With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, on November 21, 2018, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel was joyfully celebrated in Pakistan.
The solemnity and liturgical dimension of the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel has very close spiritual association with the Orthodox faithful in Pakistan, because the ROCOR Mission is named after and registered as the “St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.”
Solemn Procession and Festive Divine Liturgy:
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 banners and icon of St. Michael the Archangel.
The banners displayed the following theme:
The national flags of Pakistan and Russian Federation and in the center the Icon of Holy Archangel Michael; it shows our spiritual unity with the Mother Church and protection of the Archangel and Bodiless Powers of Heaven.
Sermon and Teaching:
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 the 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.
Asking Help and Protection:
After the sermon, time was given to the faithful to light candles and humbly ask the help and protection in silence from St. Michael the Archangel for their families and to thank God for our Orthodox faith.
Joys and blessings of the feast day:
In Pakistan, Christian communities hardly get the chance for celebrations, where they can express their joys and happiness. Christians are extremely crushed, 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 a festive lunch at the end of the feast. I am also grateful to the generous donors and well-wishers of the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.
On the completion of six years and the presence of 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.
Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan needs your generous support for the construction of first Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan as we are celebrating Divine Liturgy in tents, faithful homes and in open area. Please visit the mission’s webpage if you would like to support our work. May God bless you.