[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] The Vesperal Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Tikhon's was much more full both as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, led the celebration that included the final steps of the preparation of Holy Chrism. (To see more about the preparation of Holy Chrism and related photos, please click here to see article devoted to this holy work during Holy Week.)
His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, was present for the beginning blessing of the ingredients of Holy Chrism on Monday morning, and joined His Beatitude for the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy. Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak joined celebrants of St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary, and Archpriest Joseph Martin, who oversaw the preparation of the Holy Chrism all through the week, at the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy. We were also blessed with the presence of Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean at the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, who present with us at St. Tikhon's through the course of Holy Week.
It is during this Vesperal Divine Liturgy, commemorating the celebration of the Last Supper by our Lord Jesus Christ, that Holy Communion is prepared for communing the sick during the course of the year. Metropolitan Tikhon, in his comments at the end of the Liturgy, indicated that this Liturgy is a present day celebration of the Passover from the Judaic Tradition, instituted by our Lord as the Last Supper, and the preparation of Holy Chrism also represents an ancient tradition (pouring on oil and wine for healing). Together they represent two ancient traditions carried forward at the present time.
What a truly memorable celebration of this special Holy Week service! Blessed Pascha to all in and beyond the St. Tikhon's community!
(Photos by Seminarians Reader Andrew Bohush, and Bob West)