Ss. Peter and Paul Altar & Church Building Consecrated

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

Rt. Reverend Archpriest Alexander Androsov, Rector

306 Beech Street
Manchester, New Hampshire 03103

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

    On August 26, 2001 a new altar table was consecrated at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church by his Grace Mercurius, Bishop of Zaraisk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States. Assisting His Grace were Priest Alexander Kobashar, Archpriest Alexander Androsov, and several deacons from the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City.

    Although the church was built in 1915, a permanent altar table constructed in accordance with the canons of the Russian Orthodox Church had never been installed. For this reason, the church had not been formally consecrated and only the rite of the Lesser Blessing had ever taken place. This being the case, His Grace Bishop Mercurius officiated over the offices for consecration of a new altar and the consecration of a new church.

    An integral part of the consecration office involves the placing of holy relics within a prepared reliquary in the altar table. Prior to the placing of the relics, His Grace Bishop Mercurius, carrying the relics, led a festive procession of the parishioners around the exterior of the church. The placing of relics in the altar is a testament to the fact that the church as a whole is built on the blood of the martyrs. The relics were presented to His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, by His Beatitude Diodoros, Patriarch of The Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, at the time of Patriarch Alexis' visit to the Holy Land. Patriarch Alexis then presented these relics to Bishop Mercurius for placement in the new altar table at the Saints Peter and Paul parish. The relics consist of fragments of the bones of children martyred by King Herod at the time of Jesus Christ's birth in Bethlehem.

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