Sunday, December 13, 2009




Feast of St Andrew: Bishop Jerome and the Kursk Root icon of Our Lady of the Sign
An icon of the saint, I think from the screen of an old church built by Ruthenians in upstate Pennsylvania. In the hierarchical Liturgy (pontifical Mass) the bishop is vested and stands in the middle of the nave until the Little Entrance. Russian congregations don’t usually sing: at hierarchical Liturgies a deacon comes out and leads them in the Creed and Our Father. It’s the crowded church’s feast of title: it seems that all 1990s or later Russian immigrants in Northeast Philly who go to church come here. St Andrew’s was built in 1897 as a chapel for the Russian navy when it was building two warships here (including the Varyag), which explains the visiting Russian officers.

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