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WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: December 19, 2018
Feast-day celebrations at St Barbara Church in Switzerland

On the eve of the feast day of St Barbara Russian Orthodox Church in Vevey, Switzerland, all-night vigil was served by Archimandrite Alexander (Ecchevaria) along with Protodeacon Michel Verna and clergymen from neighboring parishes. Also attending were Archimandrite Martin (de Caflisch) and Protopriest Emilian Pocinoc, Secretary of the Western European Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who expressed the warmest of congratulations from the clergy and laity of the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross in Geneva.

The rite of the blessing of the waters took place before Divine Liturgy the next day. Fr Martin, Protopriest Pavel Tsvetkoff of Geneva and Protopriest Peter Sturm of Zurich, along with deacons from nearby parishes participated. A moleben and procession of the cross followed Liturgy. Many Years was then sung to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of ROCOR, and the Holy Council of the Russian Church Abroad.

Eternal Memory was then sung for the deceased rectors of the parish, Bishop Ambroise (Cantacuzene) and Protopriest Igor Troyanov.

Fr Pavel addressed Archimandrite Alexander on behalf of his parishioners, sharing their joy that their feast day gathers an enormous number of parishioners and friends of the parish from all over Switzerland. He wished Fr Alexander Divine aid in his coming service as a bishop to the benefit of the Mother Church, and appealed to the clergymen and laity to lift their prayers to the Lord and to the heavenly patroness of their parish, Holy Great Martyr Barbara for her intercession in his great responsibility before the Church.

A trapeza luncheon was offered after services, at which Fr Alexander thanked everyone for joining in the celebration of the parish feast day. Fr Michel was also thanked for his many years of service to the parish, who happened to also be celebrating his birthday and the 41st anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate, performed at the Vevey church by Archbishop Anthony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva and Western Europe of blessed memory, in 1977. Church music was performed by the renowned soloist of the Bolshoy Theater in Moscow, Fedor Tarasov, who had also sung with the choir during Liturgy.

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