We are blessed to have the relics of the Holy and Lifegiving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, St. John Chrysostom, St. Therapon, St. Mamas, St. Efthymia, and St. Tryphon in our parish. We extend an open invitation to all faithful who would like to venerate the relics of these beloved saints. To plan a pilgrimage to the shrine, please contact us for times and for more information. What are relics? Relics are the remains from the body of a saint, or a saint's possessions, such as clothes or vestments. The relics are honored and venerated by all Orthodox. Upon the consecration of a new church, the consecrating bishop embeds holy relics in the Altar Table, following the ancient traditions of the church in performing the Eucharist on the tombs of Martyrs (Martyria). (Source: goarch.org )
Why do we venerate relics?
In the Orthodox Church the worship (latreia) given to God is completely different from the honor (tim) of love (agape) and respect, or even veneration (proskynesis), "paid to all those endowed with some dignity" (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. III, 40). The Orthodox honor the saints to express their love and gratitude to God, who has "perfected" the saints…To this day the Orthodox have maintained the liturgical custom of meeting on the day of the saint's death, of building churches honoring their names, and of paying special respect to their relics and icons. The Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 A.D.), in summarizing this practice of the Church, declares that "we adore and respect God our Lord; and those who have been genuine servants of our common Lord we honor and venerate because they have the power to make us friends with God the King of all." (Source: goarch.org )