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Special memorial and Ayiasmos (Blessing of the Waters) services commemorating Saint Sophia Church, which was located at 8th & L Streets, NW, Washington, DC, where the Convention Center now stands (8th Street no longer exists, while L Street divides the Convention Center in two).

October 24th, 2014

Brothers and Sisters,

On Sunday, November 9, we will celebrate special memorial and Ayiasmos (Blessing of the Waters) services commemorating Saint Sophia Church, which was located at 8th & L Streets, NW, Washington, DC, where the Convention Center now stands (8th Street no longer exists, while L Street divides the Convention Center in two).

The memorial service will take place at Saint Sophia Cathedral after the Divine Liturgy, at which time the blessed memory of the clergy and congregation of Saint Sophia Church, 8th & L, who have passed on in the Lord, will be celebrated. Reserved pew seating for all those living souls, who had attended Saint Sophia Church, 8th & L, will be provided.

The Ayiasmos (Blessing of the Waters) service will take place in Room 140-A of the Convention Center, located on the corner of the former 8th Street, and the present L Street, marking the exact location of the former Saint Sophia Church. Once the waters have been blessed, and the living “8th & L’ers” and their spiritual progeny, the present Saint Sophia Cathedral congregation, have been commemorated, we shall process one block to the east, to the corner of 7th & L Streets, in order to bless and consecrate a historical Heritage Trail marker, which has been erected by the Convention Center to mark and celebrate, the existence of the Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church Community, 8th & L.

The Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church Heritage Trail marker is graced with photographs of our community’s past, including Archbishop Athenagoras of North & South America (later Patriarch of Constantinople), Fathers Lalousis and Papanicolas, the church choir, Greek school, Sunday school, and others. After the marker has been blessed, we will return to the outer hall of Room 140-A where the Convention Center has most generously and graciously offered to provide us light refreshments, thus joining us in our celebration. A small prototype of the actual Heritage Trail marker has been provided us, and it will be on display for your examination as you enter the narthex of the Cathedral on Sunday, November 9.

We plan to depart from the Cathedral no later than 12:30 PM, and will provide a bus for those who cannot drive. Seating on the bus will be by reservation only; please contact the Church office to reserve a seat if you are planning to use the bus. Additionally, we are seeking to secure as many parking passes as we can from the Convention Center for those who will drive. Finally, we anticipate ample on-street parking on 7th Street and other streets around the Convention Center. The Convention Center is, of course, handicapped accessible.

Please join us as we celebrate our past, which is forever our present. And please spread the word! We are the mother Greek Orthodox Community of Washington, DC (founded in 1904), and there are many former Saint Sophians of 8th & L, who are now members of sister communities, whom we wish to join us, as well!

May the memory of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 8th & L, be eternal!

Blessings to all,
Father Steve