The feast of the Protection of the Mother of God in Ottawa

18 October 2012

On Sunday the 14th of October, the parishioners of the Memorial Church of the Protection of the Mother of God celebrated their church feastday. This year His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel was unable to attend the celebrations, but the faithful in Ottawa were pleased to welcome His Eminence, Bishop Irenee of Quebec City, who presided over the services. The following clergy served alongside Bishop Irenee: archpriest Peter Perekrestov from the Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco; the rector of the parish Priest Stelian Liabotis; the assistant rector Priest Alexis Pjawka; Hieromonk Ferapont, a cleric of the Iveron Monastery in Odessa, Ukraine; Protodeacon Nazary and Deacon Jesse from the Annunciation Parish of the OCA in Ottawa; and the parish Protodeacon, Fr. Basil Milonow.

The parish choir with guests from Toronto, Montreal and Jordanville sang the Vigil. At the blessing of the five loaves at the end of Vespers the parish children’s choir sang the troparion of the feast. The Divine Liturgy was sung antiphonally by the visiting male choir of the Iveron Monastery, Odessa.

In his sermon Bishop Irenee recounted that as a young man, only a few months after becoming Orthodox, he moved to Ottawa to attend university and at the same time began to regularly attend services at the recently-founded parish of the Protection of the Mother of God. Vladyka said that it was in Ottawa that he learned to read in Church Slavonic and to sing on kliros.After the service all parishioners and guests were invited to the parish hall for a festive meal prepared by the sisterhood.