Feast day of St. John Chrysostom Parish, House Springs, MO
On November 25-26 (Thanksgiving Day), the Parish in House Springs, Missouri (St. Louis area) celebrated the feast of its patron, St. John Chrysostom. This is the only parish in the Russian Church Abroad dedicated to this saint. Unfortunately, His Grace Bishop Peter, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, was unable to attend, due to illness.
Serving were: Archpriest Martin Swanson, Rector of St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Priest Joseph Strzelecki, Rector of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, and Priest Thomas Kulp, Rector of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Blue River, Wisconsin. Also attending were Abbess Sergia and Mother Alexandra, of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary Monastery in Marshfield, Missouri. Over 100 people were present.
With spiritual beauty and fervor, the choir sang ancient Znamenny hymns as well as more modern compositions. At Vespers, the choir divided into two parts to sing antiphonally—the men in the right kliros and the women in the left kliros. At the end of Lord, I have cried, they met together in a semi-circle in the center of the church for the concluding stichera, and the beautiful vesperal hymn, O Joyous Light.
After Liturgy the next morning, Deacon Matthew Williams and the priests led the Procession with the Cross around the outside of the church, blessing it on all four sides with holy water. At the end, everyone sat down in the church hall for a delicious and plentiful festal dinner prepared by the entire sisterhood.
Heartfelt thanks are due to all who participated, especially those labored to prepare the food, clean and decorate the church itself and the church property, and participated in the Divine services.
The Cross erected in the adjacent field—representing our desire to build a new and permanent church—will be blessed by Bishop Peter as soon as he is able to return to us.