NEW YORK: 28 March 2024
Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York officiates at Divine Liturgy and the Rite of Orthodoxy at the Synodal Cathedral in New York

On March 24, 2024, the first Sunday of Great Lent, dedicated the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City.

Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Archpriest Andrei Sommer (Cathedral Dean), Archpriest Luka Novakovic (cleric of St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ), and Archpriest Elias Gorsky (Rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Hieromonk Laurus (Solomonov; cleric of Our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" Church in Brooklyn, NY), Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (Cathedral cleric), Abbot Silouan (Justiniano; cleric of St Dionysios the Areopagite Monastery in St James, NY), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff, Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cathedral clerics), and Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St Seraphim of Sarov Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY), and Deacon Dimitry Lisan (cleric of St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral).

An expanded contingent of the Synodal choir sang beautifully under the direction of conductor Vadim Gan.

Liturgy was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Located in the center of the church was an icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

A multitude of cathedral parishioners and faithful from other churches came to pray at the divine services. Most of these communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.

Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas officiated the Rite of Orthodoxy, which is traditionally served in the center of the church. Joining the serving clergy for the Rite were: Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean of "Inexhaustible Chalice" Church), Archpriest Mark Burachek (dean of the Hudson Valley) and Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (Dean of New York City and Long Island), and Abbot Arseny (Manko; Rector of SS Cosmas and Damian Church in Passaic, NJ) and Abbot Zosimas (Krampis; Rector of the Synodal English Mission). The Rite of Orthodoxy was proclaimed by Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur.

This rite was introduced in Kievan Rus in the 11th century by Venerable Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, and later spread to the other parts of the Russian Church. In the 12th and 14th centuries, the rite was expanded with texts expressed the dogmatic teaching of the Christian Faith.

The core of the rite consists of a moleben hymn: it includes the Great and Augmented Litanies and readings from the Apostol (Epistles) and Gospel, and a prayer for the strengthening of the faithful in the Orthodox Faith. Its particularities include a reading of the Nicene Creed and the pronouncements of anathematization (separation from the Church) of those who have apostatized from the true confession of Christ. After these are intoned "Memory Eternal" for all those who preserved the Orthodox Faith and the Polychronion for those who remain to this day in the bosom of the True Church.

The sisterhood prepared a festal Lenten luncheon in the cathedral hall, during which the clergy and parishioners continued their interaction.

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