On Monday, September 14, the feast of the Indiction or Church new year, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan traveled south to Harrisonburg, VA, to visit the parish of the Holy Myrrhbearers. His Grace was accompanied by the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora ‒ the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Upon arriving at the parish’s rented space, they were greeted with a shower of flower petals that fragrantly cushioned their entrance into the church, where a moleben was served.
Bishop Nicholas tonsured a new reader, Moses Letzelter, and then began the moleben to the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, asking them to assist and protect this parish as the community begins to build its very own church! At the reading of the Gospel, His Grace awarded parish rector Priest Gabriel Weller the right to wear the pectoral gold cross, and Priest Richard Reed the kamilavka. Upon completion of the moleben, worshippers quickly drove to the location where the new church is going to be erected in Cross Keys, VA.
Flower petals once again awaited the Kursk Root Icon. An akathist was chanted to the icon, followed by the parish’s first procession over the ground where the church is going to be built. Bishop Nicholas quenched the dry ground with holy water to make this dirt rich in spiritual fruit. His Grace then drove a shovel blade deep into the soil and blessed the new foundation of the church. All the parishioners grabbed a shovel and turned over soil as well, many hands make light work!
A cake was presented in honor of Matushka Mary Reed’s birthday and the promise of a new year! When the cake was consumed and darkness overtook the festivities, parishioners left for home with joy in their hearts, warmth in their souls, and hope for the future!
Please consider donating to the construction of the new church here!