Christ is risen!
With great joy, the faithful of Twelve Apostles’ Church, Eastleigh (Hampshire) welcomed our beloved Father in Christ, Sayidna Silouan, for the weekend of Thomas Sunday: the glory of Pascha surrounded the event. Sayidna presided over Great Vespers from the throne on Saturday evening; at its conclusion, in great appreciation for his first pastoral visit to us, we were blessed to be able to present him with a Cross and Engolpion of the Theotokos (Panagia). Vespers was followed by a short talk by Sayidna along with the opportunity for the faithful to ask him questions.
The Sunday of Thomas is also called Anti-Pascha by the Church meaning “in the place of Pascha” because she offers Sundays to the celebration of the Resurrection throughout the year. Sayidna served the Divine Liturgy and, for the first time, was able to wear his new Cross and Panagia. In his homily, Sayidna stressed the importance of each believer coming close to Christ through reading the Gospels, through prayer and through the Mysteries of the Church. By God’s mercy, many came forward to receive Communion. The Liturgy was followed by an Agape meal provided by the faithful of the Church.
Sayidna’s visit is an important step in the establishment of one of the newest communities of our Archdiocese: we hope and pray it will be the first of many as we work for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ to be preached in Eastleigh and throughout all the surrounding areas.
May the Lord, through the prayers and blessings of our Father and Chief Shepherd Metropolitan Silouan and intercessions of our heavenly intercessors the Holy and All-praised Twelve Apostles, grant we remain faithful to him and his Gospel. Please remember our community in your prayers.
In Christ, P. Alexander Haig