EASTER CELEBRATED BY DEVOUT RUSSIANS

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Solemn Ceremonies and Feasting Mark the Occasion – Bishop Tikhon a Generous Host.

The congregation of the Russian-Greek church celebrated Easter yesterday with prayer and feasting. The forty days Lent religiously observed by the members of the church was broken a half hour before midnight Saturday. The Church of St. Basil, which is located on the corner of Powell street and Montgomery avenue, was crowded with devout Russians. The services were impressive. Bishop Tikhon and his subordinates were arrayed in their robes of office and the brilliance of the costumes were heightened by the hundreds of candies which lit up the interior of the church. Flowers in profusion covered the altar. All the pillars were gaily bedecked with smilax and roses. Palms and set pieces added to the general effect.

The services opened promptly at 11:30 o’clock. The Bishop and the priests entered uttering their chants and were followed by members of the congregation bearing lighted candles. Pistols and guns were discharged and bells were runs to proclaim the tidings that "Christ had risen." Simultaneously members of the church greeted each other with "Christus vos kresse," and then embraced and caressed one another three times. The unique custom was carried out to the letter and the pretty girls, who were present in great numbers, were not loth in offering their faces for the kiss that was part of the ceremony.

Standing room was not to be had in the church during the services. The air was thick with incense which curled up from carved censors on either side of the altar. Bishop Tikhon led the service, which was in the nature of a midnight mass. Father Pashkovsky acted as head priest and Father Popoff as archdeacon. The subdeacons were George Dabovich and George Metropolsky. An augmented choir under the leadership of Paul Greefsky rendered the sacred music. The choir was composed of Mrs. Popoff, soprano; Miss Sasha Metropolsky and Miss May Dabovich, altos; Alex Krassof, first tenor; George Tsikoores, second tenor; and Paul Ligda, basso.

At the close of the services at 3 o’clock Sunday morning the congregation sat down to a bountiful feast tendered by the Bishop.

The San Francisco Call, Monday, April 23, 1900