This year, on Sunday the 14th of August, Saint Mary’s Mount Pritchard celebrated their patronal feast day, the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, in a new and exciting way.

The forfeast day of Dormition began in the morning with Matins and Divine Liturgy celebrated by parish priest Fr. Isaac Zghaib with the assistance of Dn. Jason Israel. This was promptly followed by the parish’s first Dormition Carnival. The carnival began with a performance by the Antiochian Orthodox Stewards band, the joyful sounds of the Church bells ringing and a procession of the icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos.

Following the completion of the procession, the festivities were well and truly underway. The sounds of beloved Arabic and English songs compelled the many faithful to dance with joy, while the young children rushed to the rides and activities that were present throughout the parish grounds. These included food and drink stalls, a bookstore, flowers for sale, a petting farm and a small market of sweets and assorted condiments. The afternoon ended with the drawing of the raffle.

In the evening, the faithful from across the parishes of Sydney then eagerly gathered in the Church to pray the Paraklesis – the service of supplication – to The Mother of God. This was immediately followed by a Hierarchical Vesperal Liturgy, presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios and assisted by some of the clergy of the Archdiocese. Everyone then made their way to the Church Hall for dinner and refreshments, with a performance by the Young Antiochian Folkloric Group. There was also a display of all the submitted entries from the “To the Theotokos Creativity Festival”, with the winners being announced (there will be a post following showcasing the works submitted).

Overall, the day was a huge success with an enormous number of faithful visiting the parish throughout the day to honour The Mother of our Lord on the feast of her Dormition. A blessed feast day to all!