On Snday, August 25, when the Holy Church honors the memory of the Holy Martyrs Photius and Anicetas, as well as the Synaxes of the Saints of Valaam and Kostroma, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with His Eminence was cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky and Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff and Vadim Gan (cathedral clerics), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric).
On Sunday, prior to the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, a multitude of parishioners gathered at the cathedral to pray and commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. Singing at the service was the choir under the direction of Matushka Eugenia Temidis.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the clergy and faithful with the resurrectional feast and the final days of the feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration. He delivered a sermon on the Gospel reading about the healing of the youth vexed with an unclean spirit, and about how great works depend on the power of our faith.
"In the very beginning of His preaching, the Lord chose the Apostles and sent them to help the people: they healed illnesses, cast out demons, and even raised the dead, all of which they did with joy. But the events of the Transfiguration were very close to the days of the Lord’s crucifixion and His sufferings on the Cross. The time had come when the Savior had to depart out of the world, and His followers must have deep faith, in order to perform miracles. This is the same for us, as well: we must have deep faith and heartfelt prayer, mingled with tears. Thus, when we ask the Savior for something in our prayers, we must ask with faith, with power, that the merciful-hearted Lord will give us what we ask: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you… knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Metropolitan Hilarion called on the faithful to ask for what is necessary for our souls, and wished them strengthened faith and God’s aid on the path to salvation.
His Eminence also congratulated long-time cathedral laborer Matushka Nadezhda Mokhoff on the occasion of her birthday. A luncheon was prepared for all those present in the cathedral hall.