On Sunday, August 20, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Trinity Church in Mebane, NC. At Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan was co-served by Archpriest Alexander Logunov (rector of Reigning Mother of God Church in Charlotte, NC), parish rector Abbot Gabriel (Kvasnikov), Priest Alexander Stepanenko (cleric of Reigning Mother of God Church), Protodeacon Dionysius Lvov (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, accompanying His Eminence), and Deacon Ivan Makarow (cleric of Reigning Mother of God Church), as well as Archpriest Sergius Orzhahovsky (rector of Holy Resurrection Church in Voskresenskoe, Russia, currently on pilgrimage to the U.S.).
Singing the divine service was the parish choir under the direction of Reader Andrew Semyanko.
Upon completion of Liturgy, His Eminence delivered a consolatory sermon on the Gospel reading regarding one of the principal Christian virtues – the importance of and ability to forgive – touching on the Lord’s Prayer, which includes the words, "…and forgive us our debts," as well as expounding upon the Gospel parable of the Unforgiving Debtor (the Unmerciful Servant). Metropolitan Hilarion reminded the faithful of the need to forgive in order to be forgiven ourselves.
A luncheon was organized for the clergy and faithful, immediately before which Metropolitan Hilarion held a fatherly talk with parishioners, answering their questions and comforting them with his sincere interest and involvement. Theirinteractioncontinuedoverlunch.
Metropolitan Hilarion’s visit, as in times past, was a great joy for the rector, parishioners, and guests of Holy Trinity Church.