On Wednesday the 23rd and Thursday the 24th of November, the community of St. Martin of Tours Mission in Montgomery, AL celebrated their patronal feast day. Parish rector Priest Elias Crowder served All-Night Vigil on Wednesday evening and celebrated Divine Liturgy on Thursday morning. Concelebrating at Liturgy was Hieromonk Gabriel (Davis; cleric of Holy Elders of Optina Skete at St. Mary of Egypt Church in Atlanta, GA).
The choir sang beautifully, and virtually all in attendance received Christ's Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, the Polychronion was intoned for the parishioners of St. Martin Mission.
After the service, a festal luncheon was served by the parish sisterhood for all in attendance, during which Fr. Gabriel gave a spiritual talk on a life in Christ. He said, in part: "The Gospel is very good news for our real problem – that we do not have life within ourselves. We can get caught up in all manner of things thinking that we are speaking of the Gospel when in fact all it really is is the very life of Christ, the lived experience of Christ. Christ Himself, the Head giving life to us, the Body of Christ."
In his introduction of Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Elias noted the constant support and love of Archimandrite John (Townsend), dean of Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi and abbot of Holy Elders of Optina Skete.