Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Visits Parishes
in Glen Cove, Norwich and Boston
On January 23, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus performed Divine
Liturgy at the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in
Glen Cove, NY, along with Mitred Protopriest George Larin, Priest
Serafim Gan and Priest Alexandre Antchoutine (the new Parish Rector),
along with Protodeacon Paul Wolkow, Subdeacon George Schatiloff
and Subdeacon Nicholas Olhovsky, the First Hierarch's cell-attendant.
On Saturday evening, the Miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the
Mother of God arrived, accompanied by one of the Synodal clergymen
and Peter A Fekula. At the end of service, His Eminence addressed
the parishioners with the following words:
Dear brothers and sisters, we are gathering here today to prayerfully
glorify the great holiday of the Baptism. This Sunday feast is called
the Week after the Epiphany.
Some, of course, know that in ancient times, and even now, in service
books, the day is called 'Epiphany.' Why is the day of the Baptism
If one attentively heeds the prayers sung these last few days, one
would notice that all these songs tell of the appearance of our
Lord Jesus Christ on the Jordan River for His baptism and of the
beginning of His social service to the world.
And from this moment, light appeared for those sitting in the darkness,
"in the shadow of death." The kontakion says: "Lord,
when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity
was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling
You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the
certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared
and enlightened the world."
With the appearance of the Lord at the Jordan River, dawn appeared
for mankind. The Lord preached among the people for three and a
half years, preparing them for the coming of the Kingdom of God,
but the people only marveled at His miracles, and did not accept
Him, and finally, crucified Him.
But now the Lord rose from the dead, and on Sunday He ascended to
the heavens, raising up the flesh and the nature of mankind, and
sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples, founded the Holy Church
and granted her all the gifts for life and piety.
The entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven is open, but it is up to
us to enter, and entry is possible only through the Holy Church,
through the Holy Mysteries.
The first of the Holy Mysteries is Holy Baptism, through which we
enter into the Holy Church. Through the Mystery of Baptism, we have
an epiphany, we become members of the Kingdom of Christ.
In the first period of Christianity, on the eve of the Epiphany,
that is, the eve of the Baptism, they christened catechumens, performed
in baptisteries, and for the faithful in church, the prophecies
of the Holy Scriptures of the Baptism of the Lord were read. These
readings we read even now on the eve of the EpiphanyŚ13 paroemiae.
When the baptism of the catechumens was completed, they were led
into the church and greeted with the singing of the words: "As
many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ.
Alleluia." And for this reason, on the eve of the Baptism of
the Lord, catechumens received the epiphany of the light of faith
in Christ, the feast day of the Baptism was in days of old and even
today called the Epiphany.
May the Lord illumine us also in these holy days with the light
of His grace, and may we turn to the Lord more often with the words
of prayer with which the clergyman ends every matins service: "O
Christ the true Light, who illuminest and sanctifiest every man
that cometh into the world, let the light of thy face be a sign
upon us, that in it we see the unapproachable Light. Direct our
steps in the performance of thy commandments, through the intercessions
of thine all immaculate Mother, and of all thy Saints. Amen."
Then the clergymen headed by His Eminence, the choir and the worshipers
proceeded to the new hall, where it was consecrated. At the trapeza,
where the Sisterhood, headed by NG Fekula, prepared a splendid reception,
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus congratulated everyone on the blessing
of the hall, where meetings, spiritual discussions and celebrations
and meetings of youth and children would be held. Stressing the
labors of the parishioners, worshipers and helpers, he expressed
hope that these events would strengthen church life in Long Isand,
NY. His Eminence then told of the recent great joyful event in the
former Diocese of Syracuse and Holy Trinity, where a new church
in honor of the Nativity of the Mother of God is being built, where
divine services will commence in the next few months. Following
this was the traditional Yolka [Nativity pageant] organized by FA
Tarasova, in which all the parish children participated.
The following day, His Eminence Metropolitan and His Eminence Archbishop
Hilarion of Sydney and the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
prayed at Divine Liturgy conducted by Mitred Protopriest Vladimir
Doroshkevich in the lower Church of St Sergius of Radonezh at the
Synod of Bishop. That same day, His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan,
with the help of Protopriest Andrei Sommer, hosted a dinner in honor
of the First Hierarch and the members of the Synod of Bishops, who
had arrived for its regular session, scheduled to open the following
day, Tuesday, January 25.
On January 28, His Eminence met with visitors at his residence at
the Synodal building, and the next day, accompanied by his cell-attendant
Nicholas Olhovsky, visited Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia
Mission in Norwich, CT. There he acquainted himself with the progress
of the construction of the new church in honor of the Sovereign
Icon of the Mother of God and the parish center with its hall, kitchen,
bookstore, rector's office, church school, etc. His Eminence inspected
the progress, spoke with the rector of the parish, Protopriest Basil
Grisel and a group of parishioners working on the building, and
invoked God's blessing upon them all. The rector hopes that divine
services will commence in the new church during Great Lent.
That day, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus performed all-night vigil
at Epiphany Church in Boston, MA, whose rector is Mitred Protopriest
Roman Lukianov, and the following day he celebrated liturgy, where
His Eminence said, in part:
Last week, on Thursday, we concluded the celebration of the great
holiday, one of the twelve major feasts, the feast of the Epiphany.
Before this we celebrated the Nativity of Christ. Since His appearance
on earth, from the birth into the world of God the Word until the
appearance of the Lord at the Jordan River for baptism, thirty years
The holiday of the Baptism of the Lord, the Epiphany, is your parish's
feast day. Today we celebrate your church's holiday, and it gives
me joy to congratulate you all today.
Soon after the baptism of the Lord, the Savior emerged to preach
among the chosen people. He visited various cities and towns, accompanied
by His disciples.
Today's Gospel reading tells us of how the Lord Jesus Christ headed
for Jerusalem with His disciples through the city of Jericho. While
the Lord approached Jericho, a blind beggar sat at the outskirts
of the city, begging for alms.
A multitude surrounded the Lord, and as soon as this blind man learned
that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he began to cry "Jesus,
Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me!"
Those in front of the Lord Jesus Christ tried to silence the beggar,
for his cries disturbed them. But the beggar paid no heed, and continued.
He wished to quickly receive healing, to gain his sight. And so
he continued to cry "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on
The Lord heard the call of the blind man, and stopped to ask him
what he wanted. What else could the blind man say? He replied, imploring
Him: "Lord, that I may receive my sight." "Receive
thy sight," said the Lord to him, "thy faith hath saved
How edifying and instructive is this Gospel passage! Our Lord Jesus
Christ wishes good for us all. His love for us is indescribable,
for our sake did He come to earth, to save us. He desires salvation
for all, so in this sense, His loving voice speaking the words "receive
thy sight" addresses each and every one of us.
thy sight!" says the Lord to us. Receive thy sight, poor sinner,
wallowing in sins, faults and lawlessness. You see not where you
go. Sins and trespasses have closed your eyes and you walk as a
blind man, without looking around, straight into eternal doom.
Receive thy sight for your own sake, says the Lord, I come to earth,
I hungered and thirsted, having no place to rest My head, and endured
great suffering and death.
Receive thy sights, and turn with your pious pleas and with repentance
to the Lord, as did the blind man in the Gospel, and the Lord will
hear you and say: "Receive thy sight, thy faith hath saved
During the very ceremonious celebration in Boston, attended by a
multitude of people, concelebrating with His Eminence were the parish
clergymen and visiting priests.
On February 6, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus will perform Divine
Liturgy at St Sergius Cathedral in Cleveland, OH, along with His
Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney and the Diocese of Australia
and New Zealand and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, whose namesday
will be celebrated that day.
Eminence Metropolitan Laurus offers the cross for veneration to
the Rector of Intercession Church in Glen Cove, Priest Alexandre
Eminence Metropolitan Laurus delivers a sermon. Mitred Protopriest
George Larin translates the sermon into English.