On Saturday, May 18, the feast of the icon of the Mother of God "Inexhaustible Chalice," Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to the eponymous stavropegial metochion church in Brooklyn, NY, in honor of its patronal feast day.
His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy, co-served by parish rector Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine, Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean), Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov; rector of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ) and Protodeacon Dionisiy Lvov. Singing at the Divine Liturgy was the parish choir under the direction of Zlata Mishina. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad performed the ordination to the subdiaconate and later, to the diaconate of Monk Ambrose (Sitalo), currently carrying out his obedience in the Orthodox mission on the island nation of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea.
Many parishioners and faithful from other churches in the city came to Liturgy, many of whom received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Fr. Tikhon delivered a sermon to those present. He talked on the icons of the Mother of God, and that only an abundance of epithets and descriptive titles can bring our mind closer to the great mystery of the Most Holy Theotokos.
"She was that vessel, ‘the chalice not-made-by-hands,’ in which was contained the uncontainable God, Whom the heavens themselves cannot keep contained. She is the Inexhaustible Chalice, from which we drink, and from whom grace does not decrease. As if we take a candle and light another one from it, then the first will not diminish the fire.
"The name of this icon, above all, bears a Eucharistic character. The Mother of God is the source of grace, for Jesus Christ made His physical abode in her. She holds the cup that she herself was and remains. And she possesses an inexhaustible fount of grace."
Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the clergy and parishioners on their patronal feast, and especially the parishioners named after St. Irene, who also celebrate their namesday on May 5/18. His Eminence told those gathered that the newly ordained deacon, Fr. Ambrose, who the following day is to be ordained a priest in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, will serve in Grenada, where an Orthodox mission in honor of the Holy Great-Martyr George is being established.
Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine underlined the joy of joint interaction of clergy and parishioners on the patronal feast day.
"Today is an interesting day for us: the first ordination in our church. Here is served fitting prayers to our Lord. This is all we can ask and hope. All the rest will be given to us if we, with a pure soul, turn to the Lord and the Mother of God."
Afterward, parishioners approached the cross, and Fr. Alexandre presented roses to all those celebrating their namesday.
After Liturgy, a festal meal was served for the clergy and parishioners.
Brooklyn, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Feast of icon of the Mother of God “Inexhaustible Chalice” - 05/18/19