Saint Basil's Orthodox Church in Watervliet (Maplewood) NY celebrated its patronal feast-day in commemoration of Saint Basil the Great on Thursday, 1 January 2015. Starting with the Vigil on Wednesday evening and continuing on Thursday morning with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Bishop Michael and the faithful of the parish celebrated the feast. His Grace awarded Father Peter Olsen (parish rector) the Jeweled Cross, a gift from the faithful for Father Peter’s 30+ years of dedicated service to the church. The "Saint Basil’s Bread" (Vasilopita) was blessed by Bishop Michael, according to tradition, and distributed to parishioners at the conclusion of the service.
Matushka Rebekah Markewich received the piece of Saint Basil's Bread containing a coin of Saint Basil and, according to poplular tradition, received a special blessing for the coming year.
Responses to the services were sung by the Saint Basil’s parish choir under the direction of choirmaster, Reader Michael Mellin. Following the services each day, a luncheon was served at the Saint Basil’s Church Center.
Assisting Bishop Michael in the services were: Father Peter Olsen, Father Matthew Markewich (Christ the Savior Church, Ballston Lake NY), Deacon Mark Bohush (Saints Peter & Paul Church, Syracuse NY) and Sub-deacons Andrew Bohush (student, Saint Tikhon's Seminary), Marcus Hauf and Eugene Fitzpatrick (Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, ROCOR, Albany NY).