September 13, 2014
Wayne, WV: Holy Days in Christ the Savior Church

The season of Dormition is always a special time in Christ the Savior Church in Wayne, WV. This is due not only to the significance of the great feast of Dormition, but also because the parish’s patronal feast day occurs on the day following Dormition: the feast of Icon of our Savior "Not Made by Hands." This year, the festivities were even more joyous, due an archpastoral visit from His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, who arrived on the parish feast day and stayed through Sunday services.

On the eve of the feast of the Dormition, the parish served according to the Jerusalem Rite with the bringing out of the Holy Shroud of the Mother of God. Following the dismissal, many parishioners stayed and sang a selection of hymns in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos. The celebration continued with Liturgy on the feast of the Dormition itself, followed by a festal luncheon and a break before evening services commenced for the parish feast day. Later that evening, the All-Night Vigil was served, which was followed in the morning by the Lesser Blessing of Water and Divine Liturgy.

His Eminence, who had paid an archpastoral visit to the brethren of neighboring Holy Cross Monastery and prayed at the Divine Liturgy in the monastery church on Saturday morning, arrived at the parish following Liturgy and toured the workshop of Damascene Gallery, which was also celebrating its feast day and the fourth anniversary of its founding.

At the All-Night-Vigil on Saturday night, the Metropolitan was co-served by parish rector Priest Jonah Campbell and Holy Cross Monastery clerics: Hieromonk Hilarion (Heagy) and Deacon Jeremiah Davis. The Vigil was followed by a festal meal.

The following morning at Divine Liturgy, the aforementioned clergy were joined by the monastery’s deputy abbot, Abbot Seraphim (Voepel) and dean, Hieromonk Alexander (Frizzell). At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence gave an inspiring sermon on the need to struggle in the spiritual life in order to overcome our passions. Following the dismissal, a moleben was served to the Icon "Not Made by Hands," followed by a procession around the temple.

Upon returning to the temple, His Eminence greeted Fr. Jonah and the parishioners with their parish feast day and complimented the parish choir for their beautiful chanting. Fr. Jonah offered words of gratitude to His Eminence for strengthening the faithful of Christ the Savior Church by his visit and also congratulated His Eminence on behalf of the parish on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of His Eminence’s consecration to the episcopate. In connection with this anniversary and His Eminence's archpastoral visit to Christ the Savior Church, Fr. Jonah presented the Metropolitan with an icon of Christ, "The Great High Priest", together with a commemorative inscription marking His Eminence’s visit to West Virginia.

Following the chanting of "Many Years," a festal luncheon was served by the sisterhood of Christ the Savior Church, after which His Eminence departed for his next archpastoral visit to Florida.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese