Today was my first Hierarchical Liturgy and the first in over 10 years at my little parish. Our new priest is putting our little parish back on the Diocesan map, so to speak, and I, for one, am very glad. We should be there if for no other reason than we are the oldest parish in our Diocese, established 112 years ago. Not to mention Patriarch St. Tikhon consecrated the altar and St. Alexis Toth served the parish for a time.
Father A. is making sure that both Saints are receiving the veneration and thanks they are due, which has not happened as long as I’ve been in the parish. We are singing the Tropar and Kontak for them both at almost every Liturgy. Father A. has also made arrangements for us to receive a relic of St. Alexis Toth which Vladyka will bring to us at his next visit this year (he said himself!).
We also sang “Many Years!” to Father A. because we celebrated his 5th Anniversary of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Vladyka gave him an ‘award’ to wear. Can’t remember the name…but Vladyka explained to me that “It symbolizes a ‘shield.'”
I asked Father A., “So what is the symbolism and significance of this award?”
Father A. said, “It began in the early Church. It was given to priests to symbolize their years of service and wisdom gained in that time.”
To which I quipped, deadpan, “So…why did Vladyka give it to you?” After which I bust out laughing!!
Father A’s eyes twinkled as he ignored my quip and greeted another worshiper.
One must give as good as they get you know. Father shovels it out pretty good – he’s a big one for mild teasing. So when the opportunity presents itself, one must strike while the fire is hot – ya know what I mean?! LOL!
What an excellent and awesome day! Enjoy the photos below, which were taken with my cell phone because I FORGOT my camera. Thus they are not the greatest quality.