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On Saturday 31st March / 13th April 2019, the eve of the Sunday of St Mary of Egypt, the general service of Holy Unction was served in the London Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God.

The service was led by His Grace Bishop Alexander of Vevey, Vicar of the Diocese, together with clergymen from the Cathedral parish and throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Throngs of faithful came to confess their sins and receive the blessed sacrament of healing of soul and body, which was served in the presence of the wonderworking Kursk-root Icon of the Theotokos — the chief icon of Russian Orthodoxy in the Diaspora — which is midway through its visit to the Diocese.

The service of Holy Unction is served in a general manner (i.e. for all the faithful, as opposed to its normal form, served at the sick-bed of an individual) once per year in the Orthodox Church, during the season of Great Lent. This was the service for the British Isles for this year; the service is also being celebrated in other regions in Europe.

 

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For those who cannot be in a church this evening, we provide the texts of the prayers and hymns (including the full Akathist Hymn) for this sacred day, to read at home.