20th Anniversary Celebrations
On August 14-16, 2021, we welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, together with venerable clergy and beloved friends from near and far to Christ the Savior for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the parish. A true spirit of gratitude to God and joy in the Lord was tangibly felt by all as we recollected the manifold blessings granted to the parish over the past two decades. We send up glory to God for all things and ask His continued providential care over our community as we seek to serve Him in the years to come!
Saturday, August 14
The weekend began on Saturday afternoon as Metropolitan Tikhon meet with parishioners and visitors for an informal discussion and question/answer period in the chapel. Then His Beatitude offered a solemn memorial service for the departed members and friends of the parish, including most memorably our newly-departed and beloved fathers: the Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, founder of Christ the Savior, the Deacon Stephen Hall, and the Monk Christian, all of whom reposed in the Lord this past year. Afterwards the Great Vespers with Litiya was served for the Dormition of the Mother of God, followed by a meal in the parish hall for the visiting clergy and travelers.
Sunday, August 15
On Sunday, Metropolitan Tikhon led the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy during which he elevated Fr. John Parsells to the dignity of Archpriest. Coserving were our own Archpriest Joseph Oleynik, and visiting fathers, Archpriest John Touloumes, Priest Lawrence Soper, and Protodeacon Gregory Moser. Flowers were blessed for the feast of the Dormition of Our Lady and presented to the clergy wives, "our parish ladies", in recognition of their many labors supporting the church and their husbands' ministries.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude presented a gramota to Thomas Seraphim Mathews for his exemplary service to the parish as architect and project leader overseeing the design and construction of the new church archway and entrance on Carey Road. Following this presentation, a procession was made to bless the new church entrance with the following prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, Who wast pleased to enter into the earthly Jerusalem through the gate of the city on the way to Thy saving Passion: Do Thou Thyself now also bless this entrance and gateway which leads to Thy holy Church, through which we are vouchsafed, in Thy great love for mankind, entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem above.
Grant that those who see this entrance and archway may recall Thy blessed words, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). May we be drawn to enter through it remembering that Thou hast said “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) May we be reminded that although it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, Thou hast also said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:23-26)
Therefore, let all those who pass through this gateway, leave behind that which is carnal and displeasing to Thee, seeking purification of soul and body by Thy divine grace, remembering that the Kingdom of God is within us. Appoint a guardian angel to watch over and protect all those who enter these sacred grounds to offer worship and praise to Thy great and exalted Name, keeping them from evil and guiding them to the fulfilling of every virtue. We humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, to bless our comings and our goings, both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:8), for unto Thee are due all glory, honor and worship, together with Thy Father Who is without-beginning, and Thy Most-holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
After the blessing of the new church entrance, a luncheon was offered in the parish hall and courtyard, together with a pool party for the children. We then returned to the chapel for the Great Vespers with Litiya beginning the parish feastday and concluding the day's events.
Monday, August 16
On Monday, August 16, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the Divine Liturgy, celebrating the parish's altar feast - The Icon Not-Made-By-Hands. He was joined by Archpriest John Parsells, Archpriest James Parsells, Archpriest Joseph Oleynik, Priest Lawrence Sapor, and Protodeacon Gregory, who on this day celebrated his 34th anniversary of ordination to the Holy Diaconate.
In his homily, Metropolitan Tikhon spoke of the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our call to pursue that image despite the challenges of a world that promotes individualism. His Beatitude emphasized that it is only when we emulate Christ and follow His Gospel that we begin to take steps to fuller personhood and spiritual uniqueness.
Prayers of Thanksgiving were offered to Almighty God for all of His divine blessings, known and unknown, great and small, from the founding of the mission in 2000 through its growth to parish status in 2017 and the present celebration of this milestone in 2021. The weekend's festivities concluded with a celebratory luncheon at Lighthouse Sound Restaurant as we enjoyed continued fellowship and beautiful views of Assawoman Bay and Ocean City. We thank all who throughout the years have built up, sacrificially supported, and lovingly cared for our beloved parish of Christ the Savior. Glory and thanks to God for all things!
Christ the Savior Orthodox Church
10315 Carey Road
Berlin, MD 21811