“Hello everyone, and thank you for coming to celebrate our church’s festival with us! Now get ready to also celebrate a traditional Macedonian wedding!” With those words, Agnoula Marcantonis announced the reenactment of a traditional Greek wedding, performed by the St. Luke’s youth group the “Olympians”.
Under the big tent, the Olympians played the parts of two Greek families coming together for the wedding day. On lookers were treated to a traditional shave for the groom to a family dance. The most interesting part being the breaking of bread between the two sides of the family and sharing it’s abundance with all.
When the couple finally met at church, you saw a glimpse of the ceremony, which includes the service of Betrothal, The Shared Cup, and the Service of the Crowning. The marriage ceremony in the Greek Orthodox Church is abundant with symbols that reflect the basic and important elements of marriage; Love, Mutual respect, Equality, and Sacrifice.
The 5-day festival also included dance performances from a variety of surrounding church dance groups and the Pan Macedonian Dancers. Each evening (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) you could walk through the parking lot facilities and feel the hospitality and atmosphere that took you on a journey to Greece.
Indoor and outdoor restaurants lined the lot that provided aromas of Greek foods; while the other side had rides for the kids, an indoor flea market known to Greeks as a “monastiraki” and pastries that were as sweet and tasty as your yiayia (grandma) would make.
36 years later, the St. Luke “Greek Affair” has become a cornerstone marking the Greek community’s return from its summer break. Strolling through the church grounds, one senses the hospitality and comradery that is Greek. Hugs and kisses go without saying and traditional Greek coffee is a must. It’s a place to eat, drink and celebrate Hellenism.
Congratulations to St. Luke for their warmth and wonderful volunteers that continue to carry on the spirit Hellenism.