Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings as we continue to celebrate the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, which we marked last Saturday and Sunday with services in St John’s, with the plashchanitsa of the Mother of God adorned with flowers.
The beautiful encomia of the Dormition were chanted during our Saturday service, and our Sunday Liturgy began before dawn, at 6:00 am, with the rising sun illuminating the east window of St John’s as the Liturgy progressed.
At the end of a prayerful and beautiful Liturgy, we emerged into the late summer sunshine and made our way to Victoria Park for a parish breakfast of pirozhky, cakes, tea, coffee, and even sweet wine!
It was wonderful to have the faithful travel from as far apart as Llanelli and Stroud, and to have time together chatting in the sunshine, joined by Father Sorin, matushka and his sons and daughters after the Romanian Liturgy, in St Luke’s.
The feast continues till Sunday, when we will again hear the encomia for the Dormition, before the plashchanitsa is venerated and returned to the altar, before its return journey to my kellia, in Llanelli.
We will meet for compline and confessions on Saturday, at 16:30, though we will be there around 16:00, with the possibility of some confessions being heard before the service.
Then on Sunday, the church will be open for us around 10:15, for set up and the proskomedia and Hours at 11:00, followed by the Liturgy.
Again, I encourage parishioners to bring savoury and sweet ‘finger food’ for easy sharing after the service, when tea and coffee will be available.
Your prayers are asked for our Cheltenham parishioners who have stated their opposition to their suspended reader’s aim of persuading them to leave the ROCOR.
May God bless them and defend them from schism, and may the Most Holy Mother of God preserve them beneath her most pure veil.
Despite our demands here in Wales, Father Deacon Mark, I and our Cardiff parishioners (some of whom live in Wiltshire) will support our ROCOR faithful in Gloucestershire. Supporting our Cheltenham faithful, and finding ways to enable the clergy to do this will be discussed at our General Parish Meeting, after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, 12 September.
The variables for this Sunday’s service may be found at –
Most Holy Mother of God, save us!
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark