On July 26, the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, commemorating the Holy Fathers of the Six Ecumenical Councils, and the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan led the traditional annual St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations and celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ.
Concelebrating with His Grace were Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Archpriest Ljubo Milosevic (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ), Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Abbot Eutychius (Dovgan; diocesan cleric), Memorial Church clerics Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov and deputy rector Archpriest Serge Ledkovsky, Protodeacons Leonid Roschko and Paul Drozdowski (clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral), and Deacon Rostislav Wojtenko (Memorial Church cleric).
The Celebrations were held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, before which faithful came to pray from various parishes. During the icon’s visit to the Memorial Church, an akathist was served before the holy image.
Virtually all of those who came to pray at Liturgy communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas congratulated all with the feast, and recalled how the St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations used to be attended by a great multitude of people from various states.
"But this year, the Lord humbles us. As Orthodox Christians, we are thankful for this important, needful lesson for each of us. We are given absolutely everything. And, as it happens, when we were satisfied and happy, we forget about God, forget about God’s church. The Church will continue to exist without us, but we cannot live without the Church. I think that this year every one of us understood this. Only in church is our salvation: here are the Sacraments, here there is prayer, and here is God’s blessing."
His Grace called on the faithful to augment their prayers, remembering the great feat of the Holy Equals-of-the-Apostles Vladimir and Olga; the fathers of the Memorial Church, Archbishops Vitaly (Maximenko) and Nikon (Rklitsky); the priests, and our forebears, who despite difficulties and complications multiplied our Faith throughout Rus’. "Let us ask that they bless us and illumine us."
The clergy and faithful then went around the Memorial Church in procession, after which the Lesser Blessing of the Water was performed. A festal outdoor luncheon was organized for all those present.