NEW YORK: 11 April 2024
The services of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad

On Friday, April 5, 2024, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY, where he celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at the convent’s St Seraphim Cathedral.

The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad prayed in the altar during the reading of the Hours, and was then greeted at the entrance to the cathedral and vested for the beginning of Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Eminence were:

  • Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski (Cathedral Dean)
  • Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; Dean of Our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" Church in Brooklyn, NY)
  • Archpriest Elias Gorsky (Rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY)
  • Archpriest Mark Burachek (Senior Priest of the convent)
  • Hieromonk Laurus (Solomonov; cleric of "Inexhaustible Chalice" Church)
  • Archpriest George Zelenin (convent cleric)
  • Priest Andrew Podymow (cleric of Holy Protection Church in Nyack)
  • Priest Artem Siss (convent cleric)
  • Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City)
  • Deacon Alexey Pnev (convent cleric), and
  • Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack).

Praying at Liturgy were the sisters of the convent, led by Abbess Makaria (Fadina). The choir sang prayerfully under the direction of Matushka Maria Fedorowski.

Despite its being a workday, a fair number of the faithful attended the service, most of whom confessed their sins and received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.

Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan Nicholas addressed the faithful with a sermon, as well as reminded them of the upcoming feast of the Annunciation and how special it is that this year the feast coincides with the Sunday of the Cross, the third weekend of Lent. He instructed them to pray to the Most Holy Mother of God to give us all strength to endure for another three weeks of Lent, after which the Holy Days will be upon us, and then the joy of Pascha. In these troublesome times, we should turn to the Most Holy Theotokos and pray.

His Eminence thanked the clergy that came to pray with him, the abbess and sisters for praying, and the choir for their singing.

Following the service, a Lenten brunch was held in the convent’s dining hall.

On Saturday, 6 April, His Eminence officiated at Divine Liturgy at Annunciation Church in Flushing, NY, in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign.” He was joined by Fr Ion Arama and visiting clergymen.

On April 7, the 3rd Sunday of Great Lent, that of the Veneration of the Cross, and when the Holy Church also celebrates the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos this year, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral “of the Sign” in New York City. Concelebrating with the First Hierarch were: Archpriest Andrei Sommer (Cathedral Dean) and Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov, Hieromonk Theognost (Kogan), and Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff and Serge Arlievsky (cathedral clerics).

The Synodal choir sang beautifully at Liturgy under the direction of conductor Vadim Gan.

The cathedral was full of parishioners and faithful from other churches of New York and New Jersey. Most of these communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.

Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas addressed the faithful with a sermon on the feast, in which he called on them to raise up their children in love for God and the Church; to know that beauty and life are in God’s Church; to pray together and, as the Mother of God received great obedience with love, so also for parents to have great care for their children.

His Eminence congratulated Fr Nicolas on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.

"Your entire life, dear Fr Nicolas, has been intertwined with the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City. Here, with the blessing of the newly elected First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky), you began to attend the church group specially organized by him for young people, where you met your future wife, Nadia. Here, you were wed in 1969. Here, in 1974, you were ordained by Metropolitan Philaret to the diaconate, and for all these years you have zealously served alongside hierarchs and cathedral clerics, and together with your spouse took care for the beautification of the church."

The Metropolitan noted that Fr Nicholas’ service took place under five First Hierarchs and spanned various epochs of the life of the Russian Church Abroad, and that he is not only a witness to Church history, but a direct participant thereof.

Metropolitan Nicholas thanked the Protodeacon for his many years of God-pleasing labors on behalf of Christ’s Church, and wished Fr. Nicolas good health, familial affection and prosperity, peace of soul, and God’s unfailing aid.

His Eminence also read aloud greetings to Fr Nicolas from His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, his diocesan Vicar Bishops Theodosius and James, and His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada.

In the cathedral hall, the sisterhood prepared a wonderful jubilee meal for Fr Nicolas, his family, the clergy, and parishioners. Metropolitan Nicholas, Fr Andrei, the cathedral sisterhood’s head sister Elena Bakanina, Subdeacon Egor Schatiloff, and Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky all congratulated Fr Nicolas and shared their warm reminiscences of him.

Also arriving to congratulate Fr Nicolas on his anniversary were Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (Dean of New York City and Long Island) and Protodeacons Eugene Kallaur and Paul Wolkow (clerics of St Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY).

That evening, Metropolitan Nicholas officiated the Sacrament of Holy Unction in Holy Myyrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY.

On Wednesday, April 10, the Great Lenten Retreat for clergy of the northern deaneries of the Eastern American Diocese concluded with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

Early in the morning – before sunrise – the clergy, monastics, and seminarians began the daily cycle of Lenten services with the Midnight Office, Matins, Hours, and Typica. Upon their conclusion, retreat attendees donned their vestments and lined up according to rank to greet Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York. Concelebrating with him were the monastery abbot, His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, and over 70 diocesan and monastery clergy.

At the Little Entrance, Metropolitan Nicholas awarded Protodeacon Seraphim Komleski (cleric of St Elizabeth the New Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ) the right to wear the kamilavka.

Singing masterfully at Liturgy was the seminary choir under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar. "Let My Prayer be Set Forth" was sung by a trio comprised of Fr Nicholas, Hierodeacon Methodios (Pranic), and Reader Andrey Slivin.

The services were held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.

Despite its being a workday, many parishioners of the monastery, including dozens of children, came to pray at Liturgy, most of whom received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.

Upon conclusion of Liturgy, the First Hierarch greeted the clergy, summarizing the work of the retreat and sharing the joys he felt at the spiritual center of the Russian Church Abroad during the days of Great Lent, as well as interacting with the clergy. He invoked God’s blessing on all the clergy, that they return to their parishes strengthened by the prayer and conciliarity among their brethren. He also expressed his deep gratitude to Bishop Luke and the monastery brotherhood for their hospitality during the retreat.

A group photograph was taken of the clergy at the end of the retreat. All then gathered in the monastery refectory for a farewell meal before the priests and deacons embarked on their journeys back to their home parishes.


Official website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Copyright © 2019
Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Republication or retransmission of materials must include the reference:
"The Official Website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia."
75 East 93rd Street
New York NY 10128 U.S.A.
Tel: (212) 534-1601
E-mail for content information: englishinfo@synod.com
E-mail for technical information: webmaster@synod.com