The Service of the Consecration of our Cathedral was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Mark, Vice-President of the Holy Synod of Bishops, together with His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, His Grace Bishop Irenei of Richmond and Western Europe, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, and the special guest of the Synod, His Grace Bishop Matthew of Sourozh. Assisting the Hierarchs were Archpriest Serafim Gan (assistant to the Holy Synod), Archpriest Paul Elliott (Chancellor of the Diocese), Archpriest Vitaly Serapinas (Vice-Rector of the Cathedral), and Archpriest Dmitri Neduspenko (from the Diocese of Sourozh), together with Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) from San Francisco and Deacon Mark Tattum-Smith from the parish in Mettingham, and a host of Diocesan Subdeacons and Altar servers.
The Great Rite of Consecration began in the centre of the temple with the vesting of His Eminence Archbishop Mark. He was then joined by his fellow celebrant hierarchs and the four priests, with the remaining Hierarchs of the Holy Synod, together with a host of Priests, vested alongside them. All the Clergy entered the Holy Altar and the service began with the blessing of the base of the Holy Table. Wax mastic was poured into the four holes at the top of each column, prior to the top of the Holy Table being blessed and placed atop them, being driven into place by four nails hammered by rocks held in the hands of the Bishops and priests — an ancient custom of using stones in the fabrication of Holy Altars that dates back to the times of the Old Testament. The Holy Table was then anointed with water, rosewater and wine, and chrismate with Holy Myrrh, with new Antimins blessed for the service of the Divine Liturgy. The newly-blessed Holy Table was then bound with a linen covering and cord that will remain perpetually upon it; and a great procession was had with the precious relics of the Saints that were then interred within the Holy Table.
Photographs below are thanks to Mark Fisher, of our parish in Cardiff.
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