On Tuesday, November 21, the feast day of the Holy Archangel of God Michael and the other Heavenly Bodiless Powers, the clergy and parishioners of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Paterson, NJ, celebrated their patronal feast day. Leading the feast were Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.
Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Bishop Nicholas, Archpriests Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary), Serafim Gan (chancellor of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops), Elias Gorsky (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Mark Burachek (rector of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ), and George Zelenin (cathedral rector), Priests Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ) and Sergio Silva (diocesan cleric), Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Protection Church in Nyack), Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Paul Drozdowski (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), and cathedral Deacon Andrei Logvinenko.
At the Little Entrance, for his dedicated service to the Holy Church, Metropolitan Hilarion awarded Fr. Sergio Silva the right to wear the gold pectoral cross.
Faithful from New York and nearby cities came to the church to share in the joy of prayerful interaction with the clergy and parishioners. On this day when the Church especially honors the memory of the guardian angel of each one of the faithful, many communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the clergy, parishioners, and guests with the feast of the Holy Archangel Gabriel and the other Heavenly Bodiless Hosts. His Eminence went on to say to the faithful, "We know that the Lord, creating the world, first formed the world of angels, and only after this created the human race. The angels were God’s servants, and at the Lord’s command, helped mankind. Despite the fact that the human race is below the angelic world, nevertheless, it was found worthy of great honor from the Savior of the world. Thus, when the Son of God was born in Bethlehem, the angels were amazed at this humility of the Savior, Who took on human nature in order to redeem the human race, which had fallen away from obedience, in order to restore and exalt it in the Heavenly Kingdom, in order that people might have the opportunity to unite themselves to the divine nature. This is a great miracle, showing the great love that the Lord has for the human race, and the angels glorify the Savior of the world for His great love and humility.
"Every human being, every church, every people, has a guardian angel, and we thank the Lord that we have this multitude of prayerful intercessors in the angelic world." His Eminence called on the faithful not to forget to pray to their guardian angels for success in every good work and for the salvation of their souls.
The clergy then read a prayer and sang the magnification to the Holy Archangel Michael and the other angels and archangels.
After the service, everyone departed for the town of Wayne, where the parish had obtained property to construct a new church. Here a water-blessing chapel was built and recently blessed. Located next to it is the parish hall, where a festal luncheon was served in honor of the patronal feast. The parish sisterhood prepared a delicious meal. An auction and lottery were held, the proceeds of which were all dedicated to the church building fund.
The church’s patronal feast day continued in a warm and upbeat atmosphere, and concluded with informal interaction between the clergy and faithful.