The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated differently every year, depending on what day it falls during Great Lent of Bright Week. Neither Great Lent nor Bright Week disappears on this great feast of the Mother of God, and a unique way enhances the feast.
This year, the feast fell on the Wednesday of Cross Week, so the Church both venerated the Cross and also the Mother of God. Being it was Wednesday, there was an actual veneration of the Cross during the 1st Hour. It was, as it were, a bright burst of joy shining forth from the feast in the midst of the repentant solemnity of Great Lent.
Our abbot, His Grace, Bishop Luke, led the Polyleos and also presided at the Vesperal Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on the feast itself. Much to the joy of the brotherhood and our faithful, Vladyka, with the blessing of our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion, ordained Subdeacon Monk Paisii to the diaconate. This is the first such ordination in many years, and we are overjoyed to have our own hierodeacon. May the Lord give him strength in his new obedience.