WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: May 4, 2010
Feast-Day Celebrations in Meudon
Last year, our Parish of the Resurrection of Christ marked its 80th anniversary to the glory of God, and this year, we had the rare opportunity of a particularly ceremonious celebration on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women. His Grace Bishop Michael, our Ruling Bishop, arrived the day before and officiated at all-night vigil.
At the end of vespers, Vladyka Michael emerged for the litiya, which was held outside due to the splendid weather. Deacon George Machtalere and Deacon Alexandre Boldyreff served as well.
On the feast day itself, Vladyka Michael was greeted with the ringing of bells, after which he officiated at Divine Liturgy, joined by Parish Rector Protopriest Michael Goudkoff, Protopriest Nikolai Ozolin (from St Sergius Podvorie), and the aforementioned deacons.
The church was filled with worshipers, not only the church’s parishioners but visitors from neighboring parishes. It was especially heartwarming to see young people from the Podvorie of the Three Hierarchs make a special trip to attend, to share in our prayers and our joy at the spiritual feast.
The choir sang magnificently under our new choir director, Egor Soloviev. The service was both ceremonious and prayerful. Many communed of the Holy Gifts. The services ended with a procession of the cross around the church.
Upon returning to the church, Many Years was intoned to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Michael, the Parish Rector, the sisterhood and all the parishioners of this holy church, after which Eternal Memory was sung to the former parish rectors.
Fr Michel then addressed Bishop Michael with the following greeting:
Your Grace, Dear Vladyko!
Today we celebrate our feast day. This holiday, which gathers and unites us all, is a joyous celebration when we remember the Resurrection of Christ, and it is with this spiritual happiness that we welcome you today.
We wish to express to you our profound gratitude for your labors, for the fact that you have come to visit us and gave us the opportunity to pray with you.
We ask your hierarchal prayers and archpastoral blessings.
Everyone then approached Vladyka Michael for blessing filled with Paschal joy. Vladyka, holding the cross, greeted each with the words “Christ is Risen,” and sprinkled each one with holy water.
Through the efforts of the sisterhood, a bountiful Paschal trapeza was offered at Meudon’s town hall, shared in a friendly atmosphere by all.
Present at the reception was Georges Koch and his wife, representing the city of Meudon. Also attending were the Rector of the Cathedral of the Three Hierarchs, Hegumen Nestor, Hieromonk Joseph, Protopriest Vladimir Yagello and Protopriest Serge Sollogub.
Bishop Michael spoke first at the trapeza, congratulating everyone on this holiday, and thanking M Koch for his assistance to our parish. Fr Nestor followed with a speech.
Many Years was then sung by everyone under Soloviev’s direction to Fr Joseph, who was celebrating his namesday,
We were all given a great spiritual boost by this happy celebration, which will long remain in our minds and hearts. We are very grateful to those who actively participated in its organization and preparation, which was so successful thanks to Divine assistance.
Let us thank the Lord God for His great and generous mercies and for the wonderful weather which He granted us on this unforgettable day.
Let us hope that the visit to our parish by the youth of Three Hierarchs Cathedral will lay a good foundation for our friendly and prayerful unity.
Glory to God for all things!
Protopriest Michel Goudkoff