With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, on November 21, 2015, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel Angel joyfully began with a moleben of thanksgiving, with festive Divine Liturgy on the following Sunday on November 22, 2015. It was a large gathering—almost 100 orthodox faithful and 30 Catechumens joyfully participated in the celebration. This day is much blessed and honored by the orthodox faithful in Pakistan because the ROCOR Mission was named after, “Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.”
The solemn celebration opened with the procession followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. The prayers were offered for the health and many good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia Shepherd of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Ruling Bishop of Pakistan), for the Orthodox clergy and faithful, peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity throughout the world. The faithful entered the place of worship holding banner, flowers and icon of St. Michael the Archangel. The national flags of Pakistan and Russia were printed on the banner to mark the spiritual unity with the Mother Church.
After the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Joseph delivered a sermon about the work and sacred responsibilities of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other bodiless Hosts of Heaven. Fr. Joseph told faithful that the Holy Archangel Michael is the head of the entire heavenly host, and explained the icon. Fr. Joseph said that Holy Archangel Michael holding a sword in his right hand depicts that he crushed Lucifer, and the palm branch in his left hand signifies that he is the guardian of the Orthodox faith and a fighter against heresy. The Holy Archangel Michael, one of the highest angels, remains faithful to the Creator. Further, Fr. Joseph told the faithful that we must follow the true traditions of holy Orthodoxy in our daily lives and always remain faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church, because these days holy Orthodoxy is being attacked from all sides by schismatic and heretic forces. We must condemn the forces of the devil, and follow the example of the holy archangel of God Michael and his entire heavenly host, who battle against dark forces.
After the sermon the icon of St. Michael the Archangel was placed on the table and time was given to the faithful to light candles and seek help and protection in silence from St. Michael the Archangel for their families and the Orthodox faith.
Joys and blessings of the feast day:
In Pakistan, Christian communities rarely get the chance for celebrations, where they can express their joys and happiness. Christians are facing sufferings and persecutions, so I personally experienced and keenly observed that the feast days celebrated in the Orthodox Church with her unique traditions fill the hearts of people with true joy and blessings of the Heavenly Father.
The faithful shared the festive lunch at the end of the feast. The celebration of the feast took almost 5 hours. I extend my thanks to Mr. Denny Sellen and his family and Fr.Daniel Ritty who generously sent help for the feast day. Thanks are due to our very dedicated orthodox parishioner Samuel Alexander and his family who joyfully helped me for making all the necessary arrangements for the feast day.
At the completion of four years (2011-1015) of the St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for his blessings, encouragement and pastoral care. We are also thankful to Rev. Adrian Augustus, the first ROCOR missionary to Pakistan—he is the one who planted the seed of the holy Orthodoxy in Pakistan.
I humbly request you to help the mission through your kind donations and charity. ROCOR Church in Pakistan is moving ahead day by day!
GLORY TO GOD! GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!
For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact:firstname.lastname@example.org