Palm Sunday Vespers last night at St Nicholas of Japan Orthodox Church in Brixton, Johannesburg, was also the parish’s farewell to Fr Athanasius Akunda, who is leaving after being the parish priest for 7 years. He will be leaving after Pascha to teach at the seminary in Nairobi. There will be another diocesan farewell gathering for him on 18 April 2015 (Easter Saturday) at the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, where people from the other parishes and communities that he has served will be able to say goodbye to him.
We had a couple of visiting priests: Fr Gerasimos from St John the Baptist Church, Primrose, Germiston, and Fr George (Coconos) from the Cathedral of SS Constantine & Helen, Joubert Park.
At the end of the Vespers service was the Litiya (Artoklasia) and the blessing of palm crosses (and a few palm donkeys).
Usually at Vespers there are only one or two altar boys, but this time a lot of them turned out
After the service Fr Athanasius spoke of his time in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria over the last 13 years, and several people presented gifts to him.
And here are pictures of some of the parish people.
And one of the younger members of the parish is Angela Krunic
And after Vespers we had a feast in the hall. Since Palm Sunday fits in the gap between the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week, we had fish.