St. Saviour’s Anglican Church Riga

The Church of England Congregation of St. Saviour’s Riga is an international, ecumenical English-speaking church belonging to the Anglican Communion.

The congregation is a welcoming and serving community. It is an affordable venue for the numerous excellent musicians in Riga, as well a regular Eucharist, Bible study and other opportunities for worship. Concerts and other cultural activities take place through the year. The congregation also maintains an extensive ministry to the elderly and vulnerable through the Day Care Centre for Elderly and provides hot soup and food to homeless people each Saturday at the Soup Kitchen. St Saviour's also supports "Zvannieku majas", a shelter for disadvantaged children and others in need.

Mission: St. Saviour's creates a space and time for everyone – without discrimination on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality, belonging to all denominations and none, confident believers and those full of doubt - to practise Christianity in true friendship, charity, prayer and service to others so that we may seek inner peace, find reassurance and lead our lives ever closer to God.

[04/13/20]   Thank you to everyone who submitted your Easter thoughts, wished and stories! As promised, here are the submissions:

Now in times of isolation caused by the Corona virus, I am reminded of the reason I first found myself at St. Saviour's in 1995. It was because of the extreme isolation I felt at being in a country where I had left family and friends behind in America. I had been away from a church for many years and because of severe depression , had begun to feel the desperation one feels when they feel alone and far from God. It was in the community of St. Saviour's that I began to find my place. It gave me strength to faithfully serve where I could forget about myself and recognize that others had problems far greater than I had ever experienced. Those 15 years, feeling the love that was there in that small community of expats, continues to give me strength. Thanks be to God.

To all of you in Latvia, the beloved land of my maternal ancestors I send heartfelt greetings. Brisbane, Australia to Riga, Latvia is a long arc over the Earth’s surface that I want to liken to an arm hugging our ailing world at this time. All the peoples along that trajectory share one common humanity; united now in confronting bravely the one and same crisis. May Christ’s example of renewal and triumph give us hope and confidence at this time. Happy and blessed Easter!

My vision is to come out better of the crisis then before. For sure we can see more clear the value of what is important. By example the work of a nurse or some (millionaire) popstar. We see now a lot possibilities for a better earth like buying from local shops and local production. When we support what is important now and dream about a new future then it will come soon.

Easter was a favorite holiday when I was growing up. During the night before, my parents would organize sort of an obstacle course for my sister and me. There would be a row of jelly beans leading out of our bedrooms and then on to a place where there would be a riddle or some other kind of clue to tell us where to go next. At each place, there would be a chocolate bunny or something like that. Another thing relates to Latvian Easter eggs. Each year, I would go to a grocery store to buy one onion and then all of the onion peels that were at the bottom of the onion bin. I got a few strange looks from cashiers, but someone once told me on Facebook that they had done so, and the cashier had said to her: "Oh, so you're making Latvian Easter eggs, right?" Small world. As to Easter itself, on my television show on Thursday evening, I discussed the fact that from the day he was born until the day that he died, Jesus was a Jew. A different kind of Jew, to be sure, but nonetheless a Jew. I read part of the Passion of John that we did on Friday morning and used this to discuss the subsequent relationship between Christians, by which I primarily meant the Roman Catholic Church, and Jews. For instance, the Catholic prayer for lost souls to be brought home to the church used to include the Latin word "perfidis," which over the course of time came to mean perfidious or devious. As Jews were particularly seen as these "lost souls," this fed into a narrative of anti-Semitism. It was pope Pius XII who issued a bull to say that "perfidis" is actually to be translated as "non-believer." It was pope John XXIII, in turn, who, during the Second Vatican Council, officially declared that the church would no longer insist that the whole Jewish community was to blame for the crucifixion of Christ. I also discussed Pius XII in the context of his being pope during World War II and the fact that the Vatican has only recently declassified (and initially only for a very limited range of scholars) documents from the era of his reign, which should give a much clearer insight into how the Vatican reacted (or did not react) to the Holocaust. Above everything else, however, Easter is a reminder of the miraculous resurrection of Christ. We as 21st century individuals can doubt the veracity of this story (and, for that matter, the idea that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus), but it is unquestionable that this man Jesus Christ changed the whole world. Sometimes for the bad (the Holy Crusades, for instance), but so very much often for the good. "For God so loved the world," we read in the Gospel of John, "that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And Jesus himself told us to love one another. I have always believed that if every single person in the world followed that maxim, the world would be a much nicer place to live in. Happy Easter, everyone!

To be hummed, with the dawn, in the first dew of spring

With the small blind shoot
That seeks the sun.
With the call of geese
Returning home.
Tune in to cherries
Budding forth, unknowing
Of fragility.
With the heartstrings of the cats
Singing love.
With the fat full moon
Counting time.
Break out and grow
With humble snowdrops
Poised to sing.
with the risen king.

I wish everyone a very blessed Easter. Although this year we are all challenged, we are all fearful of what may or may not happen to our loved ones--let us remember that God is always with us.
In friendship and with every blessing,

Many of my local friends love to tell me that "Latvia never truly 'Christianized' and that it will always be a 'pagan' nation." There seems to be some element of truth to this — despite Christianity being the predominant organized religion in the country, the festival many people look forward to the most each year is midsummer, a tradition that has been long abandoned by mainstream culture in most "Christianized" places. When I was growing up in America, there was a very negative connotation associated with "paganism" — I even clearly remember my 6th grade history teacher telling the class that "pagans are people who worship and care only about themselves," and even told us that he hoped none of us would ever become pagans. The great irony is that although America might have a higher percentage of religiously observant Christians than Latvia does, I have never seen Easter celebrated as enthusiastically as I have here; for example, I can never think of a single time my parent's colleagues wished them a happy Palm Sunday outside of the context of church. I've even been wished "priecīgas Lieldienas" by my Jewish and atheist friends, many of whom celebrate the cultural and seasonal traditions like coloring eggs, cutting pussy willow branches, and swinging. Although not everyone might consciously associate "the big day" in Latvia with Christ's resurrection, are we not all in some way showing our thanks and appreciation for the hope and renewal His death and resurrection has brought for everyone, which each year is represented to us humans by the spring after the long winter? Therefore, I wish a blessed and joyous Easter to all of my friends — believers, non-believers, and the “pagans” my history teacher didn’t turn out to be right about after all.


Here is the link for our Easter "Connect and Reflect" event. If it asks for your name and you would not like to share it, you can simply write whatever you would like. Then, click "Ask to Join." We will start at 11 AM, but please come in a few minutes earlier than that 😀 Real-time meetings by Google. Using your browser, share your video, desktop, and presentations with teammates and customers.

Easter Wishes

Hello everyone, and Happy Easter! As we prepare for our virtual meeting at 11 AM, we would like you remind you that it is not too late to submit some thoughts, stories, reflections, or anything else that you would like to in regards to Easter here. It can be either signed or anonymous. We will make one big post here on the page and also on the website with all of them later. Thank you! Help celebrate Holy Week at St. Saviour's Church in Riga!

A quick look at how today's Good Friday live broadcast was made in case anyone is interested:

"Behind the scenes" of today's Good Friday live broadcast:

St. Saviour's Good Friday Passion Reading

Thank you to all who watched and participated in today's live streamed Good Friday reading of the passion story.! Here is the archived version, this time free of technical difficulties and complete with all audio.

[04/10/20]   Join the St. Saviour's community for our annual reading of the passion story, this time live through the help of modern technology.

St. Saviour’s Anglican Church Riga

A Maundy Thursday Greeting from Chaplian Elīza Zikmane:

Then Jesus said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” Matt 26:38

I’m sure that many of you, like me, are missing the Eucharist today. Maundy Thursday is one of my favourite feast days in the church year, when we remember that evening when the Holy Supper was instituted and when the new commandment of love (in Latin ‘mandatum’, thence 'Maundy Thursday’) was given. This year, however, our church, like many others across the world, will not gather faithful worshippers, but will stand dark, empty and silent.

Although Old Riga around St. Saviour's may give the impression that the whole world has gone silent, it is far from the truth. After the initial shock, frantic activity has emerged in our zones of self-isolation; not only has online traffic increased considerably, but our minds are overheated with worries, uncertainty and anxiety.

And there are people who during this crisis go out and toil away day and night under enormous pressure, and risk their own lives: nurses and care workers, delivery and maintenance people, police and security guards, shop assistants and drivers. In other circumstances, those low paid workers have often been overlooked by those who are better off. In this crisis, though, it transpires that those hard working and poorly paid people are the backbone of society, while many fancy and more prestigious jobs can be put on hold.

The crisis we are experiencing reminds us how much we depend on other people, on those who care for us. News from countries hit harder by the pandemic tells of nurses, doctors, bus drivers, who were infected at work and subsequently died. Those who are still at the frontline are harrowed and grieved by the life and death decisions they have to make about people in their care.

The story of Jesus in Gethsemane reminds me of the many unsung heroes of today, of those who are awake while we are asleep or preoccupied with ourselves; of those who despite their fears follow their vocation and carry out their duties. I pray that they feel that Christ is with them and shares their agony and pain. Their faithful service should remind us of Christ, who is often overlooked and taken for granted, but cares for our most essential and deepest needs.

Sometimes, we have to be deprived of the outward signs of Christ's presence in order to appreciate them afresh. The events of Maundy Thursday we celebrate are very simple: Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and sharing a meal with them. This is the way Jesus shows them and us his self-giving love. And this is the way of love he calls us to follow.

This week, let us stay awake in prayer with and for those who care for the sick and vulnerable, and let us show care for each other. And let us not be disheartened when we run out of steam and slumber. Christ didn’t give up on the disciples who couldn’t watch with him even one hour in Gethsemane. This is the incredible news of the Resurrection, that after their betrayal and his death on the cross he came to them and entrusted them his ministry of forgiveness and love. Only those who have received underserved grace can gladly share it with others.

Eternal God,
in the sharing of a meal,
your Son established a new covenant for all people,
and in the washing of feet he showed us the dignity of service:

Grant that by the power of the Holy Spirit
these signs of our life in faith may speak again in our hearts,
Feed our spirits, and refresh our bodies.
(A prayer from the Diocese in Europe resource ‘Praying at Home. Holy Week 2020)

The Church of England Congregation of St. Saviour’s Riga is an international, ecumenical English-speaking church belonging to the Anglican Communion.

Greetings from our Organist

Today is the Maundy Thursday. The day to remember the New commandment of Love, celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist and remember that we are one Church family here on earth and in heaven. Maundy Thursday begins the countdown to the culmination of the Holy Week, the celebration of Resurrection and life. The word Maundy has originated in C14 from Middle English maunde “the Last …

Vīruss un reliģija diskusija

Piedalās: Valdis Tēraudkalns, Aidis Tomsons, Ņikita Andrejevs
Saruna vada Anglikāņu draudzes mācītaja Elīza Zikmane

Easter Wishes

Hello everyone!

Thanks to all who have submitted your Easter thoughts, concerns, ideas, quotes, prayers, etc so far. If you haven't done so yet, please submit whatever you would like here at the following link, with either your name attached or anonymously. We will be putting all of the submitted material together as one big post at the end of the week, and we will also be sharing them during our virtual Easter meeting this Sunday. We look forward to reading your submissions! Help celebrate Holy Week at St. Saviour's Church in Riga!

Anglikāņu draudzes zupas virtuve ik sestdienu dod iespēju remdēt izsalkumu simts mūsu līdzcilvēkiem. Lai šis līdzcietības un tuvākā mīlestības apliecinājums turpinātos šī brīža izaicinājumu priekšā ir nepieciešama arī Tava palīdzība!


Here is an interesting vigil to take part in:

Easter Wishes

Hello everyone!

We invite all in the St. Saviour's community both here in Latvia and throughout the world to share some Easter thoughts, concerns, ideas, quotes, prayers, etc. You can submit whatever you would like here at the following link, with either your name attached or anonymously. We will be putting all of the submitted material together as one big post at the end of the week, and we will also be sharing them during our virtual Easter meeting this Sunday. We look forward to reading your submissions! Help celebrate Holy Week at St. Saviour's Church in Riga!

The Church of England

Join our national church service broadcast for Palm Sunday with the Bishop of Manchester. The Holy Communion service will include readings from the Archdeacon of Manchester, Karen Lund, and prayers by Lucy Hargraves from St Peter’s Church in Bolton. All three recorded contributions from their own homes in keeping with the rules on physical distancing.

Find the Order of Service at

[04/05/20]   A Palm Sunday Homily from Chaplain Elīza Zikmane:

'Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' Zech 9:9

'Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross. Phil.2: 5-8

Planes are grounded and airports are silent and empty not only in Riga, but all over the world. We too may feel that our wings are clipped — our freedom restricted, plans razed to the ground, great hopes dashed.

This time of crisis can be quite a humbling experience for those who suddenly find themselves in a situations beyond their control. These days our texts for Palm Sunday have a special poignancy when they speak about humility.

Traditionally, Christianity has regarded humility as a virtue and has upheld the view that there is dignity, not just worthiness, in humility. Isn’t this long outdated? This certainly was the view of the communist system of 20th century brandishing a quote by Maxim Gorky: "Man - how proud does it sound!”. Similar sentiments were shared by people of quite different political persuasions too.

Temptation to give in to pride and arrogance has been a constant companion of individuals, communities and nations throughout the history. There is an urge to prove oneself, to excel above others, to have power and status, there is a craving for affirmation and praise. This is very human experience, which is underlined by self-doubt, by feeling of unworthiness, by comparing oneself with others.

Propping oneself up is a worldly way of existence, which causes much hurt and pain; it leads to conflicts and destruction and undermines other people, their values, experiences and their dignity. Humility, in contrast, is a characteristic of the divine existence. God does not compete; with Him we don’t have to and can’t bargain. He is beyond violence and will not be evaded or deflected and yet seeks no advantage.

He reaches out to us in self-emptying and overflowing love. Most clearly, we see this in Jesus, God incarnate. In Jesus, we see that humility is not a lack of confidence — quite the contrary, it is rooted in a strong sense of one's identity, value and mission. Actually, the word ‘humility’, originates from the Latin ‘humilis’, which literally means "on the ground". Humility, ‘groundedness’, is closely linked with openness and freedom to engage with other people in non-patronising way. Humility is also paired with courage to tackle difficult issues and to challenge usurping, proud powers.

Pride is preoccupation with oneself, while humility recognises others and their needs. May this challenging time of crisis, which in many ways brings us back to basics, help us to be more grounded in the humility and freedom of Christ. May we find peace and joy in knowing that He stands in solidarity with us during these testing times. May His presence inspire us to reach out to those around us in love.

-Chaplain Elīza

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Videos (show all)

A quick look at how today's Good Friday live broadcast was made in case anyone is interested:
St. Saviour's Good Friday Passion Reading
Vīruss un reliģija diskusija
Ceiling appeal video
Aicinājums ziedot griestu remontam




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