Ordination of Dn Julian in Paris

After an extremely early start from Norwich, Deacon Julian, Natasha, Mary and myself took the Eurostar from St Pancras at 9.22 am on Friday 16th September 2011.  That evening we had a meal with a friend of many years standing.

On Saturday, after a meeting with Archbishop Gabriel, we all met up for lunch and did some sightseeing.  Later we all met up again for the Vigil at the Parish of the Holy Trinity in the crypt of the Cathedral at rue Daru, where our friend is a member.  They were keeping the Exaltation of the Cross, and Father Alexei Struve invited Julian to serve for the last time as deacon.

Next morning we all attended the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St Alexander Nevsky, where the 150th anniversary of its dedication had been celebrated a few days earlier, and that Sunday they were keeping the parish feast.  During the magnificent Pontifical Liturgy, after the great Entrance, Deacon Julian was led by Protodeacon Andrey and Hierodeacon Athanas to the sanctuary, where I took over to lead him three times round the holy table at the beginning of the ordination.  Archbishop Gabriel read all the prayers in English.  At the end of the Liturgy, we all processed outside the Cathedral with the icon of the Saint, fans and banners.  At the end of the service Father Julian gave the Cross to the congregation, which was very large.  The festivities were concluded with a splendid parish meal.

That evening we caught the Eurostar at 8.43 pm and were back in London at 9.55, reaching Norwich at about 1.00 am.  The whole weekend went very well.

Archpriest Patrick Hodson

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