Patronal feast in the Meliayevo Skete of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery
On today’s feast day of the “Burning Bush” Icon of the Mother of God, the Meliayevo Skete of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrates the patronal feast. The right-hand side chapel of the Church of Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God was consecrated to this icon of the Queen of Heaven.
On the day of the feast and on a day prior to that, Rev. Fr. Anthony Belov of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrated the Vigil, the water blessing prayer service with paraklesis and the Divine Liturgy, whereas upon its conclusion, the clergymen, Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery with sisters and the faithful walked in a procession around the church.
The Holy Church raised its prayers to the Bride of God and Sovereign Lady before Her “Burning Bush” Icon for over five centuries. The Most Pure Virgin is shown as if aflame, yet the crimson tongues of fire do not penetrate or scorch the glow surrounding the image of the Queen of Heaven as it remains green like the branches of the Burning Bush on Mount Sinai.
The Mother of God of the Burning Bush hears our prayers not only on this day but every day. With Her intercession, the Lord gives us “protection from catching fire” or any other sorrowful circumstances. The Mother of God becomes the Quencher of the wrath of God so righteously fuelled against our sins and, as we sing the stikheron of the feast, “with the bright rays of God’s grace it enlightens the minds and fills the hearts with joy.”
The Canon to the icon of the “Burning Bush” heard yesterday during the vigil service is, according to the Holy Hieromartyr Alexander (Zverev), a study book of repentance. As we carefully examine the state of our souls, we ask the Most Holy Mother of God to eliminate and burn with fire of God’s grace the muddy web of our passions, arouse our souls with fire of the Divine love, and inspire our hearts that have grown cold. Instead of “the slander that increases the bitterness of our souls” and “any kind of evil harbored in our hearts,” we pray to make us eager to fulfill God’s will, to ignite the zeal of God’s glory in our hearts, and, with tears of repentance, soothe our souls withered from the scorching heat of our passions.