Saturday, November 26, was the feast of the Holy Hierarch St. John Chrysostom, great teacher of the Church and author of the most frequently celebrated Divine Liturgy. On the preceding day, His Grace Bishop Peter journeyed from Chicago to House Springs, MO (near St. Louis) in order to preside at the celebration of the patronal feast day at St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church.
Joining Bishop Peter were four priests: Fr. Christopher Stade, the parish rector; Fr. Martin Swanson of St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church in St. Louis, MO; Fr. Joseph Strzelecki of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Town & Country, MO (GOA); and Fr. Achilles Karathanos of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Swansea, IL (GOA). Three deacons and a number of talented local altar servers assisted Vladika. Deacon Basil Vogt of St. John's served together with Deacon Nicholas Park, from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in McKinney, TX and with the recently-ordained Deacon Nikifor Franklin, who traveled the great distance from his home parish of the Protection of the Mother of God in Rochester, NY in order to participate in the celebration.
The All-Night Vigil on Friday evening was sung by a harmonious male choir under the direction of Reader Constantine Stade. The capable singers vocalized the traditional melodies and podobniy in English. Following Vigil, Vladika and the clergy were treated to a meal at Fr. Christopher's house.
On the day of the feast, Bishop Peter tonsured two readers, the servants of God Nicholas and Peter, during the reading of the Hours. The mixed choir which sang Divine Liturgy was again led by Reader Constantine Stade. At the end of Liturgy, the clergy, choir and faithful proceeded outdoors for a triumphant Procession of the Cross and concluded with a fervent prayer to the Holy Hierarch St. John Chrysostom.
A festive meal followed in the adjoining parish hall.
Glory be to God in all things!
Reader Nikolai Lochmatow