Dear brothers and sisters,
The first ROCOR Liturgy in Swansea was celebrated in the Vivian Hall in Blackpill, this morning, and the village hall will be the home of the local Russian Orthodox Parish for the foreseeable future.
Though minimalist in set-up, the furnishings of Orthodox worship provided all that was needed for the Liturgy, celebrated by Father Luke, whilst I joined those on the kliros, where we mainly chanted in English, but with a few Slavonic chants. We hope that Romanian parishioners will share in the chanting in future weeks.
The Liturgy was well attended, welcoming a mixed congregation of Welsh, Romanian and Russian parishioners from both of our South Wales parishes, and there was ample time to catch up, socialise and spend time together after Liturgy
It was good that parishioners organised car-shares, and I hope this will become an automatic part of parish-life, making it possible for as many of the faithful as possible to attend Liturgy, wherever it is celebrated.
Swansea and Llanelli parishioners have been reminded of the sheer effort required to set up a building for Liturgy, and I hope that in the weeks ahead as many people as possible will offer their labours and assist Father Luke as much as possible. There is much lifting, carrying and unpacking to be done before the hall is ready for worship, and this must be performed in reverse at the end of the day. Parishioners now need to work together to support their parish-priest in this very physical and tiring task.
Father Luke will celebrate the Liturgy in Swansea again next Sunday, with set-up at 09:00, the Hours at 10:00 and the Liturgy at 10:30. Those wishing to communicate should ideally make arrangement to make their confession to Father Luke in the week, to ease Sunday morning, when there is so much to be done.
After a week without Liturgy in Cardiff, the Russian Orthodox Parish will return to St John’s this coming weekend, and I will post details of our services in the next few days.
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark