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.

Christ is Risen!

“This day, that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad therein!” What is the eternal joy of this event of two thousand years ago? Because we have such a God! Who created the universe, and washes the feet of the disciples. Whom the angels tremble, but He ascended the Cross for us and is ready to ascend it again if it were necessary for our salvation, and is ready to forgive even a traitor. Our God truly loves us and waits for us. That’s why we can’t help but be happy today.

Great Thursday

On this day, the Church remembers how Christ washed the feet of the disciples during the Last Supper, when there was a dispute between them about which of them was older. And then the main thing happens, for which He gathered the apostles: while everyone was eating, Jesus took bread and, having blessed, broke it and, distributing it to the disciples, said: “Take, eat: this is My Body.” And taking the cup and giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it all, for this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins” (Mt 26:26-28). The Lord first gave to His disciples His Body and Blood, about which He had previously said: “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you will not have life in you” (Jn 6:53). The Last Supper ended late in the evening. It was followed by a lonely night prayer of the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane on the slope of the Mount of Olives, the arrival of guards, arrest, interrogations by the high priests, trial.

In the photos, a service at the parish in honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cotabato province, Mindanao Island, Philippines.