Yesterday, the Greek Orthodox community celebrated a significant milestone as Elias Tikos retired from his dedicated service as a beloved cantor (“ψάλτης”) at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby. Elias Tikos left an indelible mark on the faithful throughout his decades-long career through his melodic chants and unwavering devotion.
Elias Tikos was born and raised in Lianovergi, Imathias, a small town outside Alexandria. Despite facing adversity as an orphan at a young age, his passion for Byzantine music propelled him forward. He began his journey as a cantor while still in high school in Katerini, studying the intricacies of Byzantine music and developing a profound understanding of the ancient chants that have shaped the Greek Orthodox tradition.
Elias Tikos pursued a career in education and worked as a teacher in Greece and Germany before eventually relocating to the United States in 1985. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, he became the cantor and Greek school teacher at St. Nicholas, enriching the spiritual lives of the community members.
Throughout his life, Elias Tikos had the opportunity to visit numerous monasteries, immersing himself in the rich tapestry of Orthodox spirituality. His journeys took him to the sacred Agio Oros, where he had the honor of meeting Agios Paisios and Agia Sophia in Constantinople and the Holy Land in Jerusalem. These experiences shaped his understanding of the faith and deepened his connection to the chants he lovingly performed.
As a cantor, Elias Tikos served at various churches along the East Coast, sharing his gift of music and worship with congregations far and wide. Finally, he settled at St. Demetrios in Upper Darby, where he inspired worshippers and fostered a sense of spiritual unity.
Elias Tikos is a loving family man and a proud father of four children. His legacy extends beyond the church walls and into the hearts of his expanding family, including 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
As Elias Tikos cut the retirement cake in the church hall after Sunday services, the Greek Orthodox community came together to celebrate his profound impact on their lives. They bid farewell to their cherished cantor with gratitude and admiration, knowing that his contributions to their spiritual journey will forever resonate in their hearts.
Elias Tikos leaves behind a remarkable legacy as a dedicated servant of the Greek Orthodox faith. His unwavering commitment to the art of Byzantine music and his ability to touch the souls of the faithful through his chants will be remembered for generations to come. Elias Tikos can rest assured that his lifelong dedication has left an enduring imprint on the hearts of those who heard his voice soar in praise of God.