The greeting of the icon took place on the eve of the holiday amongst a large gathering of worshipers in addition to over 20 clergy. The icon was met at the entrace of the church and brought in accompanied by the singing of the troparion. A short molieben was served and the vigil service then began. The following morning began with an early blessing of the waters. The Divine Liturgy was led by Bishop Peter and concluded with a procession around the church. It is important to note, that despite being a weekday, the church was full even to the point of being difficult to move about and 114 people partook of the Holy Mysteries from two chalises.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, the icon was brought into the church hall where there was a holiday banquet. Speaking about the feast, Vladika Peter noted that "a church's feast day is like a second Pascha" and indeed it was felt that this holiday bestowed upon our parishioners a feeling of great joy and warmth.
On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the botherhood greeted and thanked all founding parishioners.
A special thanks was offered on the part of Vladika Peter to the pontifical choir on the day of its heavenly intercessor, St. Romanos. This year we were also fortunate to have a diocesan choir consisting of singers from Cleveland, St Louis, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids under the direction of Reader Alexander Petrowsky to sing the stikhera at the Vigil service antiphonally in English and Slavonic. On the next day, all sang in one choir under the direction of Dr. Michael Gill. It is a credit to the musicianship of our diocesan singers that this group of nearly 40 people were able to sing complicated compositions all the while creating a prayerful and festive atmosphere.
In the later half of the day, the wonderworking icon remained in the church, during which there was a nearly continuous stream of people who came to venerate it, serving moliebens and reading akafists nearly up until midnight. On the following day, the icon continued her travels to Cleveland.
Once again, we would like to greet everyone on the feastday of the Protection of the Mother of God and to express our thanks to everyone who worked for weeks before to make this holiday a truly joyous and bright occasion!