Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Church on the Sunday of All Saints

On the first Sunday after Holy Pentecost, the feast day of All Saints, Divine Liturgywas headed in Sanremo, Italy, by His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, co-served by the parish Rector, Priest Dionysius Baikov, together with the cleric of the Florence parish, Deacon Rustik Prisacaru, who travelled to Sanremo with his family in order to assist in the weekend Divine Services.

Having been greeted at the porch of the temple with the traditional bread and salt, presented to him by an enormous group of children of the parish, Bishop Irenei was vested in the middle of the temple and proceeded to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. At the little entrance, Vladyka Irenei laid his hands upon Priest Dionysius Baikov, who this year marks his fifteenth anniversary of priestly service, and read the special prayer of elevation to the rank of Archpriest.

The Liturgy then proceeded, sung by the especially talented parish choir, with various portions of the service sung with the addition of many children’s voices to the choir. At the time of the reception of Holy Communion, the majority of faithful in the full church received of the Divine Mysteries of Christ.

In the word of his homily, Bishop Irenei touched on the significance of the Sunday of All Saints, and especially the fact that the multitude of the Church’s saints speak with a common voice to the possibility of living a Godly life in this world. "Though the world around us is filled with many temptations," Vladyka said, "and so often, especially in these latter days, feels dark and bereft of good, the saints are our ever-present reminder that no conditions of this world, however positive or negative, have the power to prevent us from being transformed into true Christians. The attainment of sanctity is a possibility. True piety is a possibility. A life united wholly to Christ — this is always possible, whatever the circumstances of history, if only we will be humble and obedient enough to follow Christ and His commandments, which lead out of darkness and into eternal light."

Following Liturgy, the newly-elevated Archpriest Dionysius greeted the Hierarch and spoke words to the faithful about the unity of the Church around the Bishop — and the joy that all feel in the unity the Church provides through this stability and pastoral care. The parishioners then partook of a meal in the crypt beneath the church, spending several hours in joyful and spiritual conversation.



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