On Sunday, 18 September, 2022, ceremonies surrounding the enthronement of His Eminence His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, newly-elected Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, took place.
Before divine services, the mantled archpastors of the Russian Church Abroad greeted the First Hierarch in the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City.
After the reading of the entrance prayers and the customary singing of Ton despotin, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany and His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America escorted the new metropolitan to his proper place and exclaimed “Axios” [“he is worthy”], which was repeated by the Council of Bishops and clergy, then by the choir.
The Metropolitan was then vested in the center of the cathedral as the other bishops donned their vestments inside of the altar. Then Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Cathedral Dean, emerged from the altar with the Primatial mitre and cross and silently presented them to Metropolitan Nicholas.
At the end of the reading of the sixth hour, the hierarchs emerged to the center of the cathedral, where Metropolitan Mark and Metropolitan Kyrill bestowed a second panaghia on the newly-elected Primate, exclaiming “Axios” again.
Participating in Divine Liturgy, in addition to the members of the Council of Bishops of ROCOR, were His Grace Bishop Longin of Novo-Gracanica and Midwestern America (Serbian Orthodox Church), and His Eminence Archbishop Viktor of Artzysk, Vicar of the Odessa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Among those serving with the bishops were clergymen of other Local Orthodox Churches, guests from various dioceses of the Russian Church Abroad and a large host of clerics of the Eastern American Diocese. At the end of Divine Liturgy, a moleben was performed before the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign.”
After the moleben, Metropolitan Mark, congratulating Metropolitan Nicholas, read a greeting sent by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Metropolitan Mark then handed an episcopal staff to Vladyka Nicholas and said:
“The Almighty and Life-Giving Holy Trinity, the Enduring Dominion and Everlasting Kingdom, grants you this great throne of episcopacy, this metropoliate and the rank of First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, by election of your brethren, the Russian bishops abroad and by the confirmation of His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod. And now, Master and brother, receive the pastoral staff, and ascend to the throne of Senior Hierarch, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and pray to His Most-Pure Mother for all of Orthodox Christianity and for our Church which you are entrusted with, living in the diaspora, and save them as a good shepherd, and may the Lord God grant you health and well-being for many years.”
A protodeacon then intoned Many Years to His Holiness the Patriarch and the newly-installed Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia according to the customary rite.
Having receiving the archpastoral staff, which had been blessed upon the relics of St Tikhon, Patriarch-Confessor of All Russia, Metropolitan Nicholas said:
“May the Almighty and Omnipotent Right Hand of the Most-High preserve and strengthen us all. May He grant peace and quietude to His Holy Church and our Fatherland from enemies seen and unseen, deliverance and bolstering of Orthodox Christianity. To you my brethren archpastors and our entire Church Abroad, and to all Orthodox Christians, I wish health and well-being for many years.”
His Eminence then turned to the congregation with a Primatial sermon, after which the choir sang Tebe Boga khvalim [Glory be to God].