On Sunday, February 3, the feast of Venerable Maximus the Confessor, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Co-serving with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and cathedral clergy: senior priest Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriests Edward Chervinsky and Vasiliy Raskovskiy (diocesan cleric), Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff & Vadim Gan, and Deacon Pavel Roudenko. Singing at the services was the Synodal choir under the direction of Peter Fekula.
Most of those praying at the Liturgy communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the faithful with a sermon on the life of Venerable Maximus the Confessor:
"Venerable Maximus was an educated person, the first secretary of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. He desired to become a monk, and left to a monastery. The heresy of Monophysitism arose at that time, and Venerable Maximus, who was against this heresy, returned to Constantinople. Also condemning this heretical teaching was Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem and the Pope of Rome Martin I.
"Not wishing any disputes over this teaching, Emperor Heraclius offered a compromise. But Venerable Maximus and those who supported his point of view were also against any compromise, for which they began to be persecuted. They were imprisoned, and St. Maximus was summoned to Constantinople and accused of treason. In order that he could no longer preach and write in defense of the Orthodox Faith, the emperor ordered his tongue and right hand cut off.
"We live in difficult times for Christianity. An example of this is the situation in Ukraine, where, with the participation of the government interfering in the affairs of the Сhurch, the Ecumenical Patriarch presenting the new ‘church’ a so-called tomos. For the canonical Orthodox Church, this is a trial."
His Eminence called for all to pray for the health of the Primate of the Canonical Church, Metropolitan Onufry, the hierarchs, and the suffering Orthodox people of Ukraine.
After the service, the sisterhood prepared a meal in the cathedral hall, where interaction continued between the clergy and parishioners.
New York City: On Feast Day of Venerable Maximus the Confessor, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates Liturgy in Synodal Cathedral - 02/03/19