Русский | 'DECR Communication Service MP', Oct. 15, 2004
Patronal feast day in Harbin
English Translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas

On the Holy Day of the Protection of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, a [non-weekend] workday, October 14, 2004, one of the few working Orthodox temples of China, the temple in honor of the Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Theotokos in Harbin -- over 60 Chinese Orthodox came to pray. Despite the absence of a priest, Sunday and holy day services regularly bring together the Orthodox faithful of Harbin. The festive divine service was accompanied by bell ringing: the [bells] ring twice a year -- on Pascha and on the patronal feast day of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. In the Protection temple, prescribed divine services are conducted by laymen since Harbin's last Orthodox priest, Fr. Grigory Zhu fell asleep in the lord four years ago, on September 21, the holy day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Priest Grigory Zhu was the priest-in-charge of the Protection temple of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church and served within its walls since the time it was re-opened in 1984. Fr. Grigory Zhu's grave is located on the Russian Orthodox section of Harbin's city cemetery, Huángshān (哈尔滨皇山公墓).

After the holy day service a meal was held for the congregation. Visitors from Blagoveshchensk, who came to Harbin, also participated in the holy day services and the meal.