On Thursday, October 8, when the Holy Church commemorates the repose of Venerable Sergius, Abbot of Radonezh and Wonderworker of All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. Sergius Church at the Synodal Headquarters in New York City.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada and Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, as well as clerics of the Synodal Cathedral and visiting clergy: dean of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Abbot Vladimir (Zgoba; rector of Unexpected Joy Church on Staten Island, NY), Archpriest Mark Burachek (rector of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ), rector of the English Mission Abbot Zosimas (Krampis), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff, and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY).
The Synodal choir sang beautifully. The service was held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Many parishioners received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted the clergy and faithful with the feast and briefly spoke about the life of Venerable Sergius, the founder of the monastery not far from Moscow and future renowned lavra.
Metropolitan Hilarion prayerfully commemorated Serge Y. Semenenko, who in 1958 acquired for the needs of the Synod and believers a large building in Upper Manhattan, where two churches were built – the Synodal Cathedral on the second floor and St. Sergius on the first. His Eminence congratulated the warden of the Synodal Cathedral, Sergei Yakushin, and others celebrating their namesday, and wished them God's help and many years.
Speaking about the importance of the St. Sergius Church for the faithful and for the city as a whole, Bishop Nicholas noted the great importance of the fact that divine services in the church are performed daily and prayer is heard here every day. "This is a special heart that beats and glorifies God… This is a special mercy from God, this is the divine light that illuminates this place, this city, this country."
Despite current conditions, His Grace called on the faithful to thank God for all that is good, for the fact that He admonishes us and does not forsake us.