Eve of Unity

Wednesday, 16 May (part 2)

The Vigil for Ascension was beautiful and inspiring. Our choir sang well in its Moscow debut, and all of us were anointed by the Patriarch himself. He must have anointed hundreds of people before finally, toward the end of the festal canon, stepping down and going into the altar. But a lower-ranking bishop continued anointing the faithful, almost to the very end of the service.

After the service, we all walked a few blocks to a restaurant, where we were generously hosted by Father George Larin's son, Ivan, for dinner. A few expatriate Russian Americans, including Pete Kizenko and Nick Mokhoff junior, joined the fun. It really felt like a reunion.

(The photo is of Pete with me and another Liza, nee Shohova).

But the really big reunion was slated for the next day and, fun as it was to eat the tasty food, drink the wine and shoot the vodka, most of us were keenly aware that it was not yet time to totally relax and let loose. We were to leave for Christ the Saviour Cathedral at 7:00 a.m., and our voices needed their beauty sleep!

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