H.E. Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden’s Welcoming Remarks
at the Divine Liturgy attended by the Finnish Parish of St. Nicholas
at the St. George Cathedral of Stockholm
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Rev. Fr. Joosef Vola,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen!
We welcome you to St. George Cathedral in Stockholm and we are very pleased for your participation in the Eucharistic gathering, that has just been completed, as well as for your desire to witness yourselves the work that has taken place over the last three years on the exterior and interior restoration of our Cathedral.
It is indeed the first time, after the construction of the church edifice, in 1890, that such an extensive restoration was achieved. In 2019, the exterior restoration was completed and from 2020 until today we continue the interior restoration.
A total of 36 frescoes were placed; 34 in October 2021 and 2 in April 2022. The frescos are depicting the life and martyrdom of St. George the Trophy-bearer, with angels, with great martyrs, with the 4 Evangelists, the Resting Lord, the 12-year old Jesus and Panagia the Holy Protection, with the last work the Enthroned Virgin holding Jesus in her arms, surrounded by 10 prophets, 6.5 meters high.
In 2019, the Museum of the Hellenic-Christian Heritage was established, which was inaugurated by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the formation of two offices for clergy, the historical archive of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden and a meeting room with a bookcase, where our children are attending their Sunday School classes.
You have the opportunity as our second parish in Stockholm, to use all these facilities, in the Cathedral premises, to conduct the Divine Liturgy and your other holy services, in Finnish and Swedish, following your own Typicon/order; the Slavonic, and to observe your customs and traditions.
I remember the same advice that the most respected Hierarch, His Eminence Archbishop Leo of Helsinki and All Finland gave you, which I repeat today. The Cathedral is yours and is your home!
I welcome you, with the certainty that my wish will come true, invoking the blessing of our Risen Lord in your lives, work and families!
Many thanks to my dear Brother and concelebrant, the Rev. Fr. Joosef Vola from the Holy Archdiocese of Finland, for his kindness, to officiate today in our Cathedral, meeting the liturgical needs of our brothers and sisters of the Finnish Parish of St. Nicholas in Stockholm. Please convey my warmest thanks for your pastoral visit to your Spiritual Father, His Eminence Archbishop Leo.
I also thank the Choir Director Mr. Jukka Aminoff and the Members of the Choir of the Finnish Parish of St. Nicholas in Stockholm, who sang so beautifully the hymns of the Divine Liturgy.
I want you to know, brethren, that our prayers today will accompany our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, who are being tested by the ongoing war in their country.
This afternoon, I am leaving for Oslo, to attend the solidarity concert, organized tonight by the Annunciation Metropolitan Church of Oslo, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Community of Norway. We pray for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and for peace to prevail in the wider region.
Christ is Risen!