September 21, 2012
Washington, DC: September
Celebrations in the Parish of St. John the Baptist Cathedral
Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of September, the First
Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion,
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, came to the capital of
the United States of America to lead the festal services in
St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, in celebration
of parish’s recent patronal feast day. Concelebrating with His
Eminence were the retired Primate of the Orthodox Church in America,
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, cathedral rector Archpriest
Victor Potapov, Archpriest John Moses (rector of All Saints of North
America Church in Middlebrook, VA), Priest John Johnson (parish
cleric), Priest John Weir (cleric of the Australian Diocese), parish
clerics Priests Alexander Resnikoff and Victor Klimenko, and six
deacons (headed by cathedral Protodeacon Leonid Mickle), in a church
filled with a great number of the faithful.
Over the course of the two-day celebration,
four priests confessed a multitude of faithful, who were eager to
soften their hearts and cleanse themselves of all uncleanness. Holy
Communion was offered from four chalices. Two choirs sang ‒ the
Slavonic choir under the direction of Youri A. Petcherkin, and the
English choir under the direction of Paula Genis.
During the Little Entrance, Metropolitan
Hilarion awarded Priest John Johnson, assistant to the rector, with
the right to wear the purple skufia. After the Eucharistic Canon,
His Eminence ordained Subdeacon Thomas Opyoke to the diaconate. The
newly ordained deacon will serve in All Saints of North America
Church in Middlebrook, VA.
the prayer behind the ambo, Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a homily
in which he called upon parishioners to remember the most important
Gospel Commandment – regarding love for God and for one’s neighbor.
He called upon those present to defend the truth in their daily
lives, to maintain the purity of their own earthly lives, as the
cathedral’s heavenly patron, St. John, the Great Prophet,
Forerunner, and Baptist of our Lord, had taught.
Following a procession of the cross and
moleben, the His Eminence awarded parishioner Alexei T. Zacharin a
blessed diocesan gramota. It stated, in pertinent part, "Upon your
good initiative and according to your design, a major renovation of
the parish house and grounds of Washington’s Cathedral Parish of St.
John the Baptist was accomplished. The parish house was
significantly expanded and enhanced. The church’s cramped choir loft
and the solea were expanded without disturbing in the least the
vision of the church‘s architect, the ever-memorable Bishop Daniel.
Thanks to your efforts, the ordinary course of parish life continued
uninterrupted throughout every stage of the complex construction."
Following the lengthy church services,
parishioners and guests were afforded an opportunity to rest and
fortify themselves at an abundant banquet presented by the
sisterhood in the parish hall.
Archpriest Victor Potapov, Rector
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