The consecration service and the Divine Liturgy were officiated by Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bucovina, together with a number of priests of the of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches, together with a WCC delegation on their way to visiting Ukraine, were also present.
Although emigration of young people has hit northeast Romania hard, impacting its residents’ livelihood, villagers of Bărbătești have been able to raise the donations necessary to build their new church.
One of the special callings of the Orthodox parish of Bărbătești is serving the elderly people – witness to God’s love in the house of worship is accompanied by providing support and care to all in need in their community.
Consecrating the altar of the newly built church, relics of martyrs where placed on the altar table along with a document attesting those who took part in the service, covered and sealed, and the altar was afterwards washed and anointed by Metropolitan Teofan and accompanying priests.
According to the tradition unique to the Romanian Orthodox Church, consecration of the newly built church is the occasion when all parishioners, including women, are admitted to the sanctuary area of the church, kissing the altar table and the Gospel on it.
During the Divine Liturgy, the sermon was delivered by Sauca, who spoke about the importance of the church in building up community and showing compassionate love, solidarity with, and care for those in need, especially for the elderly ones who feel lonely and abandoned.