CHURCH REOPENING

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Russo-Greek Ceremonies Yesterday.

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AN IMPRESSIVE SERVICE

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A Short Description of the Rebuilt Edifice. – Oriental Features.

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The Russian Church in this city, which was badly damaged by fire some time ago, has been rebuilt and repaired. New altars have been built, and also a now screen between the chancel and the body of the church. The walls and woodwork have been repainted, the calling frescoed, new glass has been put in the windows and the floor recarpeted. The ground tone throughout is a bright blue. The walls are paneled in Gothic designs in yellow picked out with red lines, while the frieze and ceiling are dotted with small yellow stars.

Yesterday three special services were held, having particular reference to the occasion of the opening of the church for worship. At 6:30 A.M. a consecration service was held at which few besides the clergy were present, when the practically new edifice was solemnly dedicated to the divine service. At 9:30 A.M. a solemn high mass was celebrated, followed by a Te Deum or thanksgiving service, for which special preparations had been made. Bishop Vladimir officiated, with Rev. Chudnowski as priest, Rev. Sebastian as deacon, and a large number of the choristers, acolyte and attendants. The liturgy used was that of St. John Chrysostom, which is especially rich and full in every particular. The music of the mass was all of very ancient origin, and but little altered, while the music of the Te Deum service was also of ancient origin but more adapted to modern taste and use. All the ecclesiastics were in their full vestments. Bishop Vladimir’s robes were of heavy white silk, damasked with silver, and heavily trimmed with broad gold braid and fringe. The robes of the priest were blue silk embroidered with white and silver, while those of the deacon were deep crimson embroidered with gold. The acolytes wore yellow silk robes embroidered with gold and white crosses. The choir was in blue, white and yellow. The effect was exceedingly rich and brilliant in color and harmonized in spirit with the solemn and severely classical music. The service was in the old Slavonic language, which is rich in long round vowels, and was intoned in every part.

At the close of the service Bishop Vladimir made a short address, urging thankfulness on the part of the congregation for the restoration of their church and the opportunity of worship according to their consciences and faith. He also thanked those who had aided in the restoration of the church.

The attendance was large, and during the whole service, which occupied over two hours, all stood, in conformity with the ancient custom of the church.

The church has about 700 members in California, of whom nearly one half are in this city.

The San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, October 14, 1889