Greater Philadelphia Celebrates Great Lent

On Sunday March 4th, the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Philadelphia celebrated Great Lenten Vespers for the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, at St. George the Great Martyr Antiochian Orthodox church in Upper Darby. On the prior Friday, a “Nor-Easter” winter storm wrecked havoc over the Greater Philadelphia region, making roads impassable not only due to the amount of snowfall, but also felling many trees and causing widespread disruption of electrical service. This disruption also affected our host parish, with power being restored only thirty minutes prior to the service. Notwithstanding these conditions, the Orthodox clergy and faithful of the Greater Philadelphia region gathered to celebrate the second Sunday of Great Lent, dedicated to St. Gregory Palamas.

Responses were sung by the Pan-Orthodox choir, under the direction of Dan Drobash. Upon the conclusion of Vespers, Fr. Joel Gilliam, rector of St. George parish, thanked all for braving the conditions and coming out for the service. A wonderful fellowship meal was enjoyed by all. At the fellowship meal Dr. Cyril Jenkins, professor at Eastern University, spoke to all of the work of the Orthodox Center for Thought and Culture at Eastern University. Amongst the wonderful fruits of this Center is the growth of the number of Orthodox students from two to sixteen. All donations received that evening were given to the Orthodox Center for Thought and Culture.

For the Third Sunday of Great, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Precious Cross, the clergy and faithful gathered at St. Vladimir Russian Orthodox church in Trenton NJ. V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Skvir gave a very inspirational homily on the theme: “What is of the greatest value in this world”? Fr. Daniel drew his conclusion on the Lord’s words from the Gospel reading at Divine Liturgy: “What will a man give in exchange for his soul”? Once again, the Pan-Orthodox choir beautifully sang the responses, and a beautiful fellowship meal, provided by the host parish, was enjoyed by all. 

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