Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY celebrated its Patronal Feast Day on 31 December and 1 January 2018 with the presence of Archbishop Michael for Great Vespers with the Blessing of Loaves and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. Children of the parish joyfully greeted Archbishop Michael, presenting him with flowers and receiving his blessing. As is customary on the Feast of Saint Basil, the blessing and distribution of the Vasilopita (Saint Basil’s Bread) took place following the Divine Liturgy.
The bread contains a single coin, and customarily the person who finds the coin in their portion is believed to receive a special blessing from Saint Basil. This year, the coin was received by Matushka Rebekah Markewich.
Several area clergy from Christ the Savior Church in Ballston Lake NY joined His Eminence and Archpriest Peter Olsen (parish rector) for the celebration, including: Archpriest Igor Burdikoff (Retired), Priest Matthew Markewich, and Deacon Paul Fedoroff. Also serving were Deacon Stephan Karlgut (Deacon to His Eminence), Sub-Deacon Jason Gagnon, Gregory Peters, John and Sean.
“In addition to the beautiful services and the joy of having Archbishop Michael with us, a delicious meal was prepared by generous parishioners and fellowship was enjoyed by everyone,” said Father Peter Olsen. “Thanks to God, and with the dedicated efforts of many, we were blessed with a most joyous Feast Day!”