This year ST. JOHN's FEASTDAY will be celebrated on Saturday, July 1 – mark your calendars!

Service Schedule

Services are conducted DAILY at the Cathedral:
Liturgy at 8:00 am, Vespers & Matins at 6:00 pm.

Current Schedule:

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Православие и Мир
Holy Virgin Cathedral - Joy of all Who Sorrow - San Francisco, CA - Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

This Sunday we will be celebrating the second major holiday of this month. Less then two weeks ago we celebrated the Nativity of our Savior or the birth of our Lord. Upon celebrating His birth, we then lose sight of the God-Child as the Gospel writers totally overlook all details about His life except for one episode when the twelve year-old Jesus is forgotten by His parents and left alone in Jerusalem. The details on His life begin again when He turns thirty and by Moses' Law is of age to begin teaching. Due to the fact that by this time in history, the general spiritual level of humanity had degraded to such a low level that it would have been impossible for people to understand and accept the profound teachings of the Savior, a forerunner was needed to prepare them. Such a forerunner, St. John the Baptist, is sent by God for this mission. He is the greatest of all the prophets and the only prophet to see the Savior with his own eyes. St. John spends three months teaching and baptizing, leading to the moment when the Savior is to appear.

Before beginning His work, Jesus reveals to the world the essence of His Mission. It is founded on the greatest of spiritual virtues, humility. Despite being sinless, Jesus goes to where John is baptizing and asks for baptism. John is confused. His baptism is a baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and although he does not yet know who is standing before him, in his pure heart he senses Jesus' great spiritual superiority. He understands that this stranger is the one who should baptizing him instead of receiving baptism. But Jesus insists, and St. John submits. At the moment the baptism is completed and Jesus is getting out of the water, an incredible thing happens. The Heavens open up, a Dove descends over the head of Jesus, and a deep voice is heard from above witnessing to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. For the first time in history, God openly reveals His true nature. He is the one God in three Persons, God the Father (the voice), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (the dove). St John only then realizes who Jesus is.

This is the momentous event that we will be witnessing on Sunday. And as a special blessing, there will be a major blessing of Holy Water which we are able to take home with us to drink from when we need or want to. This holiday also marks the time of the year when we are called to ask a priest to visit our home and bless it with the Holy Water of Theophany. Therefore, I encourage you to bring a clean empty bottle with you when you come to Church on Sunday to fill it with the  Holy Water. After this, do contact a priest to schedule a house blessing. Since our sins pollute our home environment, we are able to purify our homes with this blessing.

In conclusion, I greet all of you and pray  that you enjoy a most spiritually-satisfying celebration on this holy day. 

With Love in Christ,
Archpriest Serge Kotar

Feastday Schedule - Праздничное Расписание

Крещение Господне

18 января - Навечерие Крещения. 

Литургия в 9 ч. ут., после которой вечерня и великое освящение воды.

Всенощная в 6 ч. веч.

19 января - Крещение Господне.

ОДНА Лит. в 9 ч. утра. Крестный ход на Иордань и великое освящение воды.

19 января будет доступна парковка в школе Presidio за $ 5  - с 8 ч. утра до 3 ч. дня


January 18 - Eve of Theophany.

Liturgy at 9:00 am followed by Vespers and Great Blessing of Water.

Vigil at 6:00 pm.

January 19 - Theophany. 

ONE Liturgy & Great Blessing of Water at 9:00 am.

January 19 - Parking will be available at Presidio Middle School for $5.00 from 8am to 3pm.

Рождественское послание - Nativity Epistle

Рождественское послание Его Высокопреосвященства Архиепископа Сан-Францисского и Западно-Американского Кирилла, 25 декабря / 7 января 2014 г.

The Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, 25 December / 7 January 2014.
Feastday Schedule - Праздничное Расписание

Рождество Христово

Понедельник 6 января - Навечерие Рождества Христова (Сочельник)
8:00 утра – Царские часы
9:30 утра – Встреча Архиерея, Божественная Литургия
(в конце литургии зажигается свеча посередине храма, которая символизирует Вифлеемскую звезду и всенародно поется Тропарь и Кондак Празднику в первый раз)
5:00 вечераОдно Всенощное Бдение, при пении двух хоров, которое начинается с Великим повечерием и пением «С нами Бог».
(Ранней Всенощной НЕ БУДЕТ)

Вторник  7 января - Рождество Христово
7:30 утра – Ранняя литургия
9:30 утра – Архиерейская встреча со славою и Божественная Литургия
После Архиерейской литургии все приглашаются на прием в Большой зал, во время которого Хор поздравит Владыку и исполнит Рождественские Колядки.

Среда 8 января - Второй день праздника Рождества Христова
Собор Пресвятой Богородицы.
9:00 утра – Встреча Владыки и Архиерейская Божественная Литургия
(Стоянка для машин в школе на 29 Авеню и Гири, стоимость $5.00)

Our Lord's Nativity

Monday, January 6 - Eve of Nativity
8:00 am – Royal Hours
9:30 am – Greeting of the Bishop. Divine Liturgy.
(At the end of the service a candle, symbolizing the Bethlehem Star is lit and the entire congregation will the Troparion and Kontakion for the first time)
5:00 pmONE VIGIL SERVICE with the singing of both choirs, which will begin with Great Compline and the singing of “God is with us.”
(There will be NO Early Vigil)

Tuesday, January 7 - Our Lord’s Nativity
7:30 am – Early Divine Liturgy
9:30 am – Greeting of the Bishop followed by the Pontifical Divine Liturgy
After the Pontifical Liturgy everyone is invited to the reception the large hall during which His Eminence will be greeted and the choir will sing Christmas Carols.

Wednesday, January 8 - Second day of Christmas
The Synaxis of the Mother of God.
9:00 am  – Greeting of the Bishop, followed by the Pontifical Divine Liturgy

PARKING: the Presidio school parking lot has been reserved for Monday, January 6 from 4:45 pm (school day)
Parking fee is $5 
Parking lot will be monitored by Black Bear Security

 Download the schedule in both languages here.

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Giving an oath to God can be a very powerful spiritual act  that can bring us great benefit. However, making such an oath places on us a very grave responsibility. We must be sure that we will be able to complete what we are promising. Also, we must be sure that our promise is a holy and moral one. An example of an oath that resulted in evil was the oath given by King Herod which led to St. John the Baptist being executed. But on this coming Wednesday, we will be witnessing a fulfillment of a most holy oath which was made by the parents of the Mother of God.

The parents of the Mother of God suffered through most of their married life because they were not given a child by God. This was not only a great grief for them but also a tremendous stigma since not having children at that time was believed to be a severe punishment by God. But despite their grief, being very holy people, they never lost hope that God would sooner or later answer their prayers. They continued to believe and pray even when they became quite old and Anna, the mother, was too old to be able to naturally conceive. Then, to strengthen their plea to God, they promised that if a child was given to them, they would keep this child for only three years. When the child reached the age of three, they promised to consecrate the child to God and send it to live and grow in in the Temple. What an incredible self-sacrificial oath! After anxiously waiting for a child all their life, they were willing to enjoy it only for three years.

God heard their plea and performed a great miracle. A barren, elderly woman conceived and gave birth to a baby girl, who in time would become the Mother to the Savior. And when this child reached the age of three, the parents remembered their oath. They gathered their relatives and little friends of their daughter to accompany them to the Temple. With the singing of hymns and the little girls carrying large candles they approached the steps to the Temple where they were met at the top of the stairs by the High Priest. Anna placed her infant daughter on the first step. To the amazement of all, the little child began climbing the very large steps by herself without any help. Upon reaching the High Priest, she received his blessing. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he then did something completely unusual. He took her into the Holy of Holies. This was the third part of the Temple into which entry was strictly forbidden. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter it and only once a year for special prayers. God, through this entry, was showing the world who this wonderful child would become.Through her, Heaven, represented in the Temple by the Holy of Holies,  would be opened to people by her becoming the Mother of the Savior.

May I joyfully invite all of you to participate in this event with me on Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM for the vigil and on Wednesday at one of the liturgies, at 7:30 or 9:30 AM. We will be able to walk through the streets of old Jerusalem together  with these holy people, watch how the holy child climbs the steps into the Temple to begin her preparation to become the mother to the Savior, share together with her saintly parents this most holy moment which changed history and opened up to all people the promise of Salvation. I sincerely hope that you will be able to accept my invitation so that together we can celebrate this holiday.

With Love in Christ,
Archpriest Serge Kotar

Annual Panihida at Mare Island Cemetery, Vallejo CA

16 November, 2013, 11 am Mare Island Cemetery Vallejo, California

With the Blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop KYRILL
and in cooperation with the
Consulate of the Russian Federation an Annual Panihida for the reposed Russian Imperial Navy Sailors interred at MARE ISLAND CEMETERY  Vallejo, California and commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the visit of the Russian Imperial Naval Squadron to San Francisco will be served by His Grace, Bishop THEODOSY.

Cathedral Feast Day - Nov. 6, 2013
Exterior Cross Refinishing
Due to the foggy and salty air our Cathedral's front cross needed refinishing. The process is now complete and should last at least a decade. Glory to God!

Cathedral Feast Day Wednesday, Nov. 6
Visit of the Hawaii Myrrhstreaming Icon

The Hawaii Myrrstreaming Icon will visit our Cathedral on Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6. The Icon will be present for the Vigil on Saturday and both Liturgies on Sunday morning.


Elevation of the Holy Cross
September 23, 2013

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

For the world, the image of the cross is a very strange and confusing symbol. But for an Orthodox Christian, the cross is something precious. The world teaches us to love ourselves. We are told to make ourselves #1 in our life, to do first of all that which pleases us or what we think that we need. The message of the cross, however, is very different. It is a symbol of divine love and a rejection of worldly teachings. The cross gives us the power over sin and victory over death. It teaches us to emulate our Savior by living a life of self sacrifice, the type of life that opens to us the doors to eternal blessedness. Therefore, because the cross is something completely foreign to the values of this world, it is not surprising that the world could not tolerate the presence of Christ's cross and needed to both defame and hide it from view. It was dumped into a garbage heap over which was built a pagan Temple. In this way it remained lost for several centuries.

When persecution of early Christians by the pagan world was finally ended by the Roman emperor, St. Constantine, his holy mother, St. Elena, desired to find this most precious relic. Her son supported her both morally and materially and sent her to the Holy Land on this holy mission. Her search at first was fruitless. Then, through God's Providence, she was informed of a person who knew the secret place where the cross could be found. The pagan temple was identified and torn down, and the Christians began to dig under the watchful eye of the empress and the patriarch of the Holy City, Jerusalem.

The excavation led to the discovery of not one cross but three crosses. Now the problem was to determine which one of the three crosses was Christ's cross. The problem was solved by a miracle. A deceased person was being taken for burial near the place of excavation. His body was taken and placed on each cross. He was resurrected when his body was placed on Jesus's cross. Patriarch Makarii then blessed the multitude of Christians who had gathered to witness the search by raising the cross and blessing the people with it in all four directions. At each raising, the people fell to their knees singing the hymn, "Lord have mercy". In this manner, the possession of the Cross of Christ was restored to the Christian Church.

This Friday, September 27, the Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of the glorious finding and Exaltation of the Cross. This day is both a festive and a lenten day. It is festive because of the joy of having the cross as our defense against the forces of evil. It is a lenten day because the cross reminds us of the great sacrifice of our Savior who voluntarily died on the cross in order to save us. Thus, we honor His sacrifice by keeping the fast on that day. The vigil service on Thursday evening which begins at 6:00 PM is exceptional as we see during it a reenactment of the raising of the cross to the singing of "Lord have Mercy" which will be done in the middle of the church by our archbishop. The liturgies on Friday morning are at their normal times of 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning. I pray that all of you will be able and will want to celebrate this holy day with me in the church services.

With Love in Christ,
Archpriest Serge Kotar
13th Anniversary of Archbishop Anthony's Repose

В понедельник 23 сентября исполнится 13 лет со дня кончины приснопамятного архиепископа Антония (Медведева). Панихида по нем будет отслужена в 7 часов вечера.

The 13th anniversary of Archbishop Anthony’s (Medvedev) repose falls on Monday, September 23. A panikhida will be served at 7:00 pm.

Photo: Bishop Anthony of Melbourne, Australia. Early 1960s.

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