"How amiable are thy tabernacles, o Lord of hosts. My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord...I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord" (Ps 83: 1, 121: 1)
With this spirit the faithful from all the Antiochian parishes in Germany came to feast with their brothers in Butzbach for the inauguration of the new hall and the consecration of the Iconostasis (Icon Screen).
On Sunday the 17th of June 2012, the festivities started with the Divine Liturgy presided over by His Eminence, Metropolitan John Yazigi. His Grace Ephraim Malouli concelebrated and fathers Romanus Alhannat, Alexi Shehadeh (the parish priest), Faiez Mansour, George Esber, Abdul Masih Sabounji, Boulos Altendagolo, and Deacon Nicholas Adra assisted. Representatives of the civil authorities in Butzbach and representatives of the other Churches in the region also attended. The faithful filled the church. Before the end of the Divine Liturgy the consecration of the hall and the new Iconostasis took place.
Afterwards, His Eminence addressed the congregation, expressing his joy at the achievement of this great and important project. He thanked everyone who participated in the success of this project. He mentioned the Mayor of Butzbach, Mr. Merle and his assistants, for their efforts in facilitating the work. He underlined that the importance of this work existed in the collaboration between the parishioners who worked together to fulfill it. He said that this place (the hall) would be the social and cultural centre of the parish. This building, His Eminence said, is the first step; the second will be the construction of the church. He congratulated Fr. Alexi Shehadeh for his pastoral care and for his efforts in this project. As an expression of his paternal love, he presented the parish with a Chalice and a Censer.
After the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence honoured some persons who had a role in achieving this work. They were Fr. Faiez Mansour, as a first server of the parish, the members of the commission of construction, the parish council, the president of the parish council, the Mayor and other political and religious persons. He also honoured Fr. Alexi Shehadeh presenting him with a holy cross.
Afterwards, there was an Agape prepared by the women of the parish. During the Agape, the president of the parish council welcomed all and said that this event might be considered as an engagement, the marriage will be performed when the church is constructed. Other personalities talked and congratulated the parish in this occasion, notable and expressive was the address of the representative of Islamic Association which supported the project.