metropolitan exhorted all to receive of the precious and life-giving mysteries in a similar manner. The liturgy was followed by a banquet where His Eminence awarded Ms. Linda Ayoub with the Archdiocesan “Meritorious Service Award” for her dedication to all of the ministries of St. George – the parish council, church school, and adult fellowship, as well as co-chairing the weekend’s festivities.

One of the themes shared by His Eminence throughout the festal weekend was that of the connection of the feast of St. George to the joy of the Paschal season. As he noted, the feast is always celebrated during the days of Pascha regardless of whether or not the date falls during Great Lent. All who took part in the weekend are grateful for the radiant Paschal joy that accompanied all of the celebrations that took place. We also wish many years and sincere congratulations to the honorees of the weekend and most especially to our father and chief shepherd, Metropolitan Joseph.