Feast Day at Protection Church


The feast day of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack was marked with great spiritual joy. Divine liturgy, and on the eve, all-night vigil, was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus along with Mitred Protopriest George Larin, the Parish Rector, and by Protopriest Gregory Kotliarov, the Assistant Rector of the Parish, Fr Elias Gorsky and Priest Serafim Gan, along with Protodeaon Joseph Jarostchuk, Deacon Alexander Kotliarov of Australia and the Parish Deacon Dimitri Temidis. During the minor entrance, His Eminence Vladyka awarded the palitsa to Assistant Rector Protopriest Elias Gorsky, who has served at Protection Church for over 10 years as a priest, having served there as a deacon before that. Priest Alexander Botschagow and Priest George Zelenin arrived in time for the moleben, having conducted services at their parishes first. At the end of the service, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus greeted the clergy and parishioners on their feast day, wishing all the intercession of the Most-Blessed Virgin in their carrying of their crosses.

Then, Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk read the text of a gramata [decree of blessing] from the President of the Synod of Bishops, granted to Mitred Protopriest George Larin on the forthcoming 35th anniversary of his priesthood and his recent 70th birthday. The gramata said: "With God's help, for these 35 years you have followed the path of service to God and His Holy Church in the priesthood, and this path is bound alongside Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY. Here, expanding upon the talent granted to you by God, you spread love and respect throughout the clergy and flock who know you as a wise pastor, having untiring care for people. Your many years of service have helped the Russian parish school at Protection Church perform its salivific education for many years, educating the growing generations in love for God, the Church and our suffering Fatherland. As the Secretary of our Diocesan Council, you organizational skills were put to use, as were your love of labor, love and devotion to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The experience gained by you over these years is well reflected on the lives of those clergymen who serve with you and on the flock you lead. Expressing to you our profound gratitude and heartfelt congratulations on the important 35th anniversary of your pastoral service, and on your 70th birthday, we call upon you God's blessing."

After this, Protopriest Elias Gorsky and Deacon Dimitri Temidis presented Fr George and Matushka Catherine Larin with an icon of the Mother of God "Helper of Sinners", a gift from the clergy and parish, after which the Cathedral in Shanghai was named. Fr George had begun his service to the Church as an altar boy there under St John of Shanghai (Maximovich, +1966). In his response, Fr George expressed thanks to His Eminence Vladyka, noting that he had a great many kind, devoted and zealous helpers in his parish, thanks to whom it was possible to serve the Church of Christ. Hereupon, His Eminence the President of the Synod of Bishops handed the gramata to the long-time Parish Warden, N.A. Lopuchin.

During the trapeza organized by the Parish Sisterhood in the large Parish Hall, the clergy gave addresses and greetings, and the parishioners congratulated Frs George and Elias on their awards.