The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Sweden established a new parish in the Norwegian city of Bergen, named after St. Chrysostomos of Smyrna, who was the Metropolitan of the historic that was burned by the Turks in 1922.
Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia made his first official visit to Bergen during the weekend of October 28-29, 2017 to preside over the establishment of the parish of the Holy and Glorious Holy Martyr Chrysostom of Smyrna.
The parish will serve the spiritual needs of the Orthodox Christian faithful living in the Norwegian city of Bergen and the greater Hordaland area.
The new parish in Bergen is the fifth new parish to be established by the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s missionary eparchy in Scandinavia, following the founding of the parishes of St. Cleopas the Apostle in Kalmar, the Entrance of the Theotokos in Borås, Sts. Constantine and Helen in Jönköping, and St. Nectarios in Stavanger, as well as the St. Nicholas Hermitage in Rättvik.
The entire country’s Greek community is estimated to be about 2,000 people, up in recent years with the arrival of Greeks fleeing their country’s financial crisis.
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Cleopas spoke of the formation of the new parish of St. Chrysostom Metropolitan of Smyrna the Holy Martyr.
In his sermon, He pointed out the reasons that inspired him to dedicate the new parish to the memory of the martyred St. Chrysostom, placing special emphasis on the mentality of the Christian struggle, unwavering faith, and forbearance present in the martyrdom of this modern-day saint – virtues which should inspire all Christians. The Metropolitan also spoke about the unforgettable homelands of Asia Minor, from where he himself hails from his father’s lineage.
Metropolitan Cleopas expressed his enthusiasm and how touched he was over the presence of so many Greek Orthodox faithful in the church – many of whom traveled for hours together with their families to attend the service, while also praising the tireless pastoral care exhibited by Fr. Alexander Loukatos, who is visiting Bergen to celebrate holy services for the fifth time.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Greek, English, Russian, and Norwegian, with the hymns being chanted by Mr. Panagiotis Pavlos, head chanter of the Metropolitan Church in Oslo, aided by Mr. Cosmas Plakou and members of the Russian parish’s choir, thus promoting the ecumenical dimensions of Orthodox Christianity and the spirit of collaboration that characterizes the Orthodox Christian faithful in Scandinavia, considering that Orthodox faithful from 13 nations were on hand to join in common prayer at the Divine Liturgy.