Whilst officiating on Sunday, 18th September at our Bournemouth Church, Abba Seraphim was assisted by his Coadjutor, Abba James, and Father John Ives, the Bournemouth Parish priest, and Abba Seraphim started officiating by ordaining as a Reader, Cristian Craciun, a Romanian who was born in the historical region of Western Moldavia in north-eastern Romania, but now lives in Surrey and often attends our Bournemouth Church.
The service included a panikhida celebrating the life of HM Queen Elizabeth II, With the national anthem as our final Hymn.
We are very sad at the news of the recent death of our sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth II and during all our church services we will maintain her in prayer for her repose in the Lord and encourage all our clergy and laity to recite a panikhida for her.
During the Divine Liturgy we will now change the prayers that we have used in services for our sovereign Lord King Charles III. In the Second Diaconal Litany the prayer should now say:
“For our Most Gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, and all the Reigning House, with his whole Court and Council, let us pray to the Lord.”
And in “THE COMMEMORATION OF THE LIVING” the prayer should now be:
“Remember O Lord, our Sovereign Lord King CHARLES and all the Reigning House, with his whole, and Council. Remember the forces of the crowd and grant them from heaven and victory; touch their armour, shields arise to their help, and humble before them all their enemies. Set aright their plans, so that we may live a peaceful tranquil life in all piety and dignity.”
On 24 August 2022 the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Kallistos Ware died, aged 87 years. He had been born in Bath, Somerset, as Timothy Richard Ware on 11 September 1934. He was educated at Westminster School in London and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1958 at the age of 24 he became an Orthodox layman and was ordained as a monastic priest and archimandrite in 1966. He also became Spalding lecturer at the University of Oxford in the Eastern Orthodox studies, having also published a book entitled The Orthodox Church in 1963 and The Orthodox Way in 1979. He was consecrated as Bishop of Diokleia in Phrygia of the British Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira.
Abba Seraphim became a close friend with him when he was only a deacon and shared with him some of his historical studies on the history of Orthodoxy in Britain, especially Ex Oriente Lux (2008) which was the story of Dr. Joseph J Overbeck (1820-1905) and Father Stephen Hatherly (1827-1905), two converts to Orthodoxy with different conceptions of founding an indigenous Orthodox Church. When he became a Metropolitan he and Abba Seraphim gathered together occasionally and became very friendly.
Following his recent death, Abba Seraphim held a panikhida of prayers for his repose and instructed his British Orthodox faithful and clergy to maintain regular prayers for his repose in Christ.
As Archdeacon Antony Holland for health reasons has given up driving to our Bournemouth Church, Abba Seraphim, accompanied by Abba James, has now celebrated a Sunday Divine Liturgy for him in the chapel which he has established in his garage in Portsmouth on 17th April, 18th May and 17th July.
Abba Seraphim has frequently visited his second cousin, Keith Francis Watson, now aged eighty, who lives in the Earlham Road Care House for mental health needs, in Wood Green, London, N22, which is 20.9 miles from the Church Secretariat at Charlton. Keith Watson received the clerical tonsure in April 1972 and was also ordained to the minor order of Doorkeeper by his uncle, the late Mar Georgius of Glastonbury in August 1972. Abba Seraphim had later ordained him as a Reader in June 1978. Abba Seraphim has taken the holy communion sacrament to give to Keith Watson and has also given him the holy anointing for his health issues on 16 June 2021, 23 November 2021, 18 April 2022, 13 June 2022 and 4 July 2022. The Managers of the Care home have been very attentive to his needs and the recent manager, Kediga, who was an Ethiopian Orthodox, was very pleased to encourage Abba Seraphim’s pastoral visits.