During the celebratory days of the patronal feast day of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, and diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan visited the Diocesan Center in Howell, NJ. On Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th of September – the feast of the Translation of the Relics of the Holy Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky, Metropolitan Hilarion led the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral. Prior to the start of Vigil, the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God arrived at the cathedral, and was greeted in procession by the clergy.
Singing the All-Night Vigil was the parish male choir, under the direction of Alexandra Lukianov.
Prior to the beginning of Liturgy on the very day of the feast, September 12, after the greeting of the myrrh-streaming Icon and the Metropolitan, the First Hierarch of ROCOR ordained longtime parish reader and Diocesan Media Office Staffer Gregory Levitsky a subdeacon. At the Little Entrance, attached cathedral cleric Priest Petro Hnatkivskyy was elevated to the rank of archpriest.
Concelebrating with His Eminence at Liturgy were Bishop Nicholas and diocesan and visiting clergy. Representatives of the Kuban and Don Cossack Voiskos held an honor guard at the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Icon, and later took part in the procession as standard-bearers.
It was here that the world premiere of Dr. Kurt Sander’s all-English Liturgy took place; written in the Russian style, the liturgical composition had been written at the request of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music (PaTRAM) Institute, and was sung by a choir of PaTRAM singers under the direction of Maestro Dr. Peter Jermihov.
The works of Kurt Sander are renowned in many countries. His musical compositions have been performed in ten countries on four continents. Dr. Sander (Reader Lawrence) is an experienced choir conductor, who led choirs in Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH. He teaches music theory at the Summer School of Liturgical Music at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. Composition of the Liturgy took him eight months. Sung professionally by the PaTRAM choir and directed by renowned conductor Peter Jermihov, the liturgical composition was a great success among the many clergy from various jurisdictions and the faithful who had gathered in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and became a true adornment of the church’s patronal feast.
A multitude of the faithful communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries from three chalices. Fr. Valery Lukianov addressed the gathered worshippers with a sermon. The clergy and faithful then held a procession around the cathedral, after which Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated all those present with the feast, thanking the clergy and choir for their joint prayer, and presenting diocesan gramotas to Dr. Kurt Sander, Dr. Peter Jermihov, and PaTRAM founders and directors Alexis & Katherine Lukianov.
The feast concluded with a festal luncheon organized for the clergy, choir, parishioners, and guests by the cathedral sisterhood.