October 26th, 2012. Upper Darby, PA. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church hosted a Thyronixia (opening of the doors) this past week. Although this happened first in 1965 when the church originally opened here in Upper Darby, that same tradition took place again, some 47 years later. The new facade project that has been on going for nearly three months now, temporarily halted for this rare occasion, which was attended by nearly 300 members of the community.
Tennessee Lime stone, Honduran Mahogany wood, Byzantine architecture and Greek labor all combined for the creation of the new front entrance of St. Demetrios church. What made this new façade special, was the addition to the exterior entrance known as a Proskynitarion.
It’s a place to stop and pray outside of the church. A rare site here in the states, it’s more commonly seen in Greece. In fact, no other Greek Orthodox church in the Philadelphia area we know of, has a Proskynitarion.
Another rarity, is the Pontian monument, which sits next to the Greek school and gym entrance. In memory of those who perished in the 1st genocide , this monument, dedicated to the Pontians of Eastern Turkey, is the only one of it’s kind in North America and is established here in the heart of that community as well.
St. Demetrios , now with a 50% growth/return in membership (estimated: 135 to 275 famlies) is now in an expansion era. With new families and many new board members, it is looking ahead and building a for a new future.