The temperature was at least 20 degrees [C] today [about 70 degrees F], allowing us to feel the spirit of spring amidst us. The service, about four and a half hours from beginning to end, was inspiring and passed so quickly that time had no meaning whatsoever. Father Shio and his congregation joined us in worship which was done in four languages. Father Deacon Markel’s new vestments were a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Maria and Ion Tihon were present, having just arrived the other day from Moldova for a visit with their family. Their son Deacon Markel and his sister Galina are two of the triplets born to them, the third being Yuri in Montreal. They are gratified in seeing their son a deacon and son in law, Galina’s husband, a subdeacon in our monastery church. Observing the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the prayer of Saint Ephraim of Syria with its many prostrations, all of this augmented the true feeling of Great Lent, enabling us to be contrite, repentant, yet filled with a feeling of great joy in the upcoming Resurrection of Jesus Christ.