On Sunday, December 8, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY. Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were Bishops George of Canberra, vicar of the Diocese Australia & New Zealand, and Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, as well as:
- Archpriest Gabriel Makarov (rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brisbane, Australia)
- Archpriest Chad Williams (rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church in Richmond, ME)
- Archpriest Elias Gorsky (parish rector)
- Archpriest Serafim Gan (rector of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY)
- Archpriest Vasiliy Raskovskiy (diocesan cleric)
- Archpriest Pavel Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Priest Ignatius Green (cleric of Holy Apostles OCA Church in Columbia, SC)
- Priest Andrew Podymow (parish cleric)
- Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk (cleric of St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY)
- Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (parish cleric), and
- Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff (cleric of Sts. Peter & Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, Australia).
The archpastoral visit was timed in connection with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the priestly ordination of the parish’s rector emeritus, Archpriest George Larin, who for medical reasons was unable to attend.
Liturgy was held under the aegis of the Protectress the Russian Diaspora – the Kursk Root icon of the Mother of God.
The choir sang joyously under the direction of Subdeacon Victor Gonchar. A multitude of parishioners received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a sermon on the day’s Gospel reading. Afterwards, the protodeacon proclaimed a Synodal gramota awarding Archpriest George Larin the Synodal Order of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. 1st Class. Fr. George’s wife, Matushka Catherine, accepted on her husband’s behalf. A Synodal gramota was also presented to Matushka Catherine for her selfless labors alongside her husband during his 50-year ministry.
A lenten reception was held in the parish hall, where congratulatory addresses were read. Joining the reception was Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vasily A. Nebenzya, who wished to relay his congratulations to Fr. George and the parish.