Today was going to be a good day no matter what. The opportunity to serve Liturgy at the great Kiev Caves Lavra. It is just silly to say that would not be a great day. The plan was for Metropolitan Phillip and Archbishop Peter to lead the Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Lavra, but the Metropolitan got sick unfortunately, and so Archbishop Peter ended up as the main celebrant at this historically significant cathedral. Pictures of that part of the day can be found HERE.
HERE is a little video I made of a couple of pro Subdeacons (pro in that they vest bishops multiple times per week) putting the Great Omophorion on Archbishop Peter. This may be helpful for those that don't have the opportunity to vest the bishop often, but need to do so occasionally. Most of the hierarchal vestments are not too tough, but that Great Omophorion is a real mystery most times. I hope this helps some of you who are reading this.
After a nice meal at the brotherhood trapeza we rested a bit, did some shopping for priests and parishes, and then were given a guided tour of both the near and the far caves by Archimandrite Barnabas (the guest master of the monastery). Those two designations have to do with how close each set of those caves is to the Dormition Cathedral, by the way. The lighting was bad and I didn't think I would get any good pictures but I snapped a few just in case. I should have done many more, since I was able to edit the things so that they came out decently. Sorry now that I didn't. So I will just have to return another time to do this. :) Perhaps we will arrange a parish pilgrimage here if Archbishop Peter blesses. This is one of those places that every Orthodox Christian should visit once in his or her lifetime. Jerusalem and here. The holy fathers resting in the caves in their incorrupt relics are a real spiritual inspiration. So worth the trip if there is any way you can make it. The pictures I took are of the New Martyr Metropolitan Vladimir. I did that because the day of his commemoration and martyrdom is the same as my name's day. I had the great honor to serve Liturgy on an antimins sanctified by him as Metropolitan of Kiev at Holy Trinity monastery the last year we lived there (when I was a newly-ordained priest). I will never forget that. And so when this opportunity came up I had to take the pictures. Here are the few other pictures we have of the day (some from Liturgy, some from the tour):
Tomorrow Archbishop Peter and Fr. Victor head on to Pochaev. I won't get to make that part of the trip as I need to return to Michigan on Tuesday to resume our parish and seminary work. Vladyka and Fr. Victor will return to the states on Saturday.
Please pray for us all as we travel. Thanks for following the blog during these days. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your interest. Please continue to pray for us - even when we are not travelling.
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