The hills were filled with pious faithful at the Holy Monasteries of Patrokosmas and Panagia Parigoritissa for Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgies.
Great Vespers at Panagia Parigoritissa, which is near Montreal in Québec, was presided over by Metropolitan Sotirios, together with the participation of His Grace Bishop Alexander of the Patriarchate of Antioch; all the clergy from the Montreal-area were present, as were many faithful.
The following morning, the Divine Liturgy was concelebrated by Metropolitan Sotirios and Archbishop Irénée (OCA), assisted by many Reverend Fathers. At both holy services the Sisterhood of Parigoritissa chanted hymns and prayers in Byzantine style with great brilliance.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a communal meal was offered to approximately 800 pilgrims according to the Athonite typikon.
Everything was conducted consistent with a true feast and all present were delighted with the uplifting spiritual environment which prevailed. Abbess Thekla and the Sisterhood had organized everything wonderfully.
It should be noted that both Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy were conducted outdoors because the Katholikon (main church) is not large enough to accommodate all of the faithful.
Many priests joined Metropolitan Sotirios for both Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy at our celebrating Monastery of Patrokosmas just outside of Toronto, Ontario.
Great Vespers, as happens every year, took place on an outdoor platform with thousands of pious pilgrims filling the hills.
The following morning the Divine Liturgy took place in the Holy Monastery of Patrokosmas and the faithful Christians, like those at Panagia Parigoritissa, approached with much reverence, both towards the Divine Liturgy and for Holy Communion; the Metropolitan and three priests distributed Holy Communion.
The Byzantine style chanting was performed excellently by the Sisterhood under the direction of Abbess Alexia.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the traditional procession took place which was followed by a communal meal, again according to the Athonite typikon.
Hundreds of volunteers helped with the organization of the Feasts of the Monasteries, both at Panagia Parigoritissa and Patrokosmas.
On the previous Saturday (August 20th), Metropolitan Sotirios visited the small missionary community of St. George in North Bay, Ontario, which comprises only twelve families. His Eminence performed the Divine Liturgy, assisted by Fr. Philotheos Allison who travelled from Sudbury.
Our small and rural communities are challenged since many young people leave for their studies and decide to live in larger cities which offer greater job opportunities.
On the Sunday, Metropolitan Sotirios performed the Divine Liturgy at the Community of St. Nicholas in Sudbury, again assisted by Fr. Philotheos.
The chanting was conducted by the community president, Mr. George Malis, who is an excellent volunteer and terrific chanter. With reverence did the Christians approach the Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the grand-daughter of Mr. Hatzi, who is a great benefactor of the Community, was performed; she was given the name Kalliopi.