On Tuesday, November 14, the feast of the Holy Martyrs & Unmercenaries Cosmas & Damian of Asia Minor, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, led the patronal feast day of Sts. Cosmas & Damian Church in Passaic, NJ.
His Eminence was co-served by: diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Archpriests Mark Burachek (rector of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ), Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), George Zelenin (rector of St. Michael Cathedral in Paterson, NJ), and Vasiliy Raskovskiy (diocesan cleric), parish rector Priest Dmitri Don, Priest Stephen Kaznica (rector of Sts. Peter & Paul Patriarchal Cathedral in Passaic), Protodeacons Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Vladimir Oliynyk (parish cleric), and Dionysius Lvov (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), and Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY).
Faithful from various cities came to pray with the clergy and parishioners on their patronal feast. Many confessed their sins and communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Addressing the worshippers with a sermon, Metropolitan Hilarion said, in part: "The Apostle Paul says that the Lord has various gifts for each of us: some have the gift of teaching, others – of prophecy, and so on. Thus, the Apostles preached the Gospel and led a multitude of people to the Church, the martyrs confirmed their fidelity to Christ, spilling their blood and showing all Christians an example of perseverance, even unto death.
"Today we celebrate the memory of the Holy Unmercenary Healers Cosmas and Damian, who had the gift of healing and offered people selfless aid. Remembering the words of the Savior, ‘freely ye have received, freely give,’ Cosmas and Damian healed a multitude of people at no cost, with faith and love, for which they were glorified by the Lord God."
His Eminence reminded them, that along with the Holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian, we also remember on this day our contemporary – the Holy Hierarch Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) the Surgeon, who became renowned not only for his gift of healing, but who also endured suffering for his faith. The Metropolitan expressed his hope that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which the Lord grants to His faithful children, will never cease. He congratulated the rector, parish clergy, singers, sisterhood, and parishioners with their patronal feast, and wished them strength and a multitude of gifts, which the Lord sends to those who love Him and remain faithful to Him.
Fr. Dmitri Don thanked Metropolitan Hilarion for visiting the church and for his joint service at God’s Altar.
In the church hall, the parish sisterhood organized a festal luncheon for clergy and parishioners.