Cardinal O'Malley and Metropolitan Methodios light a candle by an icon of St. Andrew before the Nov. 29 vespers service. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
BROOKLINE -- Following long-standing ecumenical tradition, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston invited representatives of the Archdiocese of Boston, Nov. 29, to celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Center Chapel in Brookline.
Locally mirroring the practice of the pope and the ecumenical patriarch, since 1996 the Greek Orthodox and Catholic communities of Boston have exchanged delegations on their patronal feast days -- the Feast of St. Andrew for the Orthodox and the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul for Catholics.
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley led the representatives from the archdiocese, and exchanged gifts with Metropolitan Methodios before attending a vespers service celebrated by the metropolitan.
The service began with chanting as incense filled the packed chapel. An icon of St. Andrew was carried in procession around the chapel and placed on a podium behind a small table on which sat five loaves of bread to be blessed and distributed at the service.
The bread served as a reminder of the five loaves that were used at the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, as it was St. Andrew who told Jesus of the boy with "five small barley loaves and two small fish."
In remarks at the end of the service, the Metropolitan thanked Cardinal O'Malley and the other representatives from the archdiocese for their presence.