Serving God’s Purpose,
Celebrating the Holy Week and Easter at Peace Cathedral
Peace Cathedral of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia has just celebrated Easter in accordance with Eastern Orthodox calendar. It was a truly remarkable time for all its participants. All the services during the Holy Week had a very strong ecumenical, pan-ecumenical and inclusive character.
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub of New York, while commenting on Peace Cathedral observation of the Holy Week, wrote the following:
“…what you do and how you do it restore my sense of ultimate goodness and possibility, and fan the sometimes all-but-stifled sparks of hope and human family that surely serve God’s purpose, in any language.”
Another friend of the Peace Cathedral, Donald Reeves, the founder and the director of the Soul of Europe, has also commented on this year’s celebration:
“Marvellous – really a light in these dark days.”
Perhaps you might like to know more about our celebrations:
On Maundy Thursday the Baptist Metropolitan Bishop of Tbilisi washed the feet of male and female, clergy and lay representatives of Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, Shia Muslim, Sunni Muslim, Yezidi representatives and also members of the LGBTQ community – the most persecuted group in the Georgia. Among the participants in the foot washing there were American, British, Iraqi, Iranian citizens.
On Good Friday the Peace Cathedral led traditional Ecumenical pilgrimage with a procession of the cross throughout the city. The procession started in the Cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church of St George. Than it went to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary. Than to the Lutheran Church of Reconciliation. Finally procession arrived at the Peace Cathedral.
On Saturday the faithful and guests arrived to Peace Cathedral at 11:30 and observed an overnight vigil. At 5 am the congregation was bused to the Shavnabada mountain overlooking the capital city of Tbilisi. At the mountaintop they celebrated Easter morning Eucharist (with fish and wine) and had lovely breakfast.
For the first time some high rated TV channels gave a lot of time to report Baptist festivities. A filming crew from Imedi TV worked closely with the Peace Cathedral and its clergy beginning from Palm Sunday through the Easter Morning service in the mountains. They took a special interest into the ministry of Bishop Rusudan Gotziridze, the first and perhaps only woman bishop in Eastern Europe.
You might like to watch the Imedi TV report on the Holy Week at the Peace Cathedral. Obviously it is in Georgian but you will still have some wonderful glimpses of the celebrations.
With Easter greetings,
The Peace Cathedral, Tbilisi, Georgia 2018
P.S. Please find enclosed some photos of the celebration.
Good Friday procession in the streets of Tbilisi
The Most Revd Prof. Dr Malkhaz Songulashvili
Metropolitan Bishop of Tbilisi
6 Kedia Street
Phone: +995 557 21 82 22