A day after the Church celebrated the summer feast of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, we belatedly kept the feast in Cheltenham, celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Prestbury, mindful of the wonderful visits the Wonder-Working icon has made to our little community over the years.
Though we only had our customary small congregation, most of those present were with us in the same chapel the last time the icon visited us in March 2021. We also remember the very special visit of the icon with our late Metropolitan Hilarion, of blessed memory.
Rather than preach a homily, at the end of Liturgy, a little time was spent talking to the children about the icon, its pictorial scheme and how miracles have been granted through its physical presence at the heart of our Church and in our scattered communities.
Given that we only have one Liturgy a month, we are generally starting late, as nearly all worshippers wish to confess and commune, so we will discuss amending the service time – though I worry that this will simply result in people coming for confession later. I will discuss this with parishioners when making home visits over the next few weeks.
We would like to thank our devoted parishioners who had been busy before the Liturgy, as always: prosphora-baking, cooking and cutting flowers, and then fulfilling the various obediences for our monthly mission Liturgy, with a wonderful Lenten lunch, with mama Galyna’s pickles and mama Lyuba’s baking!