CANADIAN DIOCESE: July 18, 2020
Our Lady of Smolensk Church celebrates the Royal Passion-bearers in Ontario
On January 17, 2020, the Province of Ontario ordered the mandatory wearing of masks in public places. Two weeks earlier, Prime Minister of the Province, Douglas Ford allowed divine services to be held in churches as long as attendance was no more than 30% of capacity. The faithful was overjoyed at this news, since previously only clergymen and up to five people could attend.
Under these circumstances the Royal services are being held at Our Lady of Smolensk Church in Jackson Point, ON. By the initiative of the parish rector, Fr. Maxim, the foundations for a chapel dedicated to the Holy Royal Passion-bearers was laid down. A year later this chapel was consecrated. To date it is the sole memorial church to the saints in North America.
This year’s centennial of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is being celebrated with the limitations imposed by the pandemic. On July 17, festive Divine Liturgy was celebrated followed by a procession of the cross. Afterwards, the believers viewed a small photo exhibit under the open skies dedicated to the Royal Family.