The Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Cathedral
of SS Peter and Paul in Stratfield
The Greeting of the Harbin Icon of the Mother of God Joy
of All Who Sorrow and the First Hierarch
Early Friday morning, 17 October, the Harbin Icon of the Mother
of God Joy of All Who Sorrow and the First Hierarch
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus, came to the Australian Diocese. The First
Hierarch was accompanied by Protodeacon Joseph Jaroschuk and
Reader Nicholas Olhovsky. The Miracle-working Icon and the First
Hierarch were met at Sydney Airport by Archbishop Hilarion of
Australia and New Zealand and the clergy of the region.
Service of Thanksgiving in Croydon
The Harbin Icon and the First Hierarch arrived at the stavropighial
church in Croydon by 9 am and immediately performed a service
of thanksgiving before the Icon of the Mother of God. The moleben
was served by Protopriest Nikita Chemodakov along with Protopriest
Ilya Dragosavlievich (Serbian Orthodox Church), Protopriest
Michael Boikov, Priest Vladimir Tsukanov and Protodeacon Nicholas
Triantafillidis. Metropolitan Laurus and Archbishop Hilarion
sang on the kliros. At the end of the service, His Eminence
Archbishop Hilarion welcomed Vladyka Metropolitan to the Diocese
of Australia and New Zealand. Protodeacon Nicholas intoned Many
The First Hierarch at the Cathedral
On Saturday morning, Archbishop Hilarion showed His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus and his escorts the Cathedral of SS Peter
and Paul in Stratfield, and the Diocesan Russian School of St.
Alexander Nevsky. The Cathedral was being prepared for that
evenings solemn service. After venerating the icons of
the Cathedral, Vladyka Hilarion escorted his guests to the Russian
School, where classes were in session. All the children approached
Vladyka Metropolitan for his blessing and some even recited
poems for him.
The Sydney Parish Welcomes the Harbin Icon and the First
On Saturday, 18 October, the Ruling Bishop, Archbishop Hilarion,
arrived at the Cathedral. There were already a great many parishioners
and worshipers from various nearby parishes of Sydney and other
cities of Australia. Vladyka Hilarion was vested in the mantle
and omophorion and entered the church with the other clergy.
The students of St. Alexander Nevsky School stood on either
side of the narthex with baskets of flowers. Despite the threatening
rain, the children patiently awaited the arrival of the Icon
and Metropolitan Laurus. The car with the Icon drove up, and
the Cathedral clergymen Protopriests John Stukach and George
Lapardin brought it to Archbishop Hilarion, who carried the
Icon into the Cathedral. The Cathedral choir, under the direction
of Nikolai Feodorovich Kulikov then commenced singing the troparion
to the Icon. Archbishop Hilarion entered the altar with the
Icon, then emerged to the ambo and blessed the worshipers with
The clergy again came together at the entrance to greet the
Metropolitan. The First Hierarchs car arrived. Subdeacons
assisted the Metropolitan out of the car and escorted him to
the Cathedral. Children again threw flowers. The Metropolitan
entered the Cathedral and Protopriest John Stukach of the Cathedral
welcomed him. After Vladyka Metropolitan venerated the Cathedrals
icons, Protodeacon Boris Evstignev intoned Eis polla eti
despota, and the First Hierarch blessed the flock.
Pannikhida for All Clergymen, Founders and Parishioners of
the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul
Before all-night vigil, a commemorative service was held for
all reposed clergymen, founders and parishioners of the Cathedral.
Vladyka Metropolitan performed the service along with Archbishop
Hilarion and the Diocesan clergy: Protopriests John Stukach,
Michael Protopopov, Nikita Chemodakov, Michael Li, Gabriel Makarov,
Michael Boikov, George Lapardin, Priests Nicolai Bilich (Serbian
Orthodox Church), Vladimir Dedukhin, Vladimir Tsukanov, Daniel
Metlenko and James Carles along with Protodeacons Joseph Jaroschuk,
Boris Evstigneev, Basil Yakimov, German Polorotov, Nicholas
Triantafillidis and Deacons Alexander Kotliaroff, Alexander
Borodin, Vadim Gan, Gabriel Lapardin and Alexander Korzhenevsky.
Protodeacon Basily Hadarin and Deacon Bots. The Cathedral choir
sang antiphonally with the clergy. At the end of the pannikhida,
not everyone was able to emerge to visit the grave of Archbishop
Feodor of blessed memory due to the rain. Eternal Memory
was sung thrice at the end of the service, by the Cathedral
choir, the clergy, and the worshipers together.
Immediately after the pannikhida, vigil began. A male choir
under the direction of Protopriest Michael Boikov sang as well.
Veneration of the Icon continued until the great doxology.
After the service, the clergy and their families were treated
to a cup of tea.
Sunday was a brilliant, sunny day. There were significantly
more worshipers than on the previous evening. Because of the
abundance of clergymen and altar boys, the altar was filled
to capacity. Kulikovs choir sang magnificently. Holy Communion
was offered from two chalices. At the end of liturgy, Bishop
Chrysostom (Greek Old Calendar Church) arrived. Metropolitan
Laurus sermon was translated into English by Protopriest
After liturgy, a procession of the cross with a service of supplication
to the Mother of God, Apostles Peter and Paul and St. Seraphim
of Sarov was held. After the end of liturgy, Protodeacon Joseph
Jaroschuk read the Synodal Decree (gramata) to the Cathedral
of SS Peter and Paul, and Protodeacon Boris Evstigneev read
special anniversary gramatas to several individuals with many
years of service to the Cathedral.
The Anniversary Trapeza Feast
The trapeza feast was held not far from the Cathedral, at the
Russian Club. Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis welcomed
the First Hierarch on behalf of the Anniversary Committee, presenting
him with a gift from the Cathedral Parisha panagia and
a cross. The Parish gave their Rector, Archbishop Hilarion,
a panagia, to Protopriest George Lapardin a pectoral cross,
and to Protodeacon Boris Evstigneev, a green embroidered velvet
orarion. Vladyka Hilarion blessed Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis
with an icon of the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon for
his labors in organizing the celebration. Protodeacon Nicholas
was the editor of the splendid commemorative album published
on the anniversary of the Cathedral. This hard-cover book with
numerous photoraphs, both in color and black and white, was
published in a limited edition and can be ordered from the Australian
Diocese website: http://www.rocor.org.au
Vladyka Metropolitan gave a speech during the feast. Also giving
speeches were Leonid Petrovich Moiseev, the Consul of the Russian
Federation, and other esteemed guests, including members of
the Australian Parliament and representatives of various government
Eugenia Nikolaevna Shirinskaya gave a brief overview of the
history of the Cathedral, following which the Cathedral choir,
under N.F. Kulikov, gave a performance. The daughter of the
Rector of the Church of SS Peter and Paul in Perth, Maria Sergeevna
Okuneva, gave a solo performance.
At the conclusion of the celebration, Archbishop Hilarion thanked
everyone for their labors, and everyone prayed.
Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus departed that day for Brisbaine.
A Participant in the Celebrations