Details on the Namesday of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus
and the Celebrations in Los Angeles
From the Editors: We offer supplemental details on the namesday
celebrations of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and on the blessing
of the main cupola of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles,
prepared by Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, who is now in Europe
participating in the work of the Committee of the Russian Church
Abroad convening in Munich.
Namesday of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus
On August 18/31, on the feast day of Holy Martyrs Flor and Laurus,
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrates his namesday along
with his fellow laborer-in-Christ since his days in the Ladomirovo
Monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Archimandrite Flor.
With his customary humility, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus did
not wish to disrupt the normal daily schedule of monastic life on
his namesday, so the usual service was conducted. On the eve of
the holiday, at 4 pm, vespers and matins were performed, during
which His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus prayed on the left kliros.
The other honoree of the day, Archimandrite Flor, performed the
service. After dinner, compline and evening prayers were read.
The next morning, before five am, morning prayers and midnight office
began. After the veneration of the icons and the other relics of
the monastery, the entrance prayers were read, without the greeting
of the bishop, and divine liturgy began, headed by the First Hierarch
During hours, His Eminence ordained Reader Sergei Ledkovsky, son
of the long-time choir director of the Synodal Cathedral, as a subdeacon.
The visiting clergy joined His Eminence Vladyka. Among them, besides
the local clergymen, were Mitred protopriest Alexander Fedorowsky
of Novo Diveevo Convent, Mitred Protopriest George Larin of Nyack,
Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff of Los Angeles, Protopriest Theodore
Shevtzoff of Connecticut and Priest Victor Boldewskul of Cleveland.
At the conclusion of liturgy, a moleben was performed for Holy Martyrs
Flor and Laurus, at the end of which Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk
intoned Many Years to the First Hierarch and Archimandrite Flor.
Archimandrite Luke congratulated them on behalf of the brethren
and the guests.
After liturgy, everyone went to the monastery refectory for breakfast.
Afterwards, His Eminence Vladyka spoke about the history of how
the Ladimirovo monks fled upon the approach of Soviet forces into
the Carpathians in 1944. Having obtained 14 visas for monastics
into Switzerland through the intercession of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko),
most of the monks went to Bratislava, headed by Archimandrite Seraphim
(later Archbishop of Chicago). They could not use their visas, since
the German authorities banned transit visas from Germany to Switzerland.
Before leaving, Archimandrite Seraphim appealed to the young laborers
in the monastery, both named Vasily (Vasya the Black was Vladyka
Laurus, and Vasya the White was Fr Flor, explained Vladyka), saying
that if they wish to depart with the brethren, he would send Hieromonk
Vitaly (later the Metropolitan) with a wagon to fetch them. And
so it was. Fr Vitaly came and collected the two Vasyas. During breakfast,
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus also told of the life of Fr Sergei
(Romberg, +1992), who died on this day.
New Main Cupola is Blessed on the Feast Day of Holy Transfiguration
Cathedral in Los Angeles.
This year, the feast day of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los
Angeles was celebrated with special meaning, since the long-awaited
newly-built main cupola and magnificent cross crowning it were blessed
on this day.
His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America
arrived on the eve of the Transfiguration of the Lord in time for
all-night vigil. His Grace Bishop Alexander of Buenos Aires and
South America also came, and emerged for the litany, and at the
end of service, officiated at the great doxology. Both bishops emerged
for the polyeleos along with the Cathedralís Rector, Protopriest
Alexander Lebedeff and Protopresbyter Konstantin Tivetsky and Cathedral
Deacon Christopher Horsley, Deacon Andre Karobkov and Deacon Alexei
It was a joy to see His Grace Bishop Alexander in better health
after his serious operation and difficult treatment.
After all-night vigil, the sisterhood organized a dinner in the
lower church hall for the clergy.
At 9 am, the greeting of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill took place.
During the reading of the hours, His Eminence ordained a young parishioner
of the Cathedral who earnestly reads and sings at all Sunday and
holiday services, Alexander Alexeenko, as a reader. The newly-ordained
Reader Alexander studies at the UCLA, where he will soon be defending
his doctoral thesis on bio-mathematics. It is worth noting that
during Great Lent this year, his brother was also ordained a reader
in Cleveland by His Grace Bishop Peter.
After divine liturgy, a procession of the cross was held around
the Cathedral, with pauses on all four sides of the church. Joining
the procession was the Rector of neighboring Protection Church,
Priest Peter Shashkoff.
On the north side of the church, tables were set up where baskets
of grapes and other fruits were laid out for blessing.
After the fruits were blessed, the procession, led by Archbishop
Kyrill, continued to the site of the newly-built main cupola and
cross, where the Rite of consecration was performed.
The overall height of the cross and cupola alone is 43 feet (14
meters), roughly the height of a four-story building. Holy Transfiguration
Cathedral itself, after the elevation of the cupola and cross into
place, will be 153 feet high (47 meters), roughly the height of
a 15-storey building. The Cathedral is surrounded primarily by one-
or two-storey buildings. Nowhere within a one-kilometer radius is
there a single building higher than 6 floors, so as a result the
Cathedral looms over the entire neighborhood.
After the blessing of the cross, performed by Archbishop Kyrill,
Priest Peter Shashkoff ascended the scaffolding with several altar
boys and sprinkled the cross and cupola with holy water on all sides.
Upon His Eminence Archbishop Kyrillís return into the Cathedral,
he awarded the helpers of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral: the long-standing
parishioners Panagiotis and Maria Kalogeropoulos, and the President
of the Childrenís Welfare Society Tatiana Georgievna Gorbenko, who
earnestly worked on the organization of trapezas and concerts to
benefit the Cathedral.
The sisterhood offered a magnificent feast in the large school hall.
At its conclusion, the Rector of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral
thanked His Eminence Vladyka, the clergy, parishioners, sisterhood
and all the guests. Priest Peter Shashkoff also spoke, congratulating
the parish on their feast day, and especially on the construction
and blessing of the main cupola and cross.
This was an especially glorious holiday for the parishioners, since
soon the Cathedral will be crowned by a cupola and cross after 25
years since its construction. Because the church is being built
on the model of Transfiguration Church in Kizhi, there remains the
construction of 20 smaller cupolas, of which four are already finished,
work having begun on the next eight.
The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
has blessed the collection of funds for the completion of the construction
of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles throughout all
the parishes throughout the world. Those who wish to donate for
the cupoloas can send donations to:
Holy Transfiguration Church Ė Building Fund
5432 Fernwood Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027