On Saturday, May 19, the feast of Righteous Job the Long-suffering, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. Sergius of Radonezh Chapel in Churaevka (Southbury), CT.
His Grace was co-served by Archpriest Serafim Gan (Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops), Archpriest Brendan Crowley (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Enfield, CT), Archpriest Constantine Semyanko (rector of Presentation of the Lord Church in Stratford, CT), Priest George Temidis (deputy rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY), Protodeacon Vadim Gan (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), and Deacon John Martin (cleric of St. Nicholas Church in Enfield, CT).
Upon conclusion of the Liturgy, His Grace addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he said, in part, "Today we celebrate the memory of Righteous Job the Long-suffering. We also remember the birthday of Emperor Nicholas II. On this jubilee year, in connection with the tragic events in Yekaterinburg, we decided to pray here, and to raise our prayers to God, Righteous Job, and all the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.
"On April 30, 100 years ago, the Royal family arrived from Tobolsk to Yekaterinburg, and we mark this date with the celebration of Liturgy. In Yekaterinburg, the Orthodox emulate this martyric struggle, with midnight Liturgy celebrated daily in the church of the Resurrection of Christ and the New Martyrs. The lower church is dedicated to the Royal Martyrs and the north altar is consecrated on the place of the Ipatiev House, where the Royal Family was executed. Today we were able to labor in memory of the saints of the Russian land, in gratitude to the Royal Martyrs for their martyric struggle and their compassion for us, for never abandoning us.
"I would also note that in Tobolsk, the members of the Royal family were treated like humans, they could go to church, nuns would bring food from the monastery and communicate with them. In Yekaterinburg, however, in the Ipatiev House, the Tsar’s family faced an atmosphere of anger and hatred. They prayed up until the last days of their lives. Occasionally, a priest came to them and celebrated Liturgy. The priest could not converse with them or commemorate the Royal family at the litanies – but despite it all, they were joyful… and so it was until the end of their lives. For us, this is the greatest lesson: whatever happens to us, we must always pray to God and thank Him for all things."
His Grace recalled the words of the Holy Hierarch Ignatius (Brianchaninov), which characterizes the Emperor: "Do not look for love from people, but with all your strength, seek and demand from oneself love and compassion for others." So the Emperor and the entire Royal family did. His Grace urged the faithful to imitate the Royal Martyrs, to have compassion for people, for the Russian people, and for all Orthodox Christians.