St. Antonio’s Orthodox Church raised the domes to the roof of its new Halifax church Friday, a significant step toward opening the sanctuary.

The multi-million dollar construction job started a year ago and should be done around Christmas.

John Lawen, parish president at the church, said the domes arrived last fall and sat on the ground since then as builders waited for good weather.

"It was easier to construct the domes on the ground, install the copper roof, finish the stucco on them and then lift them up, versus working the other way around," he explained.

About 50 people attended a religious ceremony at the site, including members of other Orthodox churches in the province.

Gracia Makhoul said her congregation has outgrown the old church. “It’s been beautiful watching it grow,” she said.

The new church is a major renovation of the former Saint Matthias Anglican Church, which had sat empty for two years.

Parts of the century-old sanctuary, including some of the stained glass windows, will be incorporated into the new church. It will seat 450 people.