Eight years ago, the Russian Church Abroad established the Sunday of All Saints as the Day of Orthodox Youth. Traditionally, the divine services on this feast are sung by a youth choir. This year, on Saturday. June 10, the eve of the feast of All Saints, the male choir of St. Prince Vladimir Youth Association sang the All-Night Vigil in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. On June 11, the Sunday of All Saints, the Youth Choir joined the Hierarchal Synodal Choir and visiting singers at the festal divine service. Of note was the choir’s singing of "A Mercy of Peace" by Archimandrite Matthew (Mormyl) in the same arrangement as the hymn had been sung ten years ago in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, at Divine Liturgy on the day of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the two branched of the Russian Church – in the homeland and the Church Abroad. Upon completion of Liturgy, Protodeacon Vadim Gan intoned the Polychronion for His Holiness, Patriarch Kyrill, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, and the entire Council of Bishops, convening at that time in Munich.
In accordance with recent custom, Metropolitan Hilarion addressed words of greeting to the young men and women on the Day of Orthodox Youth. His Eminence noted, in part: "This May, we marked the tenth anniversary of the reconciliation of two branches of the Russian Church. And both of our Churches, the Church Abroad and the Church in the Fatherland, thanks to this event, thanks to the good will of our beloved hierarchs, His Holiness, Patriarch Alexey II, and Metropolitan Laurus, have been doubly enriched. Now we share common holy things, common feasts, common veneration of the same saints and righteous people of our time. They demonstrate for us how close the grace of God is to us, and that the Kingdom of Heaven is likewise accessible to us, for that is the chief goal of Christian life. Let us, therefore, arrange our life’s path according to their example, witness to peace in Christ, and preserve Russian heritage: Russian culture, language, and the tradition of youthful volunteer service."
The Metropolitan called on the youth to "preserve in your hearts the words of Holy Scripture: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect,’ love God and your neighbor, strive toward true and fervent prayer, ‘obtain,’ in the words of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov, ‘the spirit of peace,’ and this will suffice to ensure that a thousand around you in this world will be saved."
Metropolitan Hilarion wished the young men and women God’s unfailing aid in all of their good and salvific works and called down on them God’s blessing.
Upon completion of Liturgy, a barbeque luncheon for the clergy and members of the Youth Association was held in the courtyard of the Synodal Headquarters.
The St. Prince Vladimir Youth Association operates under the supervision of the Synodal Cathedral’s senior priest, Archpriest Andrei Sommer. Association members call on all youth to fill their ranks, as well as to become members of the Youth Choir. More information is available on the group page of the St. Prince Vladimir Youth Association on Facebook.