Saturday, February 4th, began with a panihida, served at the gravesite of ever-memorable Metropolitan Sergius (Petrov), on the 27th anniversary of his repose, by His Eminence Agathangel, Metropolitan of Odessa & Izmail. His Eminence was co-served by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, the rector of Odessa Theological Seminary Archimandrite Seraphim (Rakovsky), and brethren of Odessa's Holy Dormition Monastery. Relatives of the prominent hierarch were also in attendance, and prayed at the graveside. Metropolitan Sergius ministered his flock as the ruling bishop of God-preserved land of Odessa for 25 years.
During the panihida, Bishop Nicholas also commemorated Archimandrite Athanasy (Mastalski) on the first anniversary of his repose, Monk Joseph (Lambertsen), and read several commemoration slips with names of reposed friends and relatives which were sent in from around the Eastern American Diocese.
Upon completion of the panihida, Bishop Nicholas visited a church in Odessa dedicated to the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, where a replica of the miraculous icon, painted in Jordanville, is being kept. His Grace was greeted by the rector, Archpriest Vladimir Kolesnik, who showed his guest the church and grounds. Bishop Nicholas then visited the Iveron Monastery, where he was given a tour and then had lunch with the deputy abbot, Bishop Diodorus of Yuzhnoe.
On the eve of the feast of the Holy Martyr. Agathangelus, the namesday of the ruling bishop, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan co-served Metropolitan Agathangel at the All-Night Vigil in Odessa's Transfiguration Cathedral.
Thousands of believers gathered in the Cathedral, to offer prayers together with their Archpastor, and congratulate him on his namesday.
For the festal All-Night Vigil, Metropolitan Agathangel was co-served by Archbishop Elisey of Izyum & Kupyansk, Archbishop Eulogius of Sumy & Akhtyrka, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Bishop Peter of Ungeny & Nisporeny, Bishop Arcadius of Ovidiopol, Bishop Diodorus of Yuzhnoe, Bishop Victor of Artsiz, Bishop Sergius of Bolgrad, Archimandrite Seraphim, and more than 60 clergy from Mount Athos, and Romania. With the blessing of Metropolitan Agathangel, the Litiya was served by Bishop Nicholas.
The divine service clearly demonstrated the unity of Orthodox world. Under the arches of the beautiful restore cathedral, the bishops, clergy, and faithful who had come to Odessa from the United States, Greece, Romania, Moldova, and from different regions of Ukraine, "with one mouth and one heart" prayed to the Lord.