His Eminence, Archbishop MARK was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on December 5, 2004. His consecrating bishops included His Beatitude Ignatius IV at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria as well as numerous Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. He was enthroned at St. George Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio on August 25, 2005 and served as Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America.
Archbishop MARK served as priest of St. John the Evangelist Church in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2000. In January of 2001, he was assigned to St. George in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Archbishop MARK was born on June 22, 1958 in New Albany, Indiana. He was baptized in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in 1958 and confirmed when he was nine. He attended elementary school at our Lady of Perpetual Help and graduated from New Albany High School in 1976. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1985. In 1987, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Literature from Oral Roberts University and accepted the position of Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at Oral Roberts University.
Having been introduced to the Orthodox Church by the V. Rev. George Eber, pastor of St. Antony in Tulsa, Oklahoma and his professors of Church History, Dr. Jerry Sandidge and his Old Testament professor, Dr. Howard Ervin at Oral Roberts University, Archbishop MARK was received into the Church through Holy Chrismation on Great and Holy Wednesday 1989. He attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s in 1991.
From 1993 – 1997, His Eminence worked in mental Health as a Mental Health worker at Mercy Psychiatric on a dual diagnosis unit and from 1997 – 2000, as a crisis worker in the emergency room at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Aliquippa, PA.
Archbishop MARK was ordained a deacon on August 17, 1997. On September 7, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. Archbishop MARK was received into the Orthodox Church in America on January 1, 2011, and given the title of Bishop of Baltimore. On January 17, 2014, he was nominated to fill the vacant Episcopal See of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania at a special Diocesan Assembly at Saint Nicholas Church in Bethlehem, PA — he had served as the Diocese’s Administrator since 2012. On March, 18, 2014, he was elected by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.
His Eminence was enthroned as Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, was celebrated at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Stephen Cathedral on Saturday, May 10, 2014. He was elevated to the rank of Archbishop during the 2015 Spring Session of the Holy Synod.
He also presently serves as the Synodal Liason to the various commissions and departments of the OCA.
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A little before midnight on the Blessed Sabbath the Nocturne service is chanted. The celebrant goes to the tomb and removes the winding-sheet. He carries it through the royal doors and places it on the altar table where it remains for forty days until the day of Ascension.
At midnight the Easter procession begins. The people leave the church building singing:
The angels in heaven, O Christ our Savior, sing of Thy resurrection. Make us on earth also worthy to hymn Thee with a pure heart.
The procession circles the church building and returns to the closed doors of the front of the church. This procession of the Christians on Easter night recalls the original baptismal procession from the darkness and death of this world to the light and the life of the Kingdom of God. It is the procession of the holy passover, from death unto life, from earth unto heaven, from this age to the age to come which will never end.