Christmas Thanks

Dear brothers and sisters, Христос Рождается!

After a busy couple of days for our parishes, I would like to thank all who worked so incredibly hard for Nativity celebrations in Cardiff and Cheltenham – singers, readers, servers, bakers, cooks, and flower-arrangers. Thanks also to all who brought candles with which to light St John’s.

Our Nativity services made for a long night, with the vigil followed by the Liturgy, and we are indebted to Father Luke for confessing parishioners for much of the vigil, before serving the proskomedia.

Saturday saw our Nativity Liturgy in Cheltenham, before a festive visit to Fr Robert and a parish visit on the way home, and Sunday was blessed with a very prayerful and joyful Liturgy back in Carrdiff.

I now look forward to enjoying the sviatky with parishioners around our rather wide parish.

I would like to repeat the thanks expressed at Liturgy for the extraordinary generosity of parishioners in their Christmas giving. It sounds like the Generation Game if one goes through the catalogue of presents – icons, tea, beeswax candles, chocolates, dates, wine, vodka, prianniky, soaps, conserves… but no teasmade or cuddly toy. The generous monetary gifts will pay for an icon of three of the Moscow holy-fools: Tsar Feodor Ioannovich, Vasily Blazhenny and Maxim Blazhenny.

Next Sunday’s service will be at the usual time of 11:00, with the Liturgy following the Hours.

May I ask local parishioners who require confession to email as soon as possible – – so that I may make arrangements for Friday and Saturday? May I also ask those requiring Sunday confession to forewarn the clergy?

Wishing you continuing joy and blessings in the holy-days following the Nativity.

With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark

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