DIOCESE OF WESTERN EUROPE: January 21, 2019
Archimandrite Alexander (Ecchevaria) is consecrated Bishop of Vevey, Vicar of the Western European Diocese
On Sunday, January 20, 2019. the feast day of St John the Forerunner, Archimandrite Alexander (Ecchevaria) was consecrated Bishop of Vevey at Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland. The day before, after all-night vigil, at which His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany officiated along with His Grace Bishop Irenei of Richmond and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle, Fr Alexander was nominated Bishop of Vevey, Vicar of the Western European Diocese.
Joining Archbishop Mark, Bishop Irenei and Bishop Theodosius for Sunday Liturgy was His Eminence Archbishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Vicar of the German Diocese. Fr Alexander was consecrated to the episcopacy during Liturgy. Prayers for peace in Ukraine and for the unity of the Orthodox Church were lifted duringthe augmented litany.
The Geneva church could not accommodate all who wished to attend, and hundreds of worshipers communed of the Holy Gifts, administered from four chalices. All the clergymen from the parishes of Switzerland of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were in attendance, along with others from France, Germany and Benelux, local clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Alexandrian and Antiochian Patriarchates, with a multitude of guests. Reader Matthew Malinin led the magnificent choir.
Archbishop Mark then addressed Vladyka Alexander with words of guidance, and handed him the episcopal staff. Vladyka Mark stressed that as he sets out upon this thorny path of episcopal service, he must take the example of Christ Himself on a daily basis, bringing himself in sacrifice for the salvation of mankind, maintaining the humility of the Lamb of the Gospel. Archbishop Mark stressed that the staff entrusted to him was not only a symbol of authority over the people of the Church, but a symbol of the wise, all-forgiving pastor. Pointing out that the new bishop is Swiss, Vladyka Mark expressed hope that he continues his missionary efforts and education among the local population. He asked the flock to support the newly-consecrated bishop in their prayers and all their abilities, to ease his difficult task. In accordance with tradition, Vladyka Alexander then offered his archpastoral blessing to the faithful.
After Liturgy, the cathedral parish offered a trapeza luncheon for the archpastors, clergymen and laity, and sang Many Years to Vladyka Alexander. Vladyka Irenei gave Bishop Alexander, his Vicar, a panaghia and pectoral cross, and expressed hope that they jointly bear witness to the Gospel in their large diocese, and “rightly dividing the word of God’s Truth.” Congratulations were then read to Vladyka Alexander from all points of Europe and the Orthodox world.
Photos: Alex Romash