Diocese: Diocese of the West
Deanery: Pacific Central Deanery
833 Water St
West Sacramento, California 95605
Holy Myrrhbearing Women Church is located in the Bryte area of West Sacramento, California. The Church itself is located approximately 3 miles from downtown Sacramento.
From Interstate 80
Take the Reed Ave exit and turn right. Travelling a half-mile west on Reed Ave turn left on Solano St. Once on Solano St make a left turn at the first intersection which is Hobson Ave. Travel one block down Hobson Ave to Water St. Holy Myrrhbearing Women Church is located on the corner of Hobson Ave and Water St.
Schedule of Services
All services are generally served in Slavonic. Dates of Feasts are according to the Julian Calendar.
6:00 PM Vespers or All-Night Vigil.
10:00 AM Hours, Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour.
6:00 PM All-Night Vigil.
Eves of Great Feasts
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts
10:00 AM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday Mornings in Great Lent
Please contact the rectory at 916-371-1041 for a more accurate schedule of services or to arrange Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals, etc.
Circa 1910 Russian and other Slavic immigrants began moving to an area three miles west of Sacramento along the Sacramento River to an area known as Riverbank. (In 1915 the area would be re-named Bryte and then in 1987 would be incorporated and known as West Sacramento.) These early immigrants were lured to the area by work for the railroad, food processing plants, and agriculture. Wanting more than material fulfillment these early immigrants began to look for spiritual fulfillment. They found that Sacramento had a Greek Orthodox Church and began to attend the services. However, they missed their Slavic traditions and customs.
In the early twenties waves of Russian immigrants began to arrive at San Francisco and the Sacramento area, especially Bryte. These immigrants, also lured by work and the fact that there was already an established Russian settlement, came from China and Canada. Soon after the arrival of the first of these waves inspiration came of forming a parish and building an Church. In 1925 a blessing was received from Archbishop Alexei for the building of a church and forming a parish. Money was quickly collected to buy land on the corner of Hobson Ave and Water St. Solicitations were made to various Sacramento businesses for funds and building materials.
While the Church was being built a blessing was received from Archbishop Alexei to hold services at the home of the prominent parishioner Afanasy L Cote. One of the first resolutions made by the parish was that parishioner labor only was to be used. Many parishioners who worked on the railroad took advantage of their position and with the permission of their supervisors began using railroad equipment and materials to build the Church. Women played a major role in the building of the Church—they were not only involved with fundraising, but also the actual construction of the Church. These “Lady Builders” inspired Fr Vladimir Sakovitch to suggest the name Holy Myrrhbearing Women for the Church. Fr Vladimir served from 1925-1927.
The first permanent Rector was Archimandrite John (Zlobin) who served from 1927-1933. It was under his supervision that the building of the Church was completed. From 1933-1943 Archimandrite Policarp (Filatoff) served as Rector. Under his supervision in 1940 an adjacent lot was purchased. A rectory was also bought in the 1930s with money donated by Fr Policarp. On December 15, 1943, Archimandrite Policarp fell asleep in the Lord. Archimandrite Varnava (Karateev) became the Rector from 1943-1952 and under his supervision a parish hall was built in 1948 and finished in 1949. The parish hall was built on land bought under the direction of Fr Policarp.
Shortly after the end of World War II a new immigration of Russians came to the Sacrament area from war ravaged China and Europe. This immigration increased the size of the Parish greatly.
From 1952 the following Priests served as Rectors: Fr John Karateev [1952-1954], the brother of Archimandrite Varnava, and Fr John Froloff [1954-1963], who landscaped the Church grounds. Due to the retirement of Fr John Froloff, no permanent Rector was assigned here, and priests would commute from San Francisco and other neighboring towns to serve. Fr Froloff came out of retirement [1970-1971] and during this time a new modern Rectory was built. Other Priests were Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin) [1971-1973], under whom an adjacent piece of land was built and a parking lot built; Fr David Black [1973-1975]; Fr James Worth[1975-1976]; Fr Daniel Cherry [1976-1977]; Fr Nicholas Czaruk [1977-1978]; Fr Theodore Krapcevic [1978-1983], who oversaw the purchase of adjacent apartments as housing for the elderly during this time; Archimandrite Dimitri (Egoroff) [1983-1986]; Fr Aatoly Fiedoruk [1986 until his falling asleep in the Lord in 1990]; Fr Basil Kalinowski [1991-1994], Fr Gregory Szyrynski [1994-2008]; and Fr Georgiy Gulin, the current Acting Rector since 2008.
Starting in the early 1990s, a new immigration of Russians began to arrive in the Sacrament Metropolitan area from the former Soviet Union. Even though the majority of these immigrants are zealous Protestants, some are Orthodox. Like Russian immigrants before them they also felt a need for spiritual fulfillment and found their way to Holy Myrrhbearing Church.
In 1995 the Parish of Holy Myrrhbearing Women celebrated 70 years. Hopefully with God’s blessings we will continue to serve for many, many more years.