On Sunday, March 8, 2009, Bishop THOMAS of the Antiochian Archdiocese joined Bishop TIKHON, the OCA Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, along with the clergy and faithful of both jurisdictions, in the celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy services at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Over the weekend of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2009, Bishop THOMAS visited the parish of St. Mary in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He presided over the Akathist Service on Friday and Great Vespers on Saturday, both of which were sung by the Antiochian Orthodox Students who attend St. Tikhon's Seminary. Vespers was followed by a Lenten meal in the parish hall.
The Sunday morning Divine Liturgy with Bishop TIKHON represented the first time in the 105-year history of St. Mary that an Antiochian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox bishop served the Liturgy together in the parish. Bishop TIKHON preached the homily at the Liturgy. This was Bishop TIKHON's first visit to St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church. After the Liturgy the entire community came together for a Lenten meal in the parish hall.
On Sunday afternoon the two bishops, together with many OCA and Antiochian clergy, presided over the Service of Orthodoxy at the OCA's Holy Resurrection Cathedral in north Wilkes-Barre. Before the service began, Bishop THOMAS preached the homily. At the end of the Service, the children of the Cathedral gave both bishops a gift of roses. A meal followed in the church hall of the Cathedral. This was Bishop THOMAS' first visit to the OCA Cathedral.
The entire weekend was a moving experience for all who joined in the celebration of our one Orthodox faith, with all hoping for the day of Orthodox unity to be drawing closer.
See more photos at the OCA's Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania web site.