His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated services for the Feast of the Holy, Glorious, and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 29, 2023.
The services for the feast began with His Beatitude presiding at the celebration of the hierarchical Vigil. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Archpriest John Vitko, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, and clergy from the archdiocese and OCA chancery. The responses were sung by His Beatitude’s own Archdiocesan Choir under the direction of Mrs. Juliana Woodill.
At the conclusion of the Vigil service, His Beatitude greeted all in the joy of the feast, welcoming the archdiocesan faithful to his cathedral. He thanked all those who contributed to the planning of the first diocesan-wide Vigil and offered words of encouragement, exhorting all those present to live for the sake of Christ alone, practicing the faith the apostles Peter and Paul preached.
On June 29, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, with cathedral and local clergy concelebrating. The responses were sung by the cathedral choir under the direction of Mr. Kevil Basil Fritts.
His Beatitude gave the homily in which he encouraged the faithful to emulate the apostles Peter and Paul in putting the Cross at the center of each of our lives, both for our sake and for the sake of those around us. He said, “As we celebrate the feast of these two greatest apostles, they call us, too, to put the Cross at the center of our lives. If the Cross is the shape of divine love, then it is only by taking up our own cross that we open ourselves up to the love of God. Likewise, it is only through the word of the Cross—expressed in our thoughts, words, and deeds—that we can share the love of God with others.”