For the Akathist we had about half to two-thirds All-Merciful Savior
and Holy Theotokos folks; the remainder were from Antiochian
or Greek churches. We waited expectantly for the arrival of Bishop
Peter with subdeacon Michael, while the kathisma of psalms for
the day's Vespers was chanted.
Afterwards I addressed a welcome to Vladika
and the Mother of God, and on behalf of the new church I gave him a
unique blue and white prayer rope made by nuns in Jerusalem.
Finally all received
Vladika's blessing, and he gave some instructions on how to do this or
When Bishop Peter arrived, he was greeted
with bread and salt and a cheerful address by our starosta,
then placed the Kursk Root Icon upon the stand and gave blessings as
The akathist began with Vladika's "Blagosloven
Bog nash," followed by the choir's Heavenly King, and the
reader's Trisagion prayers, 12x Lord have mercy, Glory, O come let
us worship, Psalm 50.
Then subdeacon Michael drove Vladika to the Olive
Garden restaurant where our group enjoyed a festive oil-and-wine
meal. Vladika had begun his day at 4 a.m. and spent nearly every
minute of it in the air or driving, but he held up after a glass of
wine and some salad. Our pleasant supper together with the
Antiochians and Greeks reminded me of the psalmist's words, "Behold
how good and joyful a thing it is, for brethren
After that we began to sing the first Kontakion, then Bp. Peter intoned all the Oikoi.
The whole congregation, about forty
souls, sang the Rejoices and Alleluias in rich harmony. It was a
beautiful service, sung as the the light of many candles replaced
the waning light of the spent day.
for brethren to dwell together." We
returned to our homes late and with smiles on our faces.
The Mother of God also visited Holy Protection
Austin, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. Holy Protection is behind Halina
European Skin Care, 5309 Burnet Road. The Akathist there was sung
prayerfully in Slavonic and Bp. Peter also anointed the faithful.
---- Apr. 26, 2005