His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was enthroned as the seventh Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan.
The Enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros attracted worldwide interest and was attended by hierarchs from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops; dignitaries from the political, diplomatic, academic and business worlds; religious leaders, community and organization representatives; and clergy and laity from around the country and around the world.
The structure of the Enthronement Service has developed through the centuries. However, its theology is firmly grounded on the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch (104 A.D), according to whom “the bishop represents the image of God” and “wherever the bishop is surrounded by the people of God, there the entire church is present and united.”
The service opens with a solemn procession and the entrance of the elected Archbishop, who is escorted by senior bishops to the throne where they exclaim, “Axios! He is Worthy!” This exclamation will be repeated several times throughout the service by the entire congregation, comprising clergy and laity.
The Enthronement Service includes special hymns and prayers to the Holy Spirit, as well as a brief chant of Doxology. During the service, the Archbishop will offer his blessing, while the choir and congregation will respond by chanting the Archbishop’s official hymn of acclamation for the first time in the Cathedral. One of the central elements of the service is the passing of the Pastoral Staff – symbolizing the transition of spiritual authority and pastoral care – to Archbishop Elpidophoros.
Archbishop Elpidophoros serves as the Presiding Prelate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and most honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.