An all night vigil and midnight prayers followed till the early hours, preceded by the holy liturgy, which was officiated by His Eminence, Archbishop Kerlos.
Thereafter, the clergy, scholars, cantors, Sunday school students and the faithful accompanied the tabot or ark in a procession, which circled the Church three times. A group of cantors performed the liturgical dance to the accompaniment of ululations and clapping from the faithful. Theneafter, Sunday school students sung lively chants.
The Administrator of Debre Selam St Gabriel Church, the Rt Reverend Solomon Gebreamlak presented the background history and the processes that were underwent by the Church and expressed the Parish Administration’s gratitude to those involved in the process.
Abune Zena Markos, Archbishop of the Ethiopian Diocese and member of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, who was a guest in the celebrations, gave an edifying sermon. His Eminence also expressed his appreciation on the communion and concelebration of both the Eritrean and Ethiopian faithful in one church and at one liturgy, further affirmed his admiration at the exemplary apostolic mission of His Eminence Abune Kerlos, despite the latter’s advanced age.
On the occasion, the Administrator of the St Mary Church at Juba South Sudan, the Rt Reverend Samuel Abrha expressed his appreciation at the unity and respect demonstrated by the clergy and the faithful in building a fine church, and congratulated them for carry out God’s commandment in such a manner.
Lastly, the Mihlela prayers were said, followed by the benediction prayers and the Tabot was placed inside its sanctuary.
A banquet, which was prepared in honor of the occasion, was attended well by various government dignitaries, ambassadors and other invited guests.
The Church was started six years ago at the request of the community, when the Holy Synod sent a Tabot and a presiding priest. Despite the few number of the congregants in Rwanda, their steadfastness and religious devotion was witnessed as they were able to construct a new church and transferred the Tabot from its temporary shelter. This new Church is fully owned by the Church.
The building committee and those who made special contribution were awarded a certificate of gratitude from His Eminence Abune kerlos. A special recognition certificate from Eritrea’s Synod was also given to Teclay Teame on the eventful day, for his outstanding role in the building of the Church.