On March 11, the Sunday of the Cross, St. John Cassian Chapel in Bessemer, AL was visited by Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar) of the Brotherhood of St. Dionysios the Areopagite in St. James, NY. Fr. Maximos brought with him the Brotherhood’s relic of the True Cross for the faithful to venerate.
Great Vespers the evening before was served by Priest Elias Crowder (rector of St. Martin of Tours Mission in Montgomery, AL), after which a lenten chili supper was provided for those in attendance by Phillip and Ita Burnett, parishioners at St. John Cassian Chapel. The following morning, Matins and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, with bringing out of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, were served by Fr. Maximos. After Liturgy, the sisterhood of St. John Cassian Chapel served a crawfish boil meal for those who attended the divine services.
This year, Tuesday, March 13, marked the feast of Venerable John Cassian the Rome (St. John’s feast day is February 29 on the Julian Calendar, but on non-leap years, his celebration is translated to the day before). On Monday evening, Fr. Maximos served Great Compline at the chapel; on Tuesday morning, Typica, Ninth Hour, and Presanctified Liturgy were served in honor of the chapel’s patronal feast day. This marked the first time that Presanctified Liturgy had been celebrated at the chapel.
The faithful of St. John Cassian Chapel expressed their deep appreciation for the visit, as well as for the opportunity to venerate the True Cross on this special weekend, and for the added joy of being able to commune on the day of the mission’s patronal feast.