Today we mark the 50th anniversary of the formal reception of the Tomos of Autocephaly by the delegation of the Metropolia, from the Russian Orthodox Church, on April 10, 1970. And yet while we mark this day, we remain at home, prevented from a more formal celebration of this event, even in our parishes, by the present threat of the Corona Virus. We are prayerfully grateful for the leadership of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and our Holy Synod, in guiding us through these challenging times. We also regret that these circumstances have prevented what would have been a wonderful celebration of the Palm Sunday Feast with His Beatitude joining us!
The present reflection that you can access here, was borne out of homilies given on the recent feasts of the Repose of Saints Innocent (March 31), and St. Tikhon (April 7), during home services that have been live-streamed. These commemorations not only were near the March 31st signing of the Agreementt, and the April 10th formal reception of the Tomos, but commemorate Sts. Innocent and Tikhon who both served the Orthodox Mission here in the North America, and later the Russian Orthodox Church with great vision and faith!
Matushka Cindy and I are grateful for the many expressions of support for our efforts, through social media channels, to offer regular times for prayer for those desiring to come together with us. May God bless us all as we prepare to celebrate the Raising of Lazarus and Palm Sunday, before proceeding to commemorate our Lord's saving death and Resurrection during Holy Week and Pascha.
With prayers and love in Christ,
Archpriest Steven Voytovich, D.Min., LPC, Rector
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, New Haven, CT