Dear brothers and sisters,
What a whirlwind of a day we have had in Cardiff, continuing our celebration of the Kazan Icon. Busy seems an obvious understatement.
With the actual feast falling in a weekday/workday little more than half a dozen of us gathered in St Mary’s for Liturgy on Friday – though it was lovely and very prayerful.
However, today’s translated celebration of our altar-feast was quite astounding, with such impressive numbers, including many new faces – yet again – joining our festal gathering of Britons, Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans, Serbs and Greeks and even our young Hungarian!
We have so many people to thank for their efforts in making the last few days such a wonderful celebration centred on our Liturgies in Butetown and Canton.
Thank you for the many ‘obediences’ undertaken with such dedication and generosity – whether spiritual, liturgical, musical, floral, culinary or domestic.
Our depleted kliros rose to the occasion singing today’s Liturgy; matushka Alla adorned the Kazanskaya Mother of God, which dominated the entry-way into St John’s; our sisters provided lunch for all who stayed for our festal trapeza; Norman and Georgina organised St Mary’s, so that we only had to lay the altar and zhertvenik for Friday Liturgy, and fed us all with shuba for lunch; Deacon Mark and our oltarniky laboured selflessly to set-up, arrange and put away… and we then need to recognise the dedication of those travelling form Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Oxfordshire. What a remarkable parish we have!
The presence of Father Luke, as always, coincided with an ever-renewing queue for confessions, and we are grateful for his tireless occupation of the Lady Chapel for the Mystery of Repentance every time he comes to St John’s. Between us, over the course of four days, so many confessions were heard, and it was a joy that so many communed of the Holy Gifts of the Lord’s Body and Blood.
We congratulate everyone who partook of the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Not only was today’s service joyful, but it was wonderful to see how many people stayed to enjoy such a warm and friendly festal trapeza, provided by our parish sisters.
As announced at Liturgy, St John’s is not available for parish use next Sunday, so we will not have a ROCOR Liturgy in Cardiff. However, the Hours and the Liturgy will be celebrated in Llanelli at 10:00, and the Romanian Parish celebrates Matins and the Divine Liturgy in St Luke’s Church in Canton at 07:00.
It would be lovely to see Cardiff parishioners on Saturday, in Cheltenham, where the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in Prestbury. See:
We will gather in St Mary, Butetown, for Compline and a spiritual talk at 19:00 on Friday, and I will hear confessions in the afternoon and evening. May I ask for requests for confessions by 22:00 on Wednesday.
I am presently in Somerset and am, as yet, unsure how many days my stay will last. Much depends on ongoing chest-problems. I shall, of course, be praying for our community at the ancient Christian sites associated with our British Saints and – God-willing – will be able to spend time with some of our Wessex parishioners, before ministering to the needs of those living in Cardiff later in the week.
Any requests for prayers will be gladly received!
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Fr Mark