March 7, 2004

Church Music Concert of the Cathedral Choir in San Francisco

The Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral Choir of San Francisco responded to the call for help of the local Serbian Church. As a result of the parish's financial difficulties, the Warden recently asked the Choir Director of the Cathedral Choir, V.V. Krassovsky, to organize a concert of church music during Great Lent to benefit their parish. The Ruling Bishop of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Archbishop Kyrill, following the example of his late predecessor, Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000), who loved the Serbian Church, gave his archpastoral blessing for this good work, and the Cathedral Choir immediately began preparations for a concert to help their brethren Serbs.

The Cathedral Choir during the Spiritual Concert at the Serbian Church]

On Sunday, March 7, at 2 pm, the members of the Cathedral Choir took to the ambo of the Serbian Church of St. John [the Baptist] on either side of the open Royal Doors. Both Serbian and Russian Orthodox clergymen stood in two rows in the narthex, awaiting the arrival of His Eminence Kyrill, who was greeted with the ringing of bells and a cross on a platter. During the singing of "The Sun from the East" (Archimandrite Matthew) and "It is Truly Meet" (Hieromonk Nathaniel), His Eminence entered the overfilled church and venerated its icons on the iconostasis, and then commenced to the altar. After the singing of "Ton despotin" and the troparion to St. Roman Sladkopevets (Trubachev), everyone assumed their places. The Church Rector, Fr. Mark, delivered a greeting in which he underlined the fraternal ties of our peoples, and that the Russian Church holds an imporant part in the Body of Christ, that is, in the entire Universal Orthodox Church. In conclusion, Fr. Mark said that the frescoes of their church were painted by V.V. Krassovsky, the Choir Director, and expressed his profound gratitude for all his labors in adorning their church. The Warden then also welcomed the audience, and the concert began. The two parts of the concert included works from our Russian monasteries and by Russian composers: Arkhangelsky, Nikolsky, Konstantinoff, Lvovsky, Bortniansky, Kedrov, Astafiev and others.

At the conclusion of the concert, the Rector thanked His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill and gave the Vladyka an icon of the recently-glorified "Serbian Chrysostom," St. Nikolaj (Velimorovic) as a memento of the occasion. The choir sang "Ton despotin" as Archbishop Kyrill blessed the people with the icon of the Serbian saint. The Warden then thanked V.V. Krassovsky and the members of the Cathedral Choir, whose singing is well known for its power and spirituality, and presented them with a gift, after which everyone went to the parish hall, where the sisterhood offered a banquet. During the banquet, V.V. Krassovsky suggested making a plate collection. The gross amount raised to benefit the Serbian parish was around $4,000.

We wish the Parish of St. John in San Francisco God's help, and the Cathedral Choir and V.V. Krassovsky continued success.