NEW YORK: 9 March 2023
On March 5, 2023, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York celebrated Divine Liturgy and officiated the Rite of Orthodoxy in the Synodal Cathedral “of the Sign” in New York City.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Cathedral Dean Archriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Vasily Zelenyuk (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), Archpriest Elias Gorsky (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY), and Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric).
The Synodal choir sang beautifully under the direction of conductor Vadim Gan.
The services were held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which on the following week departed for the parishes of the Mid-American Diocese.
Also praying at the divine servies were parishioners of Holy Myrrh-bearers Church, including many children.
In keeping with tradition, at the end of the first week of Great Lent, a multitude of parishioners communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Metropolitan Nicholas greeted those gathered with the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and addressed the faithful with a sermon on the feast.
Traditionally on this day, the most venerated icons in the church are all moved to the center. This year, the Kursk Root Icon was placed in the center of the Synodal Cathedral."The icon appeared more than 725 years ago, and exists in the main cathedral of the Church Abroad thanks to Bishop Theophanes (Gavrilov) of Kursk, who took it out of Russia to protect it from the Bolsheviks.
Metropolitan Nicholas spoke about another icon presented for veneration: "The icon of the Savior was located in the apartments of Metropolitan Hilarion, virtually unnoticed in one corner. When we realized that this was the same icon that had been in the cell of Elder Joseph of Optina, we had it restored and ordered a special kiot for it. And now this icon of the Savior graces our church and this feast."
His Eminence called on the faithful never to abandon the Orthodox Faith, Christ’s commandments and His teachings; to take upon themselves special labors in order to cleanse themselves and be renewed, to become radiant and joyous, which will be the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas officiated the Rite of Orthodoxy, during which the above-mentioned clergy were joined by Archpriest Mark Burachek (dean of the Hudson Valley) and Abbot Zosimas (Krampis; rector of the English Mission at the Synod of Bishops).
After the service, the cathedral sisterhood organized a luncheon, during which interaction between the clergy and parishioners continued.