LUXEMBOURG: July 21, 2020
Bishop Alexander of Vevey, Vicar of the Western European Diocese, heads feast-day celebrations at SS Peter and Paul Church
On 12 July 2020, the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, SS Peter and Paul Church in Luxembourg celebrated its feast day. With the blessing of the Ruling Bishop, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, divine services were led by His Grace Vicar Bishop Alexander of Vevey. He was joined by the parish recor, Priest Georges Machtalere, Protopriest Stefan Weerts of Brussels and Deacon Vladimir Svistun from the Geneva cathedral.
Despite the quarantine and complicated epidemiological situation, several hundred worshipers were in attendance, not only from Luxembourg but from nearby France, Germany and Belgium. Most partook of the Holy Gifts. The magnificent singing included the parish choir plus singers from Paris. The myrrh-streaming icon of St Joseph the Hesychast was brought for the occasion from the city of Trier, Germany, by Priest Alexander Maslennikov, rector of its Church of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste (Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate).
After Divine Liturgy a moleben and procession of the cross, Many Years was sung for the Hierarchy, the ruling Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg and those celebrating their namesday. Eternal Memory was then sung for Protopriest Serge Poukh, long-time parish rector, and also to the other reposed rectors and parishioners.
In his sermon, Vladyka Alexander congratulated all those present on the great holiday. “I am happy to see that the love that we have for the Holy Church unites us, despite these difficult times,” he said. Accenting the lives and work of each of the two Apostles, worthy models of emulation for everyone today, he called upon everyone to immerse themselves on a daily basis in our rich spiritual legacy they left for us, citing the New Testament epistles of Apostles Peter and Paul which hold they keys to the understanding the Gospel teachings of Christ the Savior. The hierarch wished everyone good health and the intercession of the patrons saints of the church.
In response, Fr Georges thanked Vladyka Alexander for visiting despite the complications of travel, wishing him spiritual and physical strength in his responsible service.
In observance of limitations, the feast day celebrations took place in the basement and the street surrounding the church.