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The Church of Timios Prodromos (St. John the Forerunner) at Kedares.

On the western side of the village stands the magnificent church of St. John the Forerunner, the patron saint of the village. It was built in 1883.  The church is not large but very beautiful and atmospheric. The woodcarving of the unique templon (iconostasis) of the church was done a year later. The iconostasis has two sets of doors: the Beautiful Gates or Holy Doors in the centre, and the South Door. Emigrants from Alexandria in Egypt, Antonis Hadjichristos and Achilleas Chrysostomou contributed financially for the construction of the church.

In the Church stand out two icons of Christ painted in 1628 and 1708, one icon of St. Anargiroi painted in 1724 and last but not least the two icons painted by Ioannis Kornaros, the icons of St. John and St. Spiridonas, painted in 1791. The famous Cretan painter arrived in Cyprus around 1787 where he painted a number of icons.

The Embroidered Epitaph at the church is representing the scene of ''the mourning for Jesus'' after he was lowered from the cross, is structured on a median horizontal axis, marked by the lifeless body of the main character, who is schematically drawn. This epitaph had been hand-made in St. Petersburg, Russia and outstands through its refined structure, sewed with gold and silver thread on the warm backround of the bordeaux and green velvet.

The Eastern Orthodox faithful believe that John was the last of the Old Testament prophets, thus serving as a bridge between that period of revelation and the New Covenant. They also teach that, following his death, John descended into Hades and there once more preached that Jesus the Messiah was coming, so he was the Forerunner of Christ in death as he had been in life. According to Sacred Tradition, John the Baptist appears at the time of death to those who have not heard the Gospel of Christ, and preaches the Good News to them, that all may have the opportunity to be saved. Orthodox churches will often have an icon of St. John the Baptist in a place of honor on the iconostasis, and he is frequently mentioned during the Divine Services. Every Tuesday throughout the year is dedicated to his memory.

The Eastern Orthodox Church remembers Saint John the Forerunner on six separate feast days, listed here in order in which they occur during the church year (which begins on September 1):

  • September 23 - Conception of St. John the Forerunner

  • January 7 - The Synaxis of St. John the Forerunner. This is his main feast day, immediately after Theophany on January 6 (January 7 also commemorates the transfer of the relic of the right hand of John the Baptist from Antioch to Constantinople in 956)

  • February 24 - First and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner

  • May 25 - Third Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner

  • June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Forerunner

  • August 29 - The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

The Apolytikion (Greek: Ἀπολυτίκιον) or Dismissal Hymn is a troparion (hymn) said or sung at Orthodox Christian worship services. The apolytikion summarizes the feast being celebrated that day. It is chanted at Vespers, Matins and the Divine Liturgy; and it is read at each of the Little Hours. The name derives from the fact that it is chanted for the first time before the dismissal (Greek: apolysis) of Vespers. In the Orthodox Church, the liturgical day begins at sunset, so Vespers is the first service of the day. The term apolyikion is used in Greek tradition.

Watch The Apolytikion of Saint John (7 January)

 

 


The Church of Saint Antonios (St. Anthony) at Kedares

 

The monastery is dedicated to St. Anthony the Great, the father of monasticism, the renowned 3rd century anchorite and celebrates on the 17th of January.  Is situated at the south of the village. It is a singe aisled church which was erected on the late 15th century. The church is covered by a pitched roof. The old icons of the church have been removed to the other church of the village (Saint John the Baptist) for safety. Among these is the icon of Christ (1628) and the icon of the Anargyroi Saints, Cosmas and Damianos (1724). Nowadays, the church of Saint Anthony serves like a chapel.

Our venerable and God-bearing Father Saint Anthony the Great was born in to a wealthy family in upper Egypt about 254 AD. Also known as Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, and Anthony the Anchorite, he was a leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Orthodox Church celebrates his feast on January 17.

One day after a teaching on Jesus saying to the people, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me" (Matthew 19:21), St. Anthony sold everything he owned, gave the proceeds to the poor, and left the city behind to live in the desert.

Although he held no titles or position, his holiness marked him as one whose wisdom commanded respect. When the Synod of Nicea was convened, he was invited to participate. His eloquent defense of the Orthodox doctrine concerning the person of Jesus Christ was instrumental in weakening the position of Arianism. His witness led to the eventual and complete elimination of Arianism.

He instructed his followers to bury his body in an unmarked, secret grave, lest his body become an object of veneration. The monastic rules of Saint Anthony, the "patriarch" of monastic life, have served as the basis for countless monasteries.

 

The Apolytikion of Saint Antonios


You imitated the ways of zealous Elijah, 

and followed the straight path of John the Baptist.
You became a desert dweller
and strengthened the world by your prayers.
Father Anthony, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.


Watch the video with the Apolytikion of Saint Antonios

 

 

 

There are also two small chapels in Kedares. The Chapel of Panagia Photolambousa which is located at the north side of the village and the Chapel of Saint George which is located at the south. Both chapels were destroyed several times though the years and always restored.

 

  
 The Chapel of Panagia Photolambousa

  
The Chapel of Saint George

 
 

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©  Κέδαρες / Kedares