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NEW YORK: April 27, 2009
Bishop Merkury of Zaraisk Is Granted a Gramata from the President of the Synod of Bishops (Photo-report)

From the Editors: During Bright Saturday, at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York, a festal service was headed by His Grace Bishop Merkury with His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland; His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle and His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, along with clergymen of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York of the Russian Church Abroad. After Divine Liturgy and a procession of the cross, Bishop Peter read the text of a gramata from the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

To His Grace Bishop Merkury of Zaraisk. 
Your Grace, Vladyko! 

Giving you a brotherly kiss in Christ, I joyfully greet you on the illuminating day of Holy Pascha and your new duties! Profoundly touched by your pure and brotherly love and support to the archpastors, clergymen and flock of the Russian Church Abroad during your service in America, we express to Your Grace our fervent and heartfelt gratitude. We send prayers from our hearts to the Lord, Who suffered for us and resurrected in glory, to strengthen your physical strength and grant you His care to righteously lead your new flock, your helpers and colleagues safely to the pastures of salvation. In recognition of this we grant you this gramata, properly signed and affixed with the Synodal seal in New York on Bright Saturday 2009.

+Hilarion, 
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York 
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Having read this gramata, Bishop Peter also gave Bishop Merkury a set of minor episcopal vestments which belonged at one time to His Eminence Metropolitan Luaus in memory of his service in the USA. Bishop Theodosius then warmly greeted Bishop Merkury, awarding him the Third Order of St John (Maximovich).

That day, the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York hosted a Paschal reception.

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