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DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: August 22, 2006
Archbishop Hilarion Leads Feast-day Celebrations at Holy Transfiguration Monastery

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light" (Matthew 17:1-2). These was the event the Lord meant when He said: " Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom"(Matthew 16:28).

Holy Transfiguration Monastery is located not far from the city of Bombala, in the Snowy Mountains, a two-hour drive from Canberra.

Here, on August 18-19, the Ruling Bishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand officiated at the feast-day celebrations of the monastery. During all-night vigil, male choirs under the direction of Archimandrite Alexis and Hieromonk Sergei sang, which included singers from Sydney and Geelong. A litiya was performed along with a procession of the cross and the corresponding supplications around the church; the night was festive—the stars shone and nature rejoiced.

During the reading of the hours, Archbishop Hilarion ordained Dionysi (Denis) Nikoloski to serve at the Church of St George in Carleton. His Eminence was joined in serving Divine Liturgy by the monastery's Abbot, Archimandrite Alexis (Rosentool), Protopriest Alexander Morozov, Hieromonk Macarius, Hieromonk Sergius and Protodeacon Basil Yakimov. At the end of service, His Eminence delivered a sermon on the holiday. The services were held in Church Slavonic and English.

At the end of the solemn services, His Eminence, the clergymen and worshipers descended in a procession of the cross to the river, where the water was blessed, after which Vladyka Hilarion read the prayer for the blessing of the fruits, held in from of the entrance to the monastery. Before the veneration of the cross, Many Years was intoned in accordance with the monastic rule, after which everyone was invited for refreshments offered by the monastery brethren, aided by pilgrims from all over, numbering some 130 (the Monastery usually draws many pilgrims on its feast day).

Glory to God for all things!

With love in Christ,
Protodeacon Basil Yakimov
Canberra, August 22, 2006