Sretensky Publishers Release a New Book by the Dean of the Southern Deanery of the Western American Diocese, Archpriest Alexander Lebedev

[March 11, 2009] Moscow's Sretensky Monastery has released a new book (in Russian) by Archpriest Alexander Lebedev, the Rector of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, Dean of the Southern Deanery of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Secretary of the Commission on negotiations with the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) – "The House of God" ("Dom Bozhii").

In his book Father Alexander uses plain language to discuss the interior organization of the Orthodox temple, divine services and how to behave appropriately inside. The book is intended as a primer and includes explanations of how to venerate icons, put up candles, write out commemorations slips. It explains how to ask a priest for a blessing and the various forms of address used for clergy, as well as other basic information for those attending Church services.

St. John's Men's Chorale Releases Second Recording: "Chrysostom"

image [December 30, 2008] The St. John of San Francisco Men's Chorale (Nicholas Kotar, conductor) released its second recording "Chrysostom” (sung in English and Church Slavonic). The Chorale is made up of chanters of the kliros choir of Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco and supplemented by Bay Area singers. The Chorale had the honor to sing at the opening ceremony of the IV All-Diaspora Council in May, 2006 and also at the Russian Church Abroad's official celebration of 1600 years since the repose of St. John Chrysostom , which anniversary service was held in St. Louis.

The new CD, with guest Protodeacon Vadim Gan, includes traditional chants of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as compositions by Turchaninov, Kedrov, Trubachev, Ledkovsky, Archimadrite Matfei, Gardner and Kastalsky. The final piece of the CD is a tribute to the Ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus.

Theotokos, Virgin, Rejoice – Deacon S. Trubachev.

The "Chrysostom" CD price is $18.00 and may be ordered at the Cathedral bookstore in San Francisco: ...more

Decree ¹ 13E/2008 Regarding Special Petition at Divine Liturgy

image[December 26, 2008] In accordance with the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church from December 24, 2008, His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America has issued Decree ¹ 13E/2008. The following petition is to be immediately added to the augmented litany at every Liturgy in parishes and monastic communites of the Western American Diocese and read until the election of a new Head of the Russian Orthodox Church (January 29, 2009):

Look down, O all-good Master, upon the forthcoming Council of Thine archpastors, pastors and faithful children, that in well-pleasing fashion they may undertake to set our Church in good order; grant them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of the fear of God, the spirit of piety and zeal for the glory of Thy holy name; and preserve them from all temptations, impediments and divisions, that in love and oneness of mind they may freely perform the election of the Primate of our Church: we beseech Thee, O most compassionate Lord: hearken and have mercy.

The Relics of the Holy Confessor Sergius, Last Spritual Father of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow, to Visit San Francisco

image [December 15, 2008] On Sunday, December 28 at 9:45 am the relics of the Holy Confessor Sergius (Srebriansky) will be brought to the Holy Virgin Cathedral Joy of All Who Sorrow in San Francisco from Tver, Russia to be venerated by the faithful of the Western American Diocese. St. Sergius was the last spiritual father of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow and of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth. After many arrests during the Soviet regime, exile and hard labor he settled in the Tver Region with his wife (both of them took monastic vows) and reposed in the Lord in 1948. St. Sergius' spiritual father recalls that: "Every time I spoke to him [St. Sergius], every time I heard his penetrating words, I saw before myself an image of an ascetic desert dweller... He was completely submerged in the Divine... One could feel this in everything he did, especially when he spoke. He spoke of prayer and spiritual sobriety – these were his favorite topics. When he spoke, he spoke simply, edifyingly and convincingly."

St. Sergius was canonized by the Church in Russia in 2000. His relics will be available for veneration throughout the Pontifical (late) Liturgy at Holy Virgin Cathedral.

Diocesan Council Meets in San Francisco

image[December 10, 2008] On December 2, 2008 the Diocesan Council (both clergy and laity) met at the Diocesan Administration. The Council discussed the possible prolonged visit of the Kursk-Root Icon to the Western American Diocese. Inasmuch as the Icon may be travelling to Russia (this matter is presently being decided by the Higher Church Authority) the time frame within which the Icon will come to the Western American Diocese will depend upon the Iocn's visit to Russia. The Council also discussed the Regulations of the St. John Award, the pending visit of the relics of the Holy Confessor Sergei (Srebriansky) to San Francisco, the planned visit of St. John's relics to the Diocese of Tver, Russia, Bishop Theodosy's trip to Moscow, the new diocesan By-Laws, the upcoming St. Herman's West Youth Conference and numerous practical matters. The Council marked the positive changes in the contents and appearance of San Francisco's weekly "Russian Life" and the question of mandatory medical insurance for all full time clergy was brought up. The next meeting of the Diocesan Council is scheduled for February 18, 2009.

Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne to be Commemorated during the Divine Services in all parishes, monasteries and communities of the Western American Diocese


[December 6, 2008] In accordance with the directive of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America and in compliance with the resolution of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church dated December 6, 2008 (Journal ¹ 82) the name of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens is to be commemorated during the Divine Services in all parishes, monasteries and communities of the Western American Diocese in the following manner: "For our Lord the Patriarchal Locum Tenens the Very Most Reverend Kyrill Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kalingrad, and for our Lord the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad..."

The funeral service for His Holiness Patriarch Alexy is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9 at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. Patriarch Alexy will be interred, in accordance to his wishes, in Moscow's Epichany Cathedral.

"Hawaii" Myrrhstreaming Iveron Icon to Visit Bay Area Parishes

image[November 19, 2008] With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America the "Hawaii" Myrrhstreaming Iveron Icon from Honolulu will visit parishes of the San Francisco Deanery of the Western American Diocese. The visitation schedule is as follows:

Saturday, November 22:
9:00 am: Divine Liturgy at the St. Seraphim Church in Monterey (Seaside, California).
6:00 pm: Greeting of the "Hawaii" Icon at the Holy Virgin Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco followed by the Vigil service.

Sunday, November 23:
7:30 am: Early Liturgy at the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco.
9:45 am: Late Pontifical Liturgy at Holy Virgin Cathedral. The Holy Icon will be present at both Liturgies.
5:00 pm: Vigil at the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame.

Monday, November 24:
Feast of the Montreal Iveron Myrrhstreaming Icon. Liturgy in Burlingame at 9:00 am.

Ordination in Walla Walla

image [November 16, 2008] On Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16 His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America visited the St. Silouan Church in Walla Walla (Washington). At the Divine Liturgy Archbishop Kyrill awarded the parish Rector, Priest Seraphim Bell, the kamilavka for his service to the Russian Orthodox Church and his missionary work in Nepal. Vladika also bestowed upon Father Seraphim the gold pectoral cross in connection with the latter's appointment as Chairman of the newly formed Department of Missionary Work for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. ...more

Fall Pastoral Conference to be Held in the Pacific Northwest

image[November 1, 2008] The St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle and the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island are preparing for the upcoming four day fall Pastoral Conference of the clergy of the Western American Diocese. The official schedule of the Conference has been updated:

Monday, November 10
Travel day (accomodations for the delegates will be provided free of charge by the St. Nicholas Cathedral).
5:15 pm: Vespers and Matins.
7:00 pm: Dinner and fellowship. ...more

2009 Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage

image[October 25, 2008] With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is being organized. The beginning of the trip is scheduled to correspond with the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women, from April 29 to May 15, 2009. The group will be led by Archpriest Peter Perekrestov of San Francisco's Holy Virgin Cathedral.

The cost of the trip is approximately $3,700.00 (the exact cost will depend on the airfare at time of booking in January) and includes airfare, all ground transportation in the Holy Land, travel insurance, hotel and meals.

Space is limited. If you are interested in the pilgrimage or need more information, please contact Rev. Peter Perekrestov – tel: (415) 387-5164; e-mail: or fill out a pilgrimage registration form. Registration deadline is December 31, 2008.


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