The video above offers a fascinating glimpse at the consecration of a new Orthodox church in Oregon.
From the Corvalis Gazette-Times:
Even before the archbishop arrived to start the great consecration ceremony at St. Martin Orthodox Church, members of the community were there, praying and singing psalms.
And their worship would continue for hours, as an archbishop, two bishops and nine other priests worked to consecrate the church and construct and sanctify its altar.
The complex ceremony, in the eyes of the church’s congregants, makes the space where the altar was built holy ground, which should never have anything else built on it again.
“To receive a great consecration is very much a reception of God’s grace,” said Father James Baglien, the church’s rector for 15 years.
The ceremony is only done once in the life of a church, Baglien said, and is so rare that people came from Greece just to see it.