White Flower Day 22nd May 2016
Fundraising Day for those in need in Russia
in honour of St Elizabeth the New Martyr
“Always be guided by your heart rather than by your head,
and your life will be transformed” St Elizabeth the New Martyr
With the Blessing of Vladyka Mark and the support and blessing of the Russian Orthodox Charity Miloserdie on the 22nd of May 2016 the parishes of ROCOR in UK are invited to take part in a day of fundraising for people in crisis in Russia, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Day of White Flowers was a day of fundraising for charity in Russia before the Revolution. Especially important to its development were members of the Royal Family and St Elizabeth the New Martyr. The Day of White Flowers now takes place every year on the second Sunday after Easter (Day of the Myrrh-bearing women). Before the Revolution all layers of society would take part, hundreds of thousands of white flowers were made and sold for charity. Members of the Royal family themselves would make and sell flowers.
White Flowers Day is especially associated with St Elizabeth the New Martyr and the Martha and Mary convent in Moscow. Then, as now, the convent has a hospital and an orphanage. The first White Flowers Day in Moscow after the Revolution took place in 2011. St Elizabeth has a special place in the hearts of English people because she was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and her statue now stands on the entrance to Westminster Abbey. She often visited England with her devoted and devout husband Sergei Alexandrovich. After the tragic murder of her husband in 1906 by revolutionaries, St Elizabeth devoted herself to help the poor and sick. St Elizabeth herself was brutally murdered in 1918 by being thrown alive by the Bolsheviks into a mine-shaft. St Elizabeth is truly a saint for our times: a woman from the West who, against her family’s wishes, became Orthodox. She did not shirk her callingbut instead went to Golgotha with the Russian people. St Elizabeth Pray for us!
The Russian Charity Miloserdie is one of the official charities of the Russian Church and is founded in the spirit of St Elizabeth, the patron saint of the charity. The charity helps all people who are in need across Russia, including; help and companionship for the elderly, shelters for orphans, homeless people, people suffering from alcohol and drugs abuse and much more. There is a huge amount of information on the website, which is in Russian but has many pictures!
For this event Miloserdie have asked that we collect money for the House for Mothers. We invite you to help our brothers in Russia as they collect money for this important project which saves women from abortions.
This is a new enterprise started in Moscow in 2012. The House for Mothers is for those women who have nowhere else to turn; amongst them are pregnant women on the brink of having abortions (women without work and without means of livelihood) and young homeless mother-orphans. The crisis centre House for Mothers consists of a consultation centre and shelter. In the consultation centre women can receive help in crisis from professionals. Here also they can obtain free clothes, medicine, buggies and other necessities. In shelter live mothers of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Suggestions for the Day
We suggest that your parish organise the event to take place on the Saturday or after the liturgy on the Sunday in conjunction with the Sunday Schools where possible. It is a great way for children to have fun and to learn about Russia and the Holy Royal Martyrs. The life of St Elizabeth is inspiring for all !
· Children should make white flowers for sale in church and elsewhere
· Learn about St Elizabeth: How about a simple quiz for the children on the life of St Elizabeth?
· Show a film about St Elizabeth
· Pray the Akathist to St Elizabeth
· Retiring collection after the liturgy
We can provide many of these for free:
· Akathists to sell, and download from website.
· DVDs about St Elizabeth
· Info on making paper flowers
· St Elizabeth quiz for children
· Icons to sell which have been laid on the relics of St Elizabeth in Jerusalem (!)
· Badge, fridge magnets and other merchandise for Miloserdie
How to Donate
Donations can be collected at parish level and deposited directly online using the following link:
Alternatively, donations can be collected and deposited to the following account from where they will be transferred to Miloserdie. Please reference your deposits as WHITE FLOWER UK:
Sort Code: 09-01-26
Account No: 39026605
Name: Mr Robert Collins
If you have any questions or suggestions about the day please do not hesitate to contact us:
Mark & Katy: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE PRAY THIS WILL BE THE FIRST OF MANY WHITE FLOWER DAYS IN BRITAIN AND THAT FUTURE EVENTS WILL INVOLVE PILGRIMAGES, EXHIBITIONS AND MORE !PLEASE SHARE YOUR PHOTOS WITH US!