Vigils and the Divine Liturgy were presided by the diocesan bishop, Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, assisted by Auxiliary Bishop Alexander of Vevey and several members of the clergy: Archpriest Stefan Weerst of Brussels, Archpriest Peter Sturm, Priest Ioann Churin, and Deacon Vladimir Svistun of Switzerland, as well as Priest Nikolai Nikishin of Paris and Archpriest Sergei Kapitan of Belarus.
The service was further enhanced by the presence of Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff, a native of Luxembourg, who serves at the synodal cathedral in New York near the primate of our Church. The parishioners of Luxembourg, but also from nearby Germany and France, gathered in prayer, with guests from Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands who had responded to the invitation to participate in this solemnity.
At the time of the small entry and on the occasion of this anniversary, the rector of the parish, Father George Mashtaler, received the golden pectoral cross as a reward for his efforts for the good of the Church. This cross had belonged to his predecessor, the late Mitred Archpriest Serge Poukh, the builder of the present church.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Irenei gave a homily on the two paths of the spiritual achievement shown to the world by the holy apostles Peter and Paul. Considering the life of the holy Apostle Peter, Vladyka invited everyone to show firmness in everyday life, for faith and confession in the true Christ God and Savior, which is the way to salvation. Then examining the life of the Apostle Paul, the preacher emphasized the importance of daily spiritual efforts, which represent the living and beneficial Christian example for those around us.
Then the procession took place, with the reading of the Gospel and sprinkling of the holy water. Back in the church, a prayer to the patron saints of the parish was read. Then they sang “Many years” for Metropolitan Hilarion, the ROCOR primate, for the bishops present, and for all the members of the Synod. They also sang “Memory Eternal ” for the late rectors and parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul church.
In a few words, Archbishop Irenei, referring to the past 90 years of the Luxembourg parish, wished all those present to continue to remain united in this holy place around Christ the Savior during the Eucharistic liturgy, in order to foster its future development and consolidation. In response, the Rector, in the name of the parish, expressed his cordial gratitude to the illustrious hosts, for having come for this feast day. He assured that the doors of the Luxembourg parish would always be open to them.
After the liturgy, an official reception was held, which allowed a friendly meeting between the parishioners and the clergy. All were able to benefit from an interesting presentation on the 90 years of the Russian colony, and on the church which emigrated to Luxembourg in 1929.
During this presentation, particular emphasis was placed on the hard work of Archpriest Serge Poukh (1926-2016), of blessed memory, and Matushka Emilia, present, for the construction of the present church, as well as for the ecclesial life of today’s community.
All expressed the wish that many more people would participate in the centenary of the Luxembourg parish.
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