DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: August 4, 2010
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Consecrates the First Frescoes in St Seraphim Church Dedicated to the Reestablishment of Unity Within the Russian Orthodox Church
On August 1, 2010, the feast day of St Seraphim of Sarov the Miracle-worker, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY. He was joined by Protopriest George Larin, Rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY; Protopriest Michael Boikov of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand; Protopriest Serafim Gan, Synodal Chancellor, Personal Secretary of the First Hierarch and Rector of St Seraphim Church; Priest Alexandre Antchoutine, Rector of neighboring Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY; along with Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk, Protodeacon Paul Wolkow and Protopriest Vadim Gan of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago, IL; Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky and Deacon Eugene Kallaur, Hierodeacon Anatoly (Zilin) and Deacon Nicholas Kostur of Novo-Gracanica Metropoliate of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Joining them for the moleben and a procession of the cross were Mitred Protopriest Alexey Ohotin, Dean of the First Deanery of the Eastern American Diocese; Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, and Hegumen Nestor from St Petersburg, the old northern Russian capital.
At the beginning of divine services, His Eminence ordained long-time altar boy at St Seraphim Church Ivan Makarov as a reader. During the minor entrance of Divine Liturgy, His Eminence awarded the palitsa to Fr Serafim.
Especially impressive during this Liturgy were the singing of the Cherubic Hymn by Muzicescu, Mercy of Peace by Sokolov and the paschal songs during the vesting of the Primate and before Communion. After the singing of May the Name of the Lord, Vladyka Hilarion read a sermon of greeting and edification (see: www.stseraphimschurch.org).
After the moleben and procession of the cross around the memorial church, His Eminence consecrated the interior fresco in the altar. This fresco series will depict the many centuries of history of the Russian Orthodox Church and the reestablishment of the Divinely-directed unity and fullness of brotherly communion in May 2007.
At the end of divine services, the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, on behalf of Archbishop German of Kursk and Ryl’sk, awarded Protopriest Serafim the Diocesan First Order Medal of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God for heading the organizing committee which brought that Icon to Russia. He then awarded gramatas [decrees of blessing] from the President of the Synod of Bishops to the newly-ordained Reader Ivan Makarov and to Parish Treasurer IG Kwartiroff. This medal had earlier been awarded by Archbishop German to His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany and other members of the organizing committee: Priest Alexandre and Deacon Nicholas, Assistant to the Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops.
After the kissing of the cross, the Parish Sisterhood hosted a splendid reception in honor of the Parish feast day, during which many warm speeches and greetings were made.
Afterwards, His Eminence Vladyka Hilarion visited Protopriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Rector of Kazan Mother of God Church in Sea Cliff of the Orthodox Church in America.
The following morning, the feast day of Prophet Elias and Holy Martyr Athanasius, Hegumen of Brest, a ktitorskaya Liturgy [performed on the day after a church’s feast day—transl.] was celebrated at St Seraphim Church. Commemorated at this service were “all reposed rectors, builders, benefactors, adorners, parishioners and worshipers of this holy church” as well as the newly-reposed father of the Parish Rector on the ninth day of his death, which had occurred on July 25.
During these celebrations, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian diaspora, was in the church. St Seraphim of Sarov, the Parish’s heavenly intercessor, had as a youth been miraculously healed after praying before the Icon.
During these services, George Selinsky, at one time the official photographer of Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory during his official visits, organized live streaming online video of the celebrations at St Seraphim Church.