Orthodox Christians are getting their own space for the Divine Liturgy in Trier Cathedral. Prelate Franz-Josef Gebbert confirmed that the “St Athanasius Chapel” beneath the Chapel of the Holy Tunic will be opened this spring.
The opening with the consecration of the altar will take place on a small scale. The Chapel will also be available to Orthodox Christians from 20th to 29th April on the days of the Exposition of the Holy Tunic (or Coat).
In the space provided both Masses according to the Catholic Byzantine Rite as well as to the Orthodox Liturgy. An iconostasis which consists of a wall full of icons has already been erected. The latter separates the sanctuary from the congregation. The Chapel is named after the Saint Athanasius, a fourth century Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. He is considered to be the “Father of Orthodoxy”.
St Augustine on the left
St Athanasius on the right.
Important historical connections, according to Prelate Gebbert, there are several important historical links between Athanasius and Trier. Anastasius had been exiled twice due to disputes about the Faith. The Emperor Constantine, who resided in Trier for a period of ten years was one of the most important figures in the Byzantine Church, as the first Christian Roman Emperor. And finally, the Cathedral of Trier keeps as a relic the Holy Tunic, which has been accepted as an important relic by both Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
The Orthodox Church understands itself as the original Christian Church from which all other Churches have split. The Orthodox Church is after the Catholic Church the second largest Christian group.
This year is the “Constantine Year in Trier”. See "Multi-faceted, ecumenical and reaching over borders" (sorry the rest is in German).
The Baptism of Constantine,
having laid aside the Imperial purple.