Church of Saint Nicholas in Myra/Demre Feast of Saint Nicholas
Every year from 1994 up until 2002 a Greek Orthodox service of Divine Liturgy was held in the Saint Nicholas of Myra Church, Demre, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Saint Nicholas Feast Day, December 6. This once-a-year service was the only one permitted by Turkish officials. Permission for even this one service was withdrawn in 2002. The Ministry of Culture again granted permission for an annual service in 2007. Here are pictures of the service in 2009. The three-hour Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Metropolitan of Myra, Chrysostomos and Greek Orthodox clergy, assisted by Armenian, Russian, and Ukrainian delegations. The service included veneration of Saint Nicholas’ icon. The church was filled with worshippers from many different places.
A service was held on Easter, 2011, celebrated by Hristomomos Kalayci of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was the first Easter liturgy to be held at the church, now “museum.”
Following the Divine Liturgy, December 6, 2017, the Fener Greek Orthodox priest said, “It doesn’t matter whether [St Nicholas’] remains are here or not. It is a globally accepted fact that he lived here as Bishop of Myra… what matters for us is having the saint’s blessing.”