In that meekness, humility, and love, which made their abode in thy soul, thou didst diligently minister to the suffering, O holy Passion-bearer Princess Elisabeth, and with faith didst endure suffering and death for Christ with the Martyr Barbara. With her do thou pray for all that honour thee with love! - Troparion, tone 2
The 18th (5th) of July is the feast of St Elisabeth the New Martyr, whose relics are currently in the UK. It will indeed be a blessing to have her relics here for her feast.
It is also the patronal festival of my parish, and the day when we plan to move into our new church. To mark the occasion, we are planning a full day of events to which all are welcome.
The plan is to begin at 10 o' clock in the morning with the Lesser Blessing of the Waters, followed by the Hours and Divine Liturgy. If the weather permits, we shall have a Cross Procession, which is a traditional act of worship for patronal festivals, which involves processing around the outside of the church three times, making four stations, forming the points of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross around the building. All the while, hymns will be sung and prayers offered for the church, the parish, the town, and the departed, while the people are blessed with holy water and the icon of St Elisabeth.
We shall then take a break for lunch (bring and share), then watch some videos of the life of St Elisabeth and the work of the nuns of St Elisabeth's Convent in Minsk. Some of you will probably know the nuns as some of them travel around Europe in a van, selling their wares - icons, vestments, other liturgical accoutrements - and they come to Britain usually twice each year.
We then plan to close the day's events with Vespers at half past three in the afternoon.
There is a flyer here.
I do hope some of you are able to come.
O Thou Who didst proclaim that even if thy disciples were silent, the very stones would cry out, so also grant that this holy house may proclaim Thee and draw all who dwell in this town and county to worship Thee in spirit and in truth. Inflame our hearts with love for Thee that we may offer to Thee ourselves and all Thou hast given us to the glory of thy holy Name. We fervently entreat Thee, O merciful One, hearken and have mercy!
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