JORDANVILLE: September 18, 2023
On the evening of Friday, September 15, 2023, the Episcopal Church of Christ in Cooperstown, NY, hosted a concert entitled "Bells, Choirs and Deafening Virtuosity," which marked the beginning of the celebrations dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville.
The concert was attended by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, His Eminence Metropolitan Sava of North America (North American Archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Antioch), His Grace Bishop Isihije of Valjevo (Serbian Orthodox Church), His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, Rector of the Seminary, archpastors, clergy, alumni, students and guests.
The Dean of the Seminary, Dr Nicholas Schidlovsky, greeted all those present and thanked them for their continued support of Holy Trinity Seminary in this jubilee year.
The concert opened with a selection of liturgical music performed by the Chamber Ensemble "Hosanna" under the direction of Ian Arlievsky. Timothy Morrow then played an exciting series of pianistic reflections on Russia, France and North America. The choir of the seminary, under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar, concluded the evening with a harmonious performance of liturgical music from the Divine Liturgy.
The evening was adorned with a special recording of the ringing of the bells of the Holy Trinity Monastery, made by Readers Ivan Keller, Nikolai Pawuk and Yevgraf Yakimovich.
At the end of the evening, the audience loudly applauded the choristers.
On Saturday, September 16, the celebration of Holy Trinity Seminary's 75th anniversary in Jordanville continued with an academic theological conference on "Orthodox Seminary in the Twenty-First Century." The visiting hierarchs, clergy, alumni, students and guests gathered in the assembly hall greeted the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
The feast days were spent under the holy aegis of the Hodegetria of the Russian Diaspora – the miraculous Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign."
Bishop Luke then greeted the audience and began his keynote speech "Holy Trinity Seminary and Theological Schools of Pre-Revolutionary Russia: Similarities and Differences."
During the day, seminary faculty members and guest speakers gave various theological lectures. The aim of the program was to promote a broad knowledge of everything that paved the way for today's Orthodox seminary program and how it can be applied for the benefit of modern pastoral purposes.
A traditional monastic meal was served in the monastery refectory, after which visits were made to the bookstore, prayers in the cathedral and before the graves of the departed First Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the monastic brethren.
In the late afternoon, a visit was made to the local Museum of the History of Russia and the new exhibition "Secrets and Odysseys".
Before the beginning of the all-night vigil, the hierarchs, clergy and faithful solemnly greeted the Kursk Root and myrrh-streaming "Iveron-Hawaiian" icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. Then the Sunday vigil was held in Holy Trinity Cathedral of the monastery.
On Sunday, September 17, the feast of the Prophet Moses the Theologian, the celebration of Holy Trinity Seminary's 75th anniversary ended with the Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Jordanville.
Divine Liturgy was led by Metropolitan Nicholas, who was joined by:
The hierarchs were assisted by more than 50 diocesan clergy and guests in holy orders.
The Liturgy was held under the cover of the miraculous icons of the Mother of God.
The extended choir of the seminary under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar sang magnificently. The cathedral was filled to capacity with believers, many prayed in the open air and in the lower church of St Job of Pochaev, where a live broadcast was installed.
Before communing the Holy Mysteries of Christ, Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (Senior Priest of the Cathedral of the Joy of All Who Sorrow in San Francisco) delivered a sermon for the Sunday Gospel reading.
At the end of the Liturgy, a short moleben to the Most Holy Theotokos was served.
In his speech, the First Hierarch congratulated all those present on the diamond jubilee of the seminary. He emphasized the important example set by the memory of the ever-memorable elders of the seminary, including Archbishop Averky (Taushev; +1976), Archbishop Vitaly (Maksimenko; +1960) and Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla; +2008). He expressed his support for the rector of the seminary, Bishop Luke of Syracuse, and assured him of the prayers of the entire Russian Church Abroad.
For his 30 years of service to the monastery and seminary, Marian Peko was granted a diocesan decree of blessing.
Bishop Isihije of Valjevo then read aloud the greetings of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, in which he stressed the inseparable bond between the Russian Church Abroad and the Serbian Church.
Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov (rector of St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in N.Y.) conveyed the congratulations of His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, President of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
After a fraternal meal in the monastery refectory in front of the cathedral, a general photograph of all those present was taken.
In the evening of the same day, a festive banquet was held at the historic Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, where words of congratulations were offered.
On the occasion of the anniversary, Bishop Luke, Dean Nicholas Shidlovsky and the faculty of Holy Trinity Seminary were presented with a Synodal Charter.