The annual celebration at historic Fort Ross, California will not be held on July 4th as usual. Instead, the celebration will be held on August 25th, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the fort.
His Grace, Bishop Benjamin was informed by the office of the Representative of the Patriarchate of Moscow in North America, His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian, that Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Russian Church's Department for External Affairs, will participate in the celebrations on Saturday, August 25, 2012. Joining Metropolitan Hilarion and diocesan hierarch His Grace, Bishop Benjamin, that day will be His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR and both Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Archbishop Justinian.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. inside the stockade of the fort. A cross procession around the fort will take place following the Liturgy and a blessing of the cemetery. Food will be available for purchase, however many are expected to bring along picnic lunches.
The clergy and faithful of the Pacific Central Deanery are encouraged to attend this historic event. More information will be forthcoming as the date of the celebration nears.
We have also learned Metropolitan Hilarion will be serving the Liturgy on Sunday, August 26 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco. Holy Trinity is the oldest Orthodox parish in the Lower 48 and is the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of the West.