On Thursday 4th / 17th May 2018, His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, will preside at the festal services for the Ascension of the Lord, at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Mother of God in London. Taking place forty days after Holy Pascha, the Feast of the Ascension commemorates the Lord's bodily ascension in glory to sit 'at the right hand of the Father', and anticipates the Feast of Pentecost (also known in the Russian Orthodox tradition as the Feast of the Trinity), which commemorates the ascended Lord's sending of the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles and the Church.
The patronal Feast of His Grace's cathedra in Sacramento, this will be the first time that he is able to celebrate this Great Feast here in the Diocese. On the festal occasion, Subdeacon Mark Tattum-Smith will be ordained to the Holy Diaconate during the Divine Liturgy of the Feast. Mark, a longtime and active member of the Parish of the Mother of God, 'Joy of All Who Sorrow' in Mettingham, has served there in the roles of choir director as well as Altar server, having been tonsured Reader in 2007 by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, and ordained Subdeacon in 2017 by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He is known to many throughout the Diocese for his work, as part of the College of Our Lady of Mettingham, to produce English-language service texts for use at various Diocesan services and elsewhere, as well as for his activities in the Church's approach to social issues (such as its recent participation in the UK March for Life). Mark will be ordained to serve as the second Deacon in the Mettingham parish.
Schedule of Services:
- Wednesday, 16th May:
- 6.15 p.m. — Vigil of the Feast
- Thursday, 17th May:
- 8.45 a.m. — Greeting of the Bishop and Hours
- 9.00 a.m. — Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of Ascension, with Diaconal Ordination
- Following the Liturgy, a banquet in the Cathedral Hall
In the days following, Divine Services will be held every morning and evening through the remainder of the week, up to the Sunday Liturgy on 20th May.
The next Archpastoral visitation of His Grace Bishop Irenei will be from 4th - 23rd July. Below is an outline confirmed visitations on that stay.
- 6th-8th: Commemorative Festivities of the Holy Royal Martyrs on the Isle of Wight.
- Thursday 12th: Feast of Sts Peter & Paul:Venue to be announced.
- Saturday 14th: DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE: To the miraculous well of St Margaret and St Frideswide in Binsey (near Oxford), with Divine Liturgy in the ancient church at 9.45 a.m. followed by moleben at the Holy Well. His Grace will chair a meeting of the Diocesan Council this day as well. At 5.00 p.m., Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral.
- Sunday 15th: 9.45 a.m.: Greeting and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (10.00) at Dicoesan Cathedral.
- Monday 16th: 6.00 p.m.: Vigil of the Feast (Diocesan Cathedral, lower Church).
- Tuesday 17th: Feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs (Altar Feast of Cathedral lower Church): 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast, followed by a luncheon in Cathedral Hall in honour of Feast and the 100th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Royal Family.
- Wednesday 18th: Royal Martyrs Sts Elisabeth & Barbara: Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Cathedral.
- Saturday 21st: Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, the Altar Feast of the Cardiff Parish: 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Cardiff. Reception to follow Liturgy.
- Sunday 22nd:Altar Feast of St Elisabeth, Wallasey: 9.45 greeting of the Bishop, 10:00 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Wallasey, with Cross Procession and veneration of relics of St Elisabeth and St Barbara. A Garden Party will follow the Liturgy.
Spiritual talks will be scheduled during the visit. As ever, those wishing to meet formally with the Bishop are invited to contact the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Elliott, to have a meeting added to the calendar, or to approach Bishop Irenei directly during his visit to speak personally.
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