On Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd of February, the Sunday of Cheesefare, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, led the divine service on the eve of Great and Holy Lent.
On Saturday evening, Bishop Nicholas prayed at the All-Night Vigil in St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ, and led the Polyeleos. His Grace was in Howell to preside over the parish's Annual General Meeting earlier that day, as a representative of the parish's rector, Metropolitan Hilarion. He was co-served by cathedral dean Archpriest Serge Lukianov, pastor emeritus Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, and parish clergy: Archpriest Boris Slootsky, Priest Seraphim Chemodakov, Protodeacon Leonid Roschko, and Deacon Paul Drozdowski.
The following morning, the vicar bishop celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. His Grace was co-served by the cathedral’s senior priest, Archpriest Andrei Sommer, and Synodal clerics: Archpriest Vasiliy Raskovskiy, Hieromonk Eutychius (Dovganyuk), Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff and Vadim Gan, and Deacon Nazari Fataliev. Singing the Liturgy was the Synodal choir, under the direction of conductor Peter Fekula.
Upon completion of the Liturgy, a luncheon with bliny was prepared by sisterhood in the Synodal hall. Russian folk songs rang out, and parishioners danced and talked among themselves. That evening in the Synodal cathedral, Bishop Nicholas led the traditional Forgiveness Vespers before the beginning of Great Lent.