Feastday of the Meeting of the Lord at the Archbishop’s chapel

On the feastday of the Meeting of the Lord at the Archbishop’s chapel of All Saints of Russia, Croydon, the ruling archbishop, the Very Most Reverend Hilarion, together with Archpriests Michael Boikov, Michael Li and Priest James Carles and in the presence of Protodeacon German Polorotov and Deacon Alexander Kotlaroff, served the Divine Liturgy. Notwithstanding that the feastday occurred on a working day this year, there were many people in attendance. During the reading of the 6th Hour Archbishop Hilarion tonsured as reader and ordained into the subdeaconate Martin Naef – a Swiss-Frenchman, who converted to Orthodoxy over 11 years ago. During the appropriate time, after the Eucharistic Canon, His Grace ordained Constantine Moshegov, a well known ophthalmologist, into the diaconate. One should add that, for the Moshegov and Naef families the ordinations have a special augmented meaning, since Deacon Constantine and Subdeacon Martin are married to two sisters – Natalie and Tatiana (neè Ivans).

Following the Prayer before the Ambo, His Grace blessed grapes and other assorted fruit, according to the Southern Hemisphere practice. In his edifying sermon Archbishop Hilarion explained the meaning of this great feastday and especially underlined the example of obedience to the Divine Will and Mosaic Law shown by our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of the Liturgy, Deacon Alexander Kotlaroff exclaimed the Many Years to the newly ordained and their families, as well as to the Simeons and Annas celebrating their namesday. Immediately following, Protodeacon German Polorotov exclaimed Eternal Memory to Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) and his faithful co-struggler, the late diocesan secretary, Archpriest Nicholas Grant and also to Bishop Mitrofan (Znosko-Borovsky), who all passed away some time ago on this feastday.

Archbishop Hilarion welcomed and thanked a priest of the Diveev Monastery in Russia, Fr. George Pavlovich, who stood and prayed in church, and who was returning this day to the Motherland.

The choir of the Archbishop’s chapel sang beautifully under the able direction of Nickolai Kojevnikov. Because of a continuing illness, the long-serving choir mistress Elena Kudrin was unable to come to the service, however quoting the expression of the much revered priest of Chinese descent Michael Li God sent a much needed replacement.

After the liturgy the Sisterhood, under the supervision of the Elder Sister, Galina Strekalovsky, offered up a festive lunch in the church hall. The clergy each gave congratulatory speeches while in reply the newly ordained Deacon Constantine thanked everyone for their prayers and efforts. Let us all, firstly, give thanks unto our Creator and God, and then to all who beautified and enriched this unforgettable day with their presence.

Glory be to our God!

Archpriest Michael Boikov