Old Christmas in South Africa
A historic picture -- three English-speaking South African deacons at the Nativity Liturgy in a Serbian Orthodox Church. Hierodeacon Seraphim (van Niekerk), Deacon Stephen (Hayes) and Deacon Irenaeus (MacDonald). Most of the service was in Serbian or Slavonic, but all the Litanies were in English. It was the first time I have served with two other deacons, and it went quite well.
But it also brings dangers. When I was ordained as a deacon it took me exactly half a day to get tired of everyone asking me when I was going to be ordained as a priest, so I said, publicly, that I would not even begin to consider such a thing until there were at least three deacons in every parish in the Archdiocese, and the Archbishop said, also in front of witnesses, "You can stay a deacon as long as you want." But suddenly things don't seem to seem so secure any more!
And though 21 December was the longest day, 7 January was certainly the hottest day.