On Sunday, July 29, the annual St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations at St. Vladimir Memorial Church to the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus’ in Jackson, NJ opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Leading the service was the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York. In a church built to memorialize the feast of the Baptism of Rus’ far beyond Russia’s borders, His Eminence was co-served by Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and diocesan clergy, who gathered to mark the event:
- Archimandrite Seraphim (Rakovsky; rector of the Odessa Theological Seminary)
- Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko (cleric of the Western American Diocese)
- Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean of Inexhaustible Chalice Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Archpriest Liubo Milosevich (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ)
- Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ)
- Archpriest Alexey Yastrebov (MP cleric)
- Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)
- Priest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of the memorial church)
- Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ)
- Priest Gennadiy Titov (cleric of the Diocese of Tikhvin)
- Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY)
- Protodeacon Vadim Gan (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City)
- Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)
- Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)
- Deacon Michael Pavuk (cleric of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA) and
- Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY).
A joint choir of parishioners and guests sang the divine service under the direction of Deacon Alexander Petrovsky (cleric of the Mid-American Diocese and son of longtime memorial church cleric, the ever-memorable Archpriest Philip Petrovsky).
At the Little Entrance, for his long and dedicated service to the St. Vladimir’s community, Fr. Serge Ledkovsky was elevated to the rank of archpriest. After the Eucharistic Canon, Metropolitan Hilarion ordained Subdeacon Rostislav Wojtenko to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Rostislav will fulfill his service at St. Vladimir Memorial Church.
The day prior to the celebrations, Bishop Nicholas had led the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy for the very day of the feast of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, co-served by local clergy. Photos from those services are available separately here.
Orthodox Christians from nearby churches, as well as from New York and neighboring states, gathered for the Liturgy and St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations. During the Communion of the clergy, Fr. Tikhon read aloud the epistle of His Holiness, Patriarch Kyrill, on the occasion of the 1,030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’.
Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan HIlarion congratulated the faithful with the resurrectional Sunday services, as well as with the feast in honor of the Holy Great Prince Vladimir and Great Princess Olga, the feast of the Baptism of Rus’. His Eminence also congratulated Fr. Serge and Fr. Rostislav, and called on believers not to forget about personal interaction with God, living according to the Commandments, with Christ and in Christ, and showing mercy to those around us.
The clergy and festal participants then went in procession around the memorial church territory, carrying gonfalons and icons, and singing spiritual hymns; the procession concluded with the traditional blessing of the water, which everyone took home with them. In the church hall, the parish sisterhood prepared a festal luncheon for the clergy, faithful, and guests; in the open air, a barbeque picnic was made available for those interested, while folk music played in the background.
Jackson, NJ: On 1,030th Anniversary of Baptism of Rus’, Metropolitan Hilarion leads St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations - 07/29/18
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - G. Konyev