The consecration ceremony will be on April 27 at 8 a.m., ending with a celebratory luncheon.
Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church has been in the Marietta community since 1999, opening a new sanctuary in January 2004. The church regularly reaches out to the community, most notably in the Marietta Greek Festival the weekend after Mother’s Day every year.
“Quite simply, consecration is a service by which we set aside the church and the ground around the church for God,” said Pastoral Assistant Paul Lundberg.
This service is one of the major sacraments of the orthodox church.
The consecration will be led by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, who will be assisted by Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, and the Rev. Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, protopresbyter, Ph. D.
There are many important rituals that go along with the consecration service.
“In the early centuries, we celebrated divine lithurgy on the tombs of martyrs,” Lundberg said. “Now we use relics. It’s very important that we remember the history of the church.”
The day before the consecration ceremony, the Holy Relics of the Saints, Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Healer, Kyrikos the Martyr and the Holy Fathers martyred at the Monastery of St. Savvas near Jerusalem will be delivered to the church.
These relics play an important part in the ceremony.
First, the church grounds will be declared sacred through prayer, and the altar table will be washed and anointed with myrrh.
Then, the holy relics will be placed and sealed in the altar table.
Afterwards, the four Icons of the Evangelists will be placed at the four corners of the altar table, which will then be covered with the savano, which is a white cloth symbolizing the shroud that Christ’s body was wrapped in. Then any other holy articles will be placed on the altar table.
Last, the Unwaning Light, the oil lamp that constantly burns on the altar table, will be lit and the walls of the church will be anointed with holy myrrh.
Then the sanctuary will have been baptized, sanctified and dedicated to God for use as an Orthodox Christian House of Worship.
The church is located at 3431 Trickum Road in Marietta.
“This is a great opportunity to witness the ancient traditions of the early Christian church,” Lundberg said. “We’re welcoming all who are interested.”