WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: April 8, 2021
The celebration of the Annunciation of the Most-Holy Mother of God at Elevation of the Cross Cathedral
The celebration the feast day of the Annunciation of the Most-Holy Mother of God, March 25/April 7, 2021, Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, was led by His Grace Bishop Alexander of Vevey. He was joined by the cathedral clergy: Archpriest Pavel Tzvetkoff, Archpriest Emelian Pocinoc, Archdeacon Dometian (Redko) and Deacon Vladimir Svistun. Despite the weekday and quarantine restrictions, a large gathering of worshipers was present, most of whom partook of the Holy Gifts of Christ.
At the end of Divine Liturgy, Vladyka Alexander addressed the people with a sermon, stressing how special this holiday is, which fell this year in the middle of Great Lent, when the Church celebrates the Holy Cross, reminding every believer of the sufferings that our Savior will soon endure, lifting the sins of all of mankind upon the Holy Wood. He noted: “The Cross in Orthodox Christian spirituality, brought out into the middle of the church now, is the new Tree of Life in the center of Eden, prepared and revealed for everyone by Christ through His Passions.” Referring to the glorious Gospel account of the Annunciation to the Most-Holy Mother of God, His Grace interpreted a key phrase-the words of Archangel Gabriel to the Most-Holy Theotokos: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1:35), emphasizing that besides the Good News, we can come into contact here with the Revelation of the New Testament Holy Trinity, in Which are present the All-High Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son of God, for Whose Incarnation mankind prepared a “worthy vessel” in the person of the Most-Holy Mother of God. His Grace called upon the faithful, through fasting and prayer, to worthily accompany Christ, as did His Most-Pure Mother, to Golgotha, and so to meet His glorious Resurrection.