Easter meeting in Hanoi

On Bright Friday, April 21, in the assembly hall of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Hanoi, Priest Yevgeny Tsukalo met with compatriots and embassy staff dedicated to the feast of the Resurrection of Christ.

Bright Week

Easter Bright Week is a special time of the year. The whole week passes as one day – the Easter service is repeated daily with processions, fasts are cancelled, all prayers are replaced with Easter hymns, and believers try to take Communion daily (where there is such an opportunity). According to Orthodox tradition, clergy and believers visit neighboring parishes this week to prayerfully share Easter joy with spiritual brothers and sisters. This tradition has already been instilled in the Philippines. On Mindanao island, Easter services were performed continuously during the Bright Week in different parishes by the clergy of the diocese, headed by the Secretary of the diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev): on Monday – in the church of St. Thomas in the village of Kinabalan; on Tuesday – in the church of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos with priests Roman Buniel and Matthew Sale; on Wednesday – in the church of the Resurrection of Christ in Lake Cebu with the same clerics. On Bright Thursday, the Easter service was held in the church of St. Ignatius in the village of Lambayong in the concelebration of Priest Roman Buniel. On Friday, the service was held in the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Arakan in the concelebration of Priest Moses Kahilig and deacons Raphael Frajillo and Anthony Aranco, and on Saturday – in the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Makalangot with Priest Nikolai Salgado. Deacon Juventinus Bulaqueña accompanied the Secretary of the diocese during the whole tour.

First Divine Liturgy

On April 23, 2017, the first parish of the Russian Orthodox Church after World War II was opened in Manila – in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God (the parish of the same name existed in Manila in the 1920s-1940s). Like today, 6 years ago it was also Antipascha, or Thomas Sunday. And now, six years later, the first Liturgy was served today at the new parish of the Manila Deanery – in honor of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the city of Bakoor.

Birth of a new parish

On Saturday of the Bright Week, a new parish was born in Tagaytay. At the end of the Easter service, 26 people were baptized at once – the community of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of the city of Bacoor (Manila deanery). The sacraments were performed jointly by the dean Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), the rector of the parish of Christ the Savior in Tagaytay, Priest David Grubbs and Priest Agustin Ponferrada. The community in Bacoor has been headed for many years by the elder Nicolas Canopen, a former bishop of one of the non-canonical denominations who converted to Orthodoxy, now together with his flock. Many years to them and to all Orthodox Christians!

Do Thou exult, O Pure Theotokos!

Tuesday of the Bright Week is the Patronal feast of the parish of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila. At the end of the Easter Service, the ceremony of swearing of the first ataman of the Cossacks in the Philippines, Daniel Foronda, was performed. The ceremony was attended remotely by the Ataman and the Cossacks of the Cossack Society of Solnechnogorsk city, Moscow region, the Special Cossack Society of the Moscow region, the Military Cossack Society “Central Cossack Guard”, together with the chairman of the Board for the care of the Cossacks at the Department for Interaction with the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies and the Cossacks of the Sergiev Posad diocese, Archpriest Alexander Azarov.

Cossacks are frontliners of Orthodox laity. Historically they appeared on outskirts of Russia as defenders of Orthodox Church and Fatherland.