Bishop Constantine of Sassima | Courtesy Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church
POCATELLO — Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Pocatello will welcome a highly revered clergy member this weekend.
Bishop Constantine of Sassima was elevated to the auxiliary bishop of the Metropolis of Denver — which includes Idaho, Utah and Wyoming among other states — last year. This week, he will make his first visit in the new position to eastern Idaho, according to Parish Priest Father Constantine Zozos.
“It’s a great honor to have a bishop — or the metropolitan — come to your church,” Zozos told EastIdahoNews.com. “We don’t see them that often … because there are so many parishes they have to visit. We being the fourth-oldest active church in the archdiocese, it is a great honor.”
Inside the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Pocatello. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
As part of his visit, the bishop will participate in two services.
A Great Vespers Service will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. and will include blessings for acolytes, readers and chanters.
A Hierarchical Liturgy Service will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. Zozos likened this service to the Coronation of King Charles III. The British Monarchy, he explained, has borrowed much of its elevation process from the early Christian Church.
Following Sunday service, the bishop will bless the iconography installed in the church in 2019.
The church, located at 518 North 5th Avenue, was built in 1915. Since then, it has undergone massive renovations — although much of structure and artwork inside remains from the original design. In recent years, artists have been hired to create new fixtures and iconography inside the church.
“This parish is quite unique, in the sense that it’s a National Historic Site — it has some of the most beautiful iconography this side of the Mississippi,” Zozos said.
Zozos said the parish and its parishioners are “very excited” to welcome the bishop to their historic place of worship. The visit from a person believed to represent Christ on earth will have a lasting impact on the congregation — especially the young members.
“It’s one thing to hear about a bishop but another to see one,” Zozos said.
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