From Thursday the 10th to Sunday the 13th of September, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to St. Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church in Richmond, ME, where he officiated the divine services.
On Thursday evening, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad arrived at the church, accompanied by Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin). His Eminence officiated All-Night Vigil for the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
On Friday, September 11, the Beheading, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by parish rector Archpriest Chad Williams and parish clergy: Archpriest Andrei Rudenko, Protodeacon Gregory Petrochko, and Deacons Anthony Williams and Joseph Kimball, as well as Priest Ephraim Willmarth and Protodeacon Peter Markevich (clerics of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY). Parish cleric Priest Nathan Williams led the choir and communed with all of the clergy.
After the Great Entrance, Fr. Anthony Williams was ordained to the priesthood. The newly ordained Priest Anthony will fulfill his service at St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ, and will take up his duties there beginning on September 19, 2020.
Fr Anthony then officiated the evening service that night, and celebrated his first Divine Liturgy on Saturday, September 12. Metropolitan Hilarion and several of the clergy were in attendance and received Christ’s Holy Mysteries on the parish’s patronal feast day.
On Saturday evening, His Eminence officiated All-Night Vigil, and the following morning celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Fr. Chad Williams, Archpriests Elias Gorsky (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY) and Andrei Rudenko, Priests Ephraim Willmarth, Nathan Williams, and Anthony Williams, Protodeacons Gregory Petrochko and Peter Markevich, Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin), and Deacon Joseph Kimball.
At the Little Entrance, Fr Nathan was awarded the right to wear the nabedrennik and purple skufia.
After the Prayer behind the Ambo, a Litia was served, and the blessing of the new fresco on the western wall of the church was blessed.
After the final blessing, His Eminence spoke with warm words for the rector, Fr. Chad, and awarded him the Order of the Kursk Root Icon 3rd Class for his many (33) years of dedicated and fruitful service in this parish.
Immediately following this, at the initiative of the parish, a Synodal gramota was presented to Fr. Chad’s Matushka Cindy for her untiring many years nurturing seven children into the full service of the parish (two priests, one subdeacon, one reader, two matushkas, and one choir director), as well as serving for many years (25) as the head sister and an equal number of years as choir director.
After Divine Liturgy, all were invited to an outdoor reception at the rectory. Metropolitan Hilarion then greeted the parish as a whole (since the congregation was divided amongst the three previous liturgies) with a brief homily and a sketch of the history and growth of the parish community in Richmond. Fr. Elias Gorsky, who has known Fr. Anthony since birth, then spoke specifically regarding Fr. Anthony’s growth and development in the Church throughout his acquaintance with him. Following Fr. Elias, Fr. Ephraim Willmarth said a few words about their seminary years together. Finally, Fr. Chad spoke also regarding Fr. Anthony’s development and the family’s bright future serving the Church to the glory of God.