On St. Thomas Sunday, April 15, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York paid his traditional archpastoral visit to Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy in the convent’s main St. Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral. Every year, the parishes of the convent and of nearby Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY, join together to celebrate the feast of Antipascha – the second Sunday of the Paschal season.
During the reading of the Sixth Hour, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad ordained Reader Nicholas Ilyin a subdeacon.
At Divine Liturgy, His Eminence was concelebrated by the clerics of the convent and of Holy Protection Church: cathedral dean Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski, Archpriest George Larin (pastor emeritus of Holy Protection Church), Archpriest Elias Gorsky (rector of Holy Protection Church), Archpriest Yaroslav Belikow and Abbot Photius (Oulanov; convent clerics), Priest Ignatius Green and Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (clerics of Holy Protection Church), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (convent cleric), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin), and Deacon Andrei Podymow (cleric of Holy Protection Church).
Praying in church alongside the multitude of parishioners of both parish and convent were the members of the sisterhood, led by Abbess Makaria.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Subdeacon Nicholas Ilyin was ordained to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Nicholas will fulfill his service at Novo-Diveevo Convent.
A joint choir from Novo-Diveevo and Nyack sang the divine service, joined by youth from around the Diocese, under the direction of Matushka Maria Fedorowski and Subdeacon Victor Gonchar. Reader Adrian Fekula directed the choir during the ordination.
Christ’s Holy Mysteries were distributed from two chalices; nearly all those present received Communion.
Following Liturgy, a general panihida was served inside the cathedral for all departed hierarchs, monastics, and those Orthodox Christians buried on the convent grounds. Metropolitan Hilarion spoke briefly about the meaning of the feast of Antipascha – St. Thomas Sunday – when we honor the faith of the Holy Apostle Thomas.
His Eminence thanked the clergy and faithful for prayers, wished all a joyous feast, and congratulated Fr. Nicholas and his family on the occasion his ordination. The protodeacon then intoned the Polychronion for all present.
Coming up to venerate the Cross, the faithful received pieces of the Paschal Artos, which had been blessed after Liturgy on the night of Holy Pascha.
A festal luncheon was served in the parish hall, where the clergy and faithful were joined by Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, who came after celebrating Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City to serve panihidas at the cemetery.
Due to the anticipated inclement weather, traditional outdoor services were cancelled ----- notwithstanding, a large number of people came to the service and to pray for their loved ones in the cemetery.