CHICAGO – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros on February 2 ordained George Giavris to the Diaconate at the Church of Saint Demetrios in Elmhurst, Illinois. With the Archbishop concelebrated Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras Greece, Nathanael of Chicago, and also Bishop Ambrose of Evdokias of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. During the ordination he assumed the name Michael.
The evening before the Archbishop tonsured Giavris as a monk.
In his homily His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros said among other things:
“Beloved Sub-Deacon George, you stand in the temple of God before your Creator, Savior, and Lord, on a most sacred day. The very day when we commemorate His Entry into the Temple of the Law. There, in what is called the Second Temple, signifying the Second and New Covenant, in the Temple adorned by Herod, the same tyrant who tried to kill Him, our Lord Jesus Christ was presented as an infant of only forty days, by His Holy Mother and His fatherly guardian, Joseph the Betrothed. They were poor in purse, but pure in heart. They could only afford the most modest of offerings, two turtledoves prescribed by the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 12:8). So it is with you, George, as you are brought before the Altar of the Lord today, to offer yourself in the presence of your family and friends – whose love surrounds you with the history of your life – a history that has brought you to this very moment. They carry you today by their prayers, just as the Mother of God and Joseph carried the Lord in their arms.”
The Archbishop continued:
“You enter into the presence of the Holy of Holies with humility, with promise, and with purpose. Prophecy is nothing else than the word of the Lord for His People. Therefore, I counsel you to listen well, to possess ‘ears to hear’ – as the Lord Himself advised, that your ministry in the Church may always be in accord with the word of God. The turtle doves you bring are your willingness to serve the Lord with gladness, and your faith in the mission of the Church. Never fear that your offerings are meager, for they are accepted by the Lord.
“May your service in the Church, your ministry (διακονία) to the Faithful, be like that presence of the Lord in the Temple: a ministry of joy, a ministry of consolation, a ministry of hope, and a ministry of peace. May you always know these graces in your life, a life that has already been dedicated to the Church in every way: by your devotion to the liturgical life of the Church in which you excel, by your theological studies, by your service to our Holy Archdiocese, and most importantly, by your service at the Phanar, the Sacred Center of our Holy Orthodox Faith.
“And it is your devotion to the Mother Church of Constantinople that is being recognized with a great honor, an honor that up until now, was unknown in the Archdiocese of America. His All-Holiness, our Spiritual Father, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has himself graced you and chosen the name by which you shall be known from now on: Michael.”