March 30, 2015
Atlanta, GA: Bishop George leads Patronal Feast Day of St. Mary of
Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of March, the Sunday of St.
Mary of Egypt, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop
George of Mayfield, performed an archpastoral visit to
Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA, and led the
patronal feast day. Also visiting the parish and present at the
divine services was the myrrh-streaming Icon of the Mother of God
"Softener of Evil Hearts" from Moscow.
At the All-Night Vigil on Saturday evening and the Divine Liturgy on
Sunday morning, His Grace was co-served by parish rector Archpriest
John Townsend, Priest Alexander Lisnichuk (parish cleric), Priest
Eugene Antonov (rector of neighboring Joy of All Who Sorrow Church
in Atlanta), Priest Benedict Simpson (chaplain at Glorious Ascension
Monastery in Resaca, GA), and parish Deacons John Hanson and Steven
Hanes. Priest Matthew Williams (rector of St. Tikhon Church in
Bristol, VA) joined his fellow clergy at Vigil before returning
Before Liturgy, Bishop George elevated several men to the rank of
reader and subdeacon: father and son Ignaty and Christopher Cherry
were tonsured readers, while Adam Gedney, Dimitri Epstein, and
parish warden Michael (Richard) Wells were ordained subdeacons.
Subdeacon Adam will serve in St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Mission in
Coconut Creek, FL, while the rest will fulfill their service in St.
Mary of Egypt Church.
In his sermon at the end of Liturgy, Bishop George spoke about St.
Mary of Egypt repenting before the icon of Theotokos at the Church
of the Holy Sepulcher, noting that here, too, parishioners stood
before a miraculous icon of the Mother of God, and should all ask
her for the grace of repentance. His Grace spoke about his recent
visit to Ukraine, where people braved the cold and rain to attend
church in the hundreds. He challenged the faithful in America to
show similar piety, asking whether it will take suffering similar
trials and tribulations to those being faced by the faithful in
Ukraine, before we ourselves start going to church.
A procession was held around the church. After the service, a festal
luncheon was held under a tent outdoors, and parishioners spent time
interacting with Bishop George on his last archpastoral visit before
departing for Australia.
Photos by Anastasia Gracheva
Media Office of the Eastern