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April 20, 2023

holy friday

April 10-19, 2023, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated the services of Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week making pastoral visits to parishes of the Archdiocese of Washington.

On Monday, April 10, His Beatitude visited Holy Archangels Mission, Annapolis, MD for Bridegroom Matins.

The next day, Tuesday, April 11, His Beatitude visited Saint Luke Church, McLean, VA where Archpriest John Vitko, Archdiocesan Chancellor, celebrated Bridegroom Matins of Holy Tuesday with His Beatitude in attendance.

Wednesday, April 12, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at St. Catherine Church, Hagerstown, MD where Archpriest Dennis Buck, Rector, led the choir. A lenten meal was provided following the service.

In the evening, His Beatitude went to Saint John the Theologian Mission Station, Fairfax Station, VA for Matins of Holy Thursday. Priest John Mikitish, Assistant to the OCA Chancellor, celebrated Matins with His Beatitude in attendance.

Thursday, April 13, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Thursday at Saint Matthew Church, Columbia, MD. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Archpriest Constantine White and Deacon John Jubinski. Later that same day, at Saint Mark Church, Bethesda, MD, His Beatitude celebrated the Matins of Holy Friday. Concelebrating was Archpriest Gregory Safchuk, Rector.

On the morning of Friday, April 14, His Beatitude presided at the Royal Hours at All Saints of America Mission, Alexandria, VA. Assisting His Beatitude was Father Alessandro Margheritino, acting rector and OCA Secretary. That afternoon, at 2:00pm, His Beatitude returned to Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC for the Vespers of Holy Friday and where he stayed through Great and Holy Pascha and presided at the remaining services of Holy Week; the Matins for Holy Saturday, Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday, Midnight Office, and the services of Holy Pascha. Serving with His Beatitude were Archpriest George Kokhno, Archpriest Valery Shemchuk, and Deacon Igor Panyutin.

His Beatitude offered a homily on Holy Friday, drawing parallels between the nativity of Christ and his crucifixion, particularly in the experience of the Theotokos: “At his Nativity, [the Mother of God] was full of serene joy; today, her face is streaked with tears. Perhaps she once sang him a lullaby; today, she addresses him with a lament.” His Beatitude encouraged the faithful to cling to the Theotokos since when Christ returns “he shall both glorify his Mother and bless those who honor her. Hearing these promises, let us stay close to the sorrowful Mother. Let us stay by her side and share her grief in the quiet desolation of Holy Saturday.”

His Beatitude resumed pastoral visits during Bright Week. On Bright Monday, April 17, he visited Holy Trinity Church in Ashburn, VA where he presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy with Archpriest John Vitko, Archdiocesan Chancellor and Deacon Matthew Prentice. Archpriest Paul Harrilchak, rector, led the responses. A festive meal was served following the Liturgy.

On April 19, Bright Wednesday, His Beatitude visited Saint Catherine’s Church in Hagerstown, VA where he presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Archpriest Dennis Buck, rector, led the choir. A festive meal was served following the Divine Liturgy.

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Read the full text of His Beatitude’s homily