CHICAGO, IL [DOM] – On the beautiful and saving feast of Pentecost, June 12, 2022, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All America and Canada presided over festal services commemorating the 130th anniversary of Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Diocesan Cathedral of Chicago and the Midwest.
His Beatitude arrived in Chicago Saturday afternoon with Deacon Peter Ilchuk, Deacon to the Metropolitan, and was greeted at the airport by His Grace Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest, and Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean. Shortly after, the hierarchs arrived at the cathedral to celebrate the All-Night Vigil.
Concelebrating the service with His Beatitude and His Grace were Fr. Alexander, Archpriest Tarasiy Maxim, Archpriest Herman Kincaid, Deacon Peter Ilchuk, Protodeacon Thomas Keith and Deacon Paul Garklavs. The choir was directed by Olga Garklavs.
Following the service, Bishop Daniel greeted His Beatitude, and expressed his excitement for the historical weekend. A reception was held in the parish hall following the service.
On Sunday, June 12, the Feast of Pentecost, His Beatitude was greeted by Bishop Daniel and the clergy of the cathedral. The Festal Antiphons were sung in celebration of the feast. At the conclusion of the gospel reading, His Beatitude offered a homily on the feast and its transition, not only in the liturgical life of the Church, but also, it’s purpose for Christians.
“This is the season of sanctity; this is the season of the spirit. This is not the beginning of a normal in-between time – of ordinary time understood as something pain or drab. Instead, this is the season when we celebrate the work that Christ came to accomplish and has accomplished. That work is the making of saints through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.”
After the dismissal, His Beatitude ascended the cathedra for the beginning of Vespers for Pentecost. The Kneeling Prayers were read reinstituting both kneeling and prostrations in the life of the Church after the fifty day festal period.
Bishop Daniel greeted Metropolitan Tikhon offering words of gratitude for his presence at the celebration and his leadership throughout Archbishop Paul’s illness, and repose. In commemoration of the event, and for the great care that His Beatitude showed to Archbishop Paul, he presented him with a panagia that belonged to His Eminence.
Metropolitan Tikhon expressed his gratitude for Bishop Daniel’s attentiveness to the Diocese of the Midwest during his time as Administrator and Locum Tenens. His Beatitude also thanked Fr. Alexander for his work in preparing for the celebration and his continued efforts at the sacred temple. His Beatitude then read an excerpt from a book on the history of Holy Trinity Cathedral in which the Choir Director, Paul Zaichenko describes St. Tikhon of Moscow, who was the bishop of North America at that time.
”Thirty years ago I was sent to Chicago to direct a choir on the occasion of the consecration of the first Orthodox church in Chicago. This was the most memorable time of my life. Bishop Tikhon was serving, a most pious, kind, and wonderful hierarch. He was responsible for the Chicago festivities, since the cathedral and its parish house were built with his blessings. He had a quiet manner, he was generous, forgiving, and his demeanor exuded peace. Every word he uttered had a calming and sanctifying effect on people. His appearance was bright and magnificent and made a most favorable impression. His kind and gentle face reflected the majesty of his. The old-timers remember his kindness, the way he used to encourage us, to teach us to love tranquility, beauty, and truth, and how he blessed us and poured out his soul for our sakes. He was unpretentious both in his personal and administrative relations with people. He would often write his directives personally without bureaucratic formalities. I treasure those letters he had written to me personally; they are like holy relics to me. Bishop Tikhon served the Orthodox Church in America with all his soul; his tenure was characterized by a rapid expansion of our mission under his leadership.
His Beatitude then presented relics of St. Tikhon, his heavenly patron, to the community in commemoration of the anniversary, but also to continue to foster his peaceful and prayerful presence in the cathedral.
Fr. Alexander welcomed his beatitude on behalf of the community and presented the hierarchs with paintings of the historic temple that were done by the hand of Olga Garklavs.
Following the Divine Liturgy a community photo was taken and a lunch was held at a local restaurant with local hierarchs, clergy, and faithful joining the celebration.
On Holy Spirit Monday, June 13, the cathedral continued its celebration of its altar feast with the Divine Liturgy and Cross Procession. His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Church Abroad, was the guest of Bishop Daniel for this commemoration.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Peter and Bishop Daniel were, Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean, Mitered Archpriest Serge Piscariu, Mitered Archpriest Vladimir Kovalchuk, Archpriest Oleg Salakov, Archpriest Tarasiy Maxim, Priest Nikolai Lochmatow, Protodeacon Alexander Kichakov, Protodeacon Thomas Keith, and Deacon Paul Garklavs.
A Cross Procession was held following Divine Liturgy. The hierarchs greeted one another and Fr. Alexander presented Archbishop Peter with a gift from the cathedral community. A festive lunch was held for everyone in the parish hall.