On November 1, the 21st Sunday after Pentecost and the date when the Russian Church Abroad celebrates the glorification of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City.
Concelebrating with His Grace were: Archpriests Andrei Sommer (cathedral dean), Edward Chervinsky (cathedral cleric), and Serge Prisacaru (diocesan cleric), Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric) and Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric). Praying in the altar was Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. The Synodal choir sang the divine services.
The service was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora ‒ the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, before which prayed a multitude of parishioners, most of whom communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, His Grace delivered a sermon, in which he spoke, in part, about the triumphal glorification of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt took place in the Synodal Cathedral in 1964, noting that a special icon of the saint with his riassa is located in the cathedral.
His Grace also spoke about how, on this day in 1981, the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia were glorified in the cathedral. An icon of the Holy New Martyrs resides in the lower Church of Venerable Job of Pochaev in Jordanville, with its copy residing in the lower church at the Synodal Headquarters. In the Cathedral of the Sign itself, there is an image of the New Martyrs of Russia, presented to Metropolitan Hilarion n 2007 when, during the reconciliation of the two branches of the Russian Church, the blessing of the church at the Butovo Firing Range was held.
Bishop Nicholas noted the need to know history, to relive these events with trembling, and to thank God for placing us here, where there were people who prayed and glorified these saints. He called on the faithful to attend church, to venerate the holy icons and relics, and a with pure heart to ask for help from the saints and the holy athletes of God.
Specially noted on this day was St. John of Kronstadt’s "Prayer for the Salvation of Russia," which today, in these difficult and complex times, is applicable to call nations, particularly to those Russians living outside their historic homeland.
"Our Father, Who art in the Heavens! Hallowed by Thy name in Russia!
Thy Kingdom come in Russia! Thy will be done in Russia!
Plant Thou in her the true and life-creating Faith!
Yea, of Lord, arise unto our help!
O Lord! Thou seest the cunning of the enemies of the Orthodox Faith and Thy Church,
and their eagerness to overcome Her. Put an end to them, O Lord!
Come down to humble this mountain of impiety. So be it!"