DIOCESE OF BERLIN AND GERMANY: July 25, 2007
The Buchendorf Convent Celebrates its Feast Day
On July 18, 2007, the feast day of the Convent of Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth in Buchendorf was celebrated. The solemn services were performed jointly by the Senior Priest of the Munich Cathedral, Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff; Priest Sergei Suvorov, Rector of St John Church in Riga, a guest of the Convent; Priest Dimitri Kalachev of Bilefeld; Priest Sergii Kiselev of Ingolstadt and Deacon Alexander Rolov. Pilgrims from all over Germany came to honor the memory of St Elizabeth, including Darmstadt, where the saint of Russia grew up. By Divine Providence, the Darmstadt pilgrims brought a wreath of flowers to adorn the icon of St Elizabeth, which the nuns did not have time to decorate before all-night vigil began.
Before Divine Liturgy, Fr Dimitri performed a moleben of blessing of water, as is customary on church feast days. The warm singing of the choir aided the prayerful mood in the church. The neighboring Bavarians watched with interest the procession of the cross, which they grew to love since last year's feast day. After all the ceremonies, the monastic choir sang Many Years to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and the spiritual father of the Convent, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, who could not attend this year. The celebration was continued by an “agape” trapeza, which the nuns organized in their garden. During the repast, Nun Martha thanked all who came to honor the memory of St Elizabeth, thereby also displaying love for their convent. Everyone socialized in a relaxed atmosphere before leaving, taking with them the joy of the holiday.