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On Friday, January 19, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. His Beatitude was joined by His Grace Bishop Andrei of Cleveland, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, OCA Chancellor, Archpriest Alessandro Margheritino, OCA Secretary, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, along with numerous clergy, seminarians, and faithful.

As this year’s designated representative of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, Bishop John of Worcester offered prayers at the beginning of the rally on the National Mall. Also present was Bishop Theophan of Philomelion. Following the opening of the rally and March, His Beatitude greeted the group of Orthodox Christians gathered to denounce abortion and proclaim the sanctity of life. As in years past, Orthodox Christians for Life, led by Emily Yocum (Wilkinson), Executive Director, coordinated and organized Orthodox participation in the event.

Before joining the March to the Supreme Court, His Beatitude celebrated a service of supplication for an end to abortion. The responses, led by Fr. Gregory Fedorchak of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, were sung by all those gathered. Following the service, His Beatitude thanked all the participants for coming despite the wintry weather.


Later that evening, His Beatitude’s own Archdiocesan Choir of Washington, DC held its highly anticipated concert, Behold How Good: A Concert Of Psalmody, at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD. The choir, formed in 2022, is an unauditioned group made up of Orthodox singers of all musical abilities.

In his opening remarks, Metropolitan Tikhon noted that, while the choir was brought to life within his own archdiocese and with his blessing, it is an endeavor that relies on the participation, cooperation, and support of all the local Orthodox churches. While the choir is primarily made up of singers from the Archdiocese of Washington, it also represents five OCA dioceses, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America.

His Beatitude expressed gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Saba who responded enthusiastically to His Beatitude’s request to hold the concert in one of his parishes, and to Priest Luke Toumi, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, and the parish for their suggestion to hold the concert there. He also recognized Matushka Juliana Woodill, the director of the choir, for her able leadership of the singers and the choir’s contributions to the vocation of liturgical music.

Before introducing the choir, His Beatitude reminded attendees that, “this evening’s experience will not merely be a concert, a simple presentation of musical settings of the psalms of the Prophet David. Rather, it will be an entrance into the beauty of our Orthodox liturgical worship, worship in which we are never merely passive observers or, as it were, concertgoers. Rather, we are called to be active participants, living souls who, in the words of the psalms, long for God as a deer thirsts for water. Through this active participation, this ascetical effort, we may even come to taste and see how good the Lord is and, as a community, to behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity. The psalms are key to all this.”

The concert featured hymns of different styles and traditions from throughout the liturgical year, including two hymns based on African American spirituals. At the conclusion of the concert, everyone was invited to participate in the joyful singing of the Great Prokeimenon, “Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God who doest wonders!” A reception, sponsored by the parish, was held in the church hall following the concert.

View the concert, live-streamed by Orthodox 360