St Michael's in Chicago Has Jubilee Icon

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Anticipation built up at South Side Chicago's St Mi-chael's  Parish over a period of weeks. As long ago as St Nicholas Day, 2010, when the icon of the Wonderworker of Myra was highlighted with a garland of pine and holly in keeping with the Deanery's commitment to emphasize the Jubilee Year in each parish, parishiolners began to recite the Jubilee Year Prayer.
Two week prior to the August 7th date of the actual visit of the Jubilee Icon, an analogion was placed before the icon of St Nicholas on the iconostas. It was empty—but it was the place of honor where the visiting icon would rest.

As well, note cards with a quote from Psalm 33 “The Earth is full of the good things of the Lord” (v 5) were distributed, and each person was asked to write a personal petition or prayer to be placed it in a special box to be planted on the church property. Portions of the Akathist were taken by the parishioners then and the following Sunday.

When the Icon of the Protection of the Mother of God was in place, it was flanked by marigolds and Babylon Blue flowers to be planted in a flower bed lining the sidewalk alongside the church building, as a pemanent reminder of the event. Gold candles were lighted and stood sentinel.  After the Divine Liturgy, a Moleben to the Mother of God was celebrated by St Michael's Church; the prayer cards of parishioners and visitors were gathered; the box was ready to be sealed in preparation for the ceremony the following week.

Everyone present was then invited to the parish hall to partake in a special meal.

On August 14, the parishioners filed to the site of a newly-established mini garden, where the box of prayers of the faithful and a replica of the icon and flowers was placed and nourished with a stream of Jordan Water in a ceremony committing the prayers to the task of feeding the flowers.

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