Faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East in California, have gathered in Mar Zaia Cathedral, Modesto, to witness the long-awaited consecration of the newly reconstructed altar, which was severely damaged by fire in January 2011.
His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, assisted by His Grace Mar Yosip Sargis, Bishop of Baghdad, along with the diocesan priests, deacons and clergy, commenced with the liturgy for consecration of the altar, according to the Church rites.
The event, on Friday 4 November, coincided with the commemoration day of Mar Awgin the Blessed, and commenced with a procession of clergy from the nave to the altar.
The choirs of the three parishes of Mar Zaia Cathedral, Modesto, Mar Gewargis, Ceres and Mar Addai, Turlock accompanied the clergy, singing Psalm 150 for the processional and concluding with the placement of the Cross and Gospel on the altar.
Following the consecration service, the Holy Qurbana was celebrated by His Grace Mar Awa.
The entire congregation present for both services was extremely overjoyed to see the Cathedral finally made available for all sacramental and worship services.
After the conclusion of the two services, both Bishops, the priests and deacons joined the faithful for fellowship and dinner in the church hall, during which His Grace Mar Awa added to the joy of all by announcing that the Mar Zaia Cathedral and St. Thomas Parish in Seattle, Washington, were both made debt-free by funds paid from the A.C.O.E Debt Reduction and Development Campaign.
The Diocese of California ascribes praise, glory and honor to the worshipful name of our glorious Lord God, Jesus Christ for all His indescribable provisions and blessings; Amen.[nggallery id=316]