On Wednesday 13 August and Thursday 14 August we had services for the Procession of the Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord and the Holy Maccabean Martyrs. Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Wednesday evening and on Thursday morning Divine Liturgy was served, followed by the customary blessing of water. In accordance with Russian Orthodox tradition there was a blessing of honey, a gift of 60 jars of organic honey from the Wollombi Valley having been given to the parish. The opportunity was also taken to bless candles for church use and – some of the faithful having brought them to church in anticipation of the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord – baskets of grapes and other fruit. In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the way of the Cross and of the example of fasting given by the Maccabean Martyrs, who endured suffering and death rather than breaking the Old Testament dietary laws.