Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral is a parish of the Diocese of the West, Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The Rector of the parish is the Very Reverend Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff, and the Sacristan - Very Reverend Abbott Gerasim (Eliel). Our ruling bishop is His Grace Bishop BENJAMIN, of San Francisco and the West (one of 13 such dioceses in the OCA). The ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, DC, His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH holds the first place in the Holy Synod of all the ruling Bishops in the OCA.
Our parish is named after an Icon of the All-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, called "Rescuer of the Perishing," and our annual Parish Feast-day is held on the Sunday closest to February 5-th. The parish was begun in 1923, while the building in which we are now worshipping was built and consecrated by Metropolitan Platon and Bishop Alexis in 1928.
Our Church building, or Temple, is, with the exception of not having a separate porch or narthex, constructed and furnished according to Orthodox monumental Tradition; accordingly, there are only a few chairs, for the infirm in body and/or spirit, but not for the young and healthy. Unusual behavior is discouraged, since this distracts the Faithful from worship and glorification of God (our purpose in being in Church to begin with!). Distracting clothing, standing with hands in pockets, conversing, excessive and flamboyant bows, as likewise careless and hurried signs of the Cross-are such distracting and unusual behavior. We dispense candles and prosphora (offering breads) for the Faithful, but our Candlestand, where these are dispensed for a nominal fee, is not a place to change large bills.
Since the 1960s, there are normally two Priests and one Deacon assigned to our Cathedral. The leading member of the Laity in our parish holds the title of Starosta, (a Russian word meaning Warden).
We have a well-stocked English language church library and a very large Russian language library (temporarily without a librarian). In addition we hold a decent video/audio archive in English and Russian for devotional and educational uses of our parishioners. Most importantly, we have one of the best stocked Orthodox bookstores on the West Coast. The bookstore and the building where it and the libraries are located is called the Kiosk. It is the small building next to the Parish Hall. Visit it after Liturgy!
Here are the names of other Church organizations at our Cathedral: 1) The Sisterhood, 2) L.O.V.E.S., and 3) the Choirs. We also have a five-hour church school on Saturdays for Russian-speaking children and a Sunday school after the early Liturgy on Sundays. New members are most welcome in all these organizations.