Saturday, May 28, 2016

Uglich - Part II

Today we began the day early, meeting Bishop Theodore on the main public square of Uglich (which is a short walk from the front of the main cathedral here) at 8:00 a.m. He arrived in a helicopter with the relics of St. Dimitry. The helicopter had carried the bishop and the relics throughout the city to allow for the blessing of the city with the relics. We processed with the relics into the cathedral, and then hurried to meet Metropolitan Panteliemon of Yaroslavl, who was the senior bishop at the Liturgy this day. 

There were four bishops in total who served the Liturgy, about 100 priests, and about a dozen deacons. The faithful partook of Holy Communion from a dozen or so chalices. Three choirs sang the Liturgy really remarkably beautifully.

Following the Liturgy there was a moleben and a procession with all the clergy, the relics of St. Dimitry, and a huge icon of the Saint. Several stops were made on the procession at various churches not far from the main cathedral. Thus the city was blessed by the relics of St. Dimitry from land as well as the air, and in fact the relics of the Saint also blessed the city from the Volga that day as well. There was much media coverage, and we had the opportunity to talk to the local television reporters about our project in Ann Arbor. I also had the opportunity to meet all four of the bishops who served the Liturgy and ask their prayers for our project. The television interview and the meeting of the bishops all took place with Fr. Sergei Kiselev's help. Fr. Sergei is a big proponent of our project and has been incredibly helpful and welcoming when I have visited. I am very thankful for his support and his friendship. 

After the triumphant Divine Services there was a banquet, a symposium sponsored by the new seminary founded in this new diocese, and a concert in honor of St. Dimitry by the local music school at which the children's choir from Sviblovo took part. We had the opportunity to visit the city bazaar, and otherwise participate in this feast of the city of Uglich. 

After a long and very beautiful day we arrived back in Moscow at about 9:00 p.m. Tomorrow, God willing, we will serve Liturgy at the parish in Frazeno where Fr. Sergei is also the Rector. I ask your prayers for continued safe travels.

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