Laying of the Relics of Great Martyr Demetrius
With the blessing of the Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago & Detroit, His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, the relics of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica were placed in the foundation of the new expansion of the parish church of St. Vladimir in Ann Arbor, MI. The expansion of the parish church is being undertaken principally with the labor of the parish’s St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco Brotherhood.
Following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, November 20, 2005, the parish youth group, named after St. Herman of Alaska, presented their yearly pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner for the congregation. During this time Fr. Victor Trotskyy, Rector of Holy Ghost Church in Sterling Heights, MI, along with several of his parishioners, were able to join the St. Vladimir parish family for the significant event of the placing of the relics in the foundation of the new expansion.
Following the festive meal the service of the placing of the relics began with a procession from the interior of the present parish church to the new expansion. The relics of the Great Martyr Demetrius were carried by the Rector of St. Vladimir Church, Priest Gregory Joyce. Also taking part in this important event was the retired Rector of St. Vladimir parish, Very Rev. Fr. Paul Karas.
During the service the relics of St. Demetrius were placed in the foundation of the parish expansion, directly below the location of the future altar table. In addition to the relics, a gramota was placed in the foundation which read:
On November 7/20, 2005 from the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, 7513 years from the creation of the word, 1017 years from the baptism of Russia, in the 18th year of the reign of His Eminence, Most Rev. Alypy, Archbishop of Chicago & Detroit, in the 5th year of the presidency of The Honorable George W. Bush, in the 3rd year of the governorship of The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, the relics of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica are laid in the foundation of the Church of the Great Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles, Enlightener of Russia, in Dexter, MI. We call down God’s Grace upon this parish church and those who labor here in zeal and the fear of God. In witness thereof we affix here our seal and signature. (Signed: +Peter, Bishop of Cleveland, Vicar & Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago & Detroit, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia).
The parish thanks God for His great mercy in allowing us the blessing of the relics of His favorite, St. Demetrius of Thessalonica, to be placed in the altar of our parish church. Beginning with the feast day of St. Demetrius in 2006 an All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy will be served at St. Vladimir Church each year. May the prayers of St. Demetrius guide the parish as we continue our construction and as we prepare for our 25th anniversary celebrations on July 28, 2006!
Photos of the placing of the relics in the new parish expansion can be found on the parish web site: