Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday of Orthodoxy in Houston

Houston is a great place to be Orthodox. We have a wonderful Clergy Association, which consists of the clergy from all the 20 or so Orthodox parishes in the greater Houston area. The clergy and the many churches generally get along very well.

Last Sunday evening, March 8, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we celebrated a pan-Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers. Present were two deacons, 21 priests, and even a bishop, +IRINEAU of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America. Above is a picture of all the clergy who were present.

The service was held at the Holy Forty Martyrs Antiochian Orthodox Mission in Sugar Land, just southwest of Houston. Because the next day (March 9) was the feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs, we wore red vestments.

The choral music was provided by the pan-Orthodox St. Romanos Chorale, under the direction of Dr Bill Attra. To say that their singing was beautiful would be a gross understatement!

Fr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor of St. Vladimir's Seminary, served as the main celebrant and delivered the homily.

Present among the clergy were two friends and brother priests, the always impressive Frs. John Whiteford (center) and Joseph Huneycutt (right), both gentlemen, scholars, and all-around great guys.

Hey, who let THAT kid in? "When I get older, losing my hair, (not so) many years from now!"

Thanks to Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, from whom I stole--oops, I mean BORROWED--the pictures. I'm sorry I took so long to post this information. It figures that a priest named Early would be such a procrastinator!

Here's one more picture for you, from the pan-Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy celebration that was held in Wichita, Kansas. These are the three hierarchs who rule over Texas (and, of course, other areas, if you care about anywhere else but Texas). From left to right, Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver (GOA), Archbishop DMITRI of Dallas (OCA), and my bishop, BASIL of Wichita. I really love this picture. I hope that these three godly bishops will come concelebrate in Houston some time in the near future.


Clint said...

Great Pictures (even if they were borrowed). Hey, better late than never. I heard that somewhere.

November In My Soul said...

Father James,

You are truly blessed to have such a large Orthodox presence in your community. There are three Orthodox parishes within 100 miles of here, two OCA and one Greek.

And congrats to your daughter on her martial arts victory. I know how rewarding that can be.

We haven't spoken much lately. I hope you are well.

charlene said...

Father James,
Thank you for sharing the pictures and your impressions of how blessed our congregation is to have so many sister and close cousin churches in our area. I will somehow find a way to get to the next Pan-Orthodox event, God willing.
Yesterday I had the joy of receiving communion for the first time with my"church home away from home" here in Denver. St. Augustine is a Western Rite Antiochian parish. From the first time I visited last May, I was met with the same love and warmth as I found at our parish. They have a wonderful pastor, Father John Magnus, who along with the people have embraced me as part of their church family. What a blessing it is to be Orthodox!

Paul said...


That's the back of my head. Right of the choirmaster in the green shirt. :)