April 9 is the remembrance day of Mikael Agricola (ca. 1510–1557), a Lutheran bishop and reformer, the founder of literary Finnish.
Mikael Agricola Choir led by Darya Shkurlyatyeva and Agricola Reconstruction Club led by Yelena Polevina based at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Cathedral of Vyborg laid a wreath at the monument to the famous proponent of the Reformation. The procession came out of the cathedral singing a Mikael Agricola hymn, “Exultet coelum laudibus.”
The church’s senior pastor Rev. Vladimir Dorodni said Mikael Agricola’s prayer and lit a remembrance candle. The prayer’s words echoed the Bible quote inscribed on the monument’s socle, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” a beatitude from Matthew 6:9.
Back in the cathedral, the group sang the Finnish-language hymn “Liekkijä on monta, valo on yksi” (“There are Many Tongues of Fire, But there is One Light”), the favorite of the church’s first post-Soviet pastor Rev. Aimo Kymäläinen.
Then came the gift-giving time. Yelena Polevina gave the senior pastor a large artistic photo of the Agricola monument. This “winter portrait” is a work of Alyona Golovach, photographer with Vyborg’s Museum & Reserve Grounds.
Agricola Choir singer Yelena Zhukova made another doll costume by the memorial date. Now the congregation doesn’t only have a choir girl doll, but also a “young Mikael” who says he wants to be press secretary for Agricola Choir and Club. He might start a blog soon. Stay tuned!
Photo credits: Yelena Polevina. Thank you Yelena also for the wreath!