New Orthodox church consecrated in Republic of the Congo

A new Orthodox church, named in honor of the Holy Martyr Photini, known in the Gospels as the Samaritan Woman, was consecrated on Sunday May 6, the day when the holy Church read the Gospel account of her meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ at the well, in the Republic of the Congo’s coastal city of Pointe Noire, reports Sedmitza. The new church is already the third Orthodox parish in the city.

The consecration ceremony was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Brazzaville and Gabon with the assistance of local clergy, and a large gathering of faithful Orthodox Christians.

Vespers was celebrated the day before, along with the placing of holy relics in the new church.

The first Divine Liturgy was served immediately following the consecration of the new church. Two readers were tonsured following the Liturgy, and Church benefactor Arman-Michel Massa, the parish council president and member of the Metropolitan Council, and others were awarded for their contribution to the construction project. Met. Panteleimon conveyed to all the gratitude of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria.

After the service, a festive dinner was offered, with traditional songs and liturgical chants performed by Orthodox choirs. The event was covered by local media.

The first stone in the foundation of the church was laid in 2007 by Pat. Theodoros during a visit to the Congo. Due to economic reasons, the project was interrupted and resumed in 2014 under the leadership of Met. Panteleimon.

His Eminence also celebrated a mass Baptism in the Congo River in April. Mass Baptisms are a regular occurrence in the Alexandrian Orthodox Church. Most recently, His Eminence Metropolitan Meletios of Katanga and a number of other clergy celebrated the Baptism of 556 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in two days in mid-January.