Archpastoral Visit to our Parish
The clergy and faithful of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the glorious feast day of the Holy Great-Martyr Barbara and warmly welcomed our Archpastor, His Grace Mercurius, Bishop of Zaraisk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA.
On Sunday, December 17, 2006 (Dec 4 – Julian calendar), Bishop Mercurius came to our parish to celebrate Divine Liturgy and spiritually nourish the faithful of Baltimore. Upon his arrival to our church, Bishop Mercurius was greeted by the children of our parish who presented him with a bouquet of flowers. Likewise, on behalf of the parish, the parish council president, Victor Marinich welcomed His Grace with the traditional presentation of bread-and-salt and our pastor, Fr. John Vass greeted the Bishop, asking for his prayers and archpastoral blessings upon our community. Then, Bishop Mercurius vested in the center of the church and our parish choir sang the traditional hymn adapted from the vesting prayers.
Vladyko celebrated the Divine Liturgy with Fr. John, the Protodeacons Michael Stolpyn and Igor Panachev, Subdeacons, Readers and Altar servers assisting. Most of the Divine Service was sung in English. Several of our parishioners and many guests attended the service, submitted names to be commemorated at Proskemedia and received the Holy Mysteries. At the end of the Liturgy, Fr. John offered words of sincere gratitude to Vladyko for his visit to our parish. He explained to His Grace how the faithful of the parish come from different countries and cultural backgrounds, but all strive to work together with love and respect for the benefit of the parish.
Bishop Mercurius spoke about the life of the Holy Great-Martyr Barbara. He explained that when St. Barbara looked out into the world, she saw the wondrous creation of God. In the world she saw the activity of the All-Holy Trinity and bravely confessed her faith in the Trinity, suffering martyrdom for the True Faith. In the year 2006 the Holy Orthodox Church marks the 1700th Anniversary of St. Barbara’s martyrdom.
Upon the official petition of the pastor and faithful of our parish, Bishop Mercurius presented a piece of the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Barbara to support and to nourish the liturgical life of our parish. His Grace blessed our parish to commission the writing of an icon to hold the relics and charged that the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy be celebrated every year on St. Barbara’s feast day.
His Grace also presented Bishop’s Gramota to the chairpersons of the Russian Festival Committee for their successful work on the annual Russian Festival over the last several years: David Eichelberger, Albert Blaszak, Michael Mickel, Art Lisowsky, Selina Eichelberger, Katherine and Jacob Plaskowitz. Congatulations. Oxios! God grant them many years.
At the end of Divine Services a festive reception was held in the church hall in honor of Vladyko’s visit to the parish. A delicious lenten menu included shrimp hors d'oeuvre, salad and a salmon entree. Special thanks go out to David Eichelberger, the Events Committee and all who helped make the entire day a memorial event in the life of the parish.
Official Certificate of the presentation of the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Barbara
I hereby certify the transfer of a piece of the relics of the HOLY GREAT-MARTYR BARBARA (commemorated on Dec. 17) to Holy Trinity Church, a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in the city of Baltimore, in accordance with the petition from the parish and rector. In connection with this, I bless the parish to commission the writing of an icon of the Holy Great-Martyr in which will be placed the small ark holding her holy relics. And I charge the parish to celebrate the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy (every year) on the day when the Church commemorates the Great-Martyr Barbara and to commemorate her name in every dismissal at the end of Divine Services. Signed: +Mercurius, Bishop of Zaraisk.
O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!