On Wednesday, May 24, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Leavetaking of Pascha in St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ.
His Grace was co-served by cathedral dean Archpriest Serge Lukianov and cathedral clerics: Archpriests Boris Slootsky and Seraphim Chemodakov, Protodeacons Leonid Roschko and Paul Drozdowski, and Deacon Stephanos Bibas (cleric of St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ). Praying in the altar was the cathedral’s pastor emeritus and dean of New Jersey, Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov.
Despite its being a weekday, parishioners gathered to pray and – for the final time this year – to greet one another with a joyous "Christ is Risen!"
Bishop Nicholas reminded the gathered faithful that "Christ is our True God, risen from the dead, Who has granted us eternal life. If we will believe this, then we have nothing to fear." He also reminded them of the words of the Holy Hierarch Gregory the Theologian: "Where Christ is, everything acquires dignity." He once more greeted the faithful with the eternally vivifying words, "Christ is Risen!" and called down on them all God’s blessing.
It also being the feast day of the Holy Equals-of-the-Apostles Cyril & Methodius – the namesday of His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia – the Polychronion was intoned for the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.