NEWS FROM THE DIOCESES
 
EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE: July 26, 2004

Bishop Gabriel attends the Day of Remembrance

On Saturday, July 24, 2004, His Grace Bishop Gabriel arrived at the camp of the St Georges Pathfinders, troop Tsarskoe Selo, in memory of Andrei Ilyinsky. Bishop Gabriel was joined at all-night vigil by the campís clergy, Protopriest Sergey Lukianov, the spiritual father of the scouts, and Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov. The solemn service was attended by over 200 scouts from various troops from all across America, who had gathered at the camp for the 95th anniversary of the St Georgeís Pathfinders.

After vigil and dinner, the ceremony of the Day of Remembrance commenced. The solemn celebration was illuminated with torches in Bishop Gabrielís presence and the multitude of visitors who had come for the event. Every year, this ceremony reminds the young generation of those who labored for the benefit of Russian youth by members of the organization who had departed for a better world. After the recitation of the names of those living and reposed, Protopriest Sergey served a commemorative litany with the music for the ektenia written by Arkhangelsky, prayerfully moving the hearts of those in attendance. “Eternal Memory!” was sung under the starry skies, surrounded by flickering torches, the prayers of the scouts called to mind the words: “Let my prayer be set before You as incense.” The commemorative bonfire ended the evening program and ceremony of the Day of Remembrance.

The following morning, His Grace Bishop Gabriel was greeted not only by the clergy, but by the boy and girl scouts, standing in formation, whose spiritual joy was expressed by Fr. Sergey in his words of greeting. As during vigil, divine liturgy was held under the open sky, for the camp chapel houses only the altar. Still, this did not detract from the ceremony of the service; the choir was comprised entirely of scouts and their headmasters, prayerfully singing the hierarchical liturgy. After the service, Fr. Sergey gave His Grace a gift from the entire camp: a belt embroidered by the nuns of Gethsemane Convent. Vladykaís visit to St Georges Pathfinders Camp concluded with a spiritual talk with the young scouts. St Georges Pathfinders, troop Tsarskoe Selo, expresses its deep gratitude to His Grace Bishop Gabriel for his spiritual nourishment of the camp, and hopes in the future to have such prayerful communion there. Eis polla eti despota!