NEW YORK: February 16, 2010
A Regular Session of the Synod of Bishops Concludes
With Divine Liturgy On the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs
On February 9-11, 2010, a regular session of the Synod of bishops was held at the Synodal building in New York, chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. This gathering, at which ongoing affairs in Church life were discussed, was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America and Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops, and His Grace Bishop Jerome.
The meetings were held in the holy presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God and another great relic—the honorable head of St John Chrysostom.
On Thursday, February 11, the feast day of the Three Hierarchs, transferred to this day because of Cheesefare Week, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officiated at Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign along with Archbishop Mark, Bishop Gabriel and Bishop Jerome, the Cathedral clergymen and visiting clergy who came to venerate the head of St John.
Later in the day, Metropolitan Hilarion and the remaining members of the Synod of Bishops hosted a reception in honor of the delegates of the Moscow Patriarchate who accompanied the relic of St John (which is kept at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow), and the newly-appointed Consul General of the Russian Federation in New York, Andrey Konstantinovich Yushmanov. A moleben was served before the reception, after which Protopriest Mikhail Ryazantsev, the head of the delegation and Senior Priest of Christ the Savior Cathedral, was given the following decree of blessing:
Gramata of Gratitude from the President of the Synod of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
To His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia
Your Holiness Vladyko!
On behalf of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, I express to you our profound gratitude for Your Holiness’ blessing for the visit to the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York of a great relic—the honorable head of St John Chrysostom. Prayer before this holy item has brought consolation, mercy and blessings to a multitude of clergymen and faithful of the Russian Church Abroad as well as those of other Local Orthodox Churches in North America. In addition, for the Most Reverend members of the Synod of Bishops and for me, it was very joyful and endearing to meet under the blessed omophorion of this great hierarch and universal teacher. In attestation of our feelings of filial love and gratitude, this gramata is being offered to Your Holiness, bearing my signature and the Synod seal, confirmed in the City of New York on February 11, 2010.
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Afterwards, a greeting to Mr Yushmanov was read:
Blessings of the President of the Synod of Bishops
We hereby invoke God’s blessings upon you, Your Excellency, dear in the Lord Andrey Konstantinovich, and your Mission, which begins with this holy and great deed: the bringing to the territory of the Russian Church Abroad of the honorable head of St John Chrysostom. May his prayerful intercession and hierarchal omophorion always be with you in your labors for the glory of God and the good of our country and our people, in the Fatherland and in the diaspora. To mark this, we hereby grant you this gramata, properly signed and bearing the Synodal seal, confirmed in the City of New York on 11 February 2010.
A reception followed, organized by the Cathedral Sisterhood, which was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The next session of the Synod of Bishops will be held this spring.