Joyous Celebration: Divine Liturgy and Festivities Honoring St. Basil the Great at the Church of St. Basil's in Watervliet

{Watervliet, NY] - On Sunday, January 1, 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Michael served Divine Liturgy in Watervliet, NY, on the Parish Feastday of the Church of St. Basil the Great. Also serving were the rector of the parish, Archpriest Peter Olsen; Priest Paul Fedoroff; Deacon Stephan Karlgut; and Deacon Jason Gagnon (of St. Basil’s). Serving as subdeacon were Zachary Parisi and Benjamin Goes (of St. Basil’s). Altar servers were Julian Gagnon and Ivan Karlgut. Leading the choir were Maryna Baker (Christ the Savior, Ballston Lake) and Archpriest Matthew Markewich, rector of Christ the Savior. Vladika was greeted with flowers by Eleanor Gagnon, Basil Gagnon, and Sophia Karlgut. His Eminence was then greeted with the traditional bread and salt by the parish Starosta Marie Giokas. At the end of the service, Vladika blessed the vasilopita (St. Basil’s bread) and parishioner Anna Macpherson received the St. Basil’s coin. Fr. Peter was presented with a Synodal Gramota in recognition of his 40th-anniversary ordination to the holy priesthood. Parishioners prepared and contributed a delicious variety of food and sweets for the festive meal celebrated afterward. The kitchen crew was led by Barbara Ryan and Dr. George Giokas, who were assisted by Andrea Downey, Patricia Rentz, Elizabeth Looney, and Julie Aversa. Julie also served as the photographer for the day’s activities. Many more, who are unnamed, assisted in many and various ways. Everyone pitched in with their talents and labors for a glorious and wonderful celebration of the parish’s heavenly intercessor, St. Basil the Great!

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