Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis is a writer and a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He is noted for his book The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy, a 420 page commentary on the Divine Liturgy.
Fr. Emmanuel was born on the island of Crete and also studied in Greece. He has studied abroad in Rome and in the United States, completing an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in Classics. He has also done additional graduate coursework in this field at the University of Chicago. Fr. Emmanuel also earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts. In 2001, Fr. Emmanuel founded Orthodox Witness, a not-for-profit group dedicated to Orthodox Christian evangelism.
In 1988, Fr. Emmanuel was ordained a deacon by Metr. Silas. On December 4, 1988, he was ordained a priest by Bishop (now Metropolitan) Iakovos of Chicago. The first parish assignment for Fr. Emmanuel was at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Huntington, West Virginia. After a year and a half, he was assigned to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Rocky River, Ohio, where he again served for a year and a half. His third assignment was to Ss. Constantine and Helen in Belleville, Illinois where he served for nearly ten years. After that he has served intermittently between retirements as he has been writing.
Fr. Emmanuel has also written several Christmas plays including: “Prophecies Announcing Christ”, “The Three Wise Men”, “Daniel and the Three Youths”, “God is with Us”, and “Christmas Eve.” Each play is highlighted with original Orthodox Christmas songs and carols written or arranged in English by Fr. Emmanuel.
In 2008, Orthodox Witness published Fr. Emmanuel's first book entitled, The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy.
- Hatzidakis, Fr. Emmanuel. The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy (2nd. ed., Chicago, IL: Orthodox Witness, 2010) ISBN 978-0-9778970-3-2 The Divine Liturgy explained. 420p, hardbound.