Despite the quarantine measures in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, work with youth in the Eastern American Diocese is continuing wherever possible. For many years, the Diocese has hosted the traditional St. Herman Youth Conference on the feast day of Venerable Herman of Alaska and the surrounding days. This year, the in-person conference had to be cancelled, but the youth and clergy who work with them nevertheless honored the memory of St. Herman.
On Thursday, December 24, All-Night Vigil was served in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City led by Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, and on Friday, December 25, the very feast day of the venerable saint, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Concelebrating with His Eminence at Liturgy were Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer (Vice President of the Synodal Youth Department), Archpriest Alexis Duncan (director of St. Herman Youth Conference), and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY).
The divine services were held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora ‒ the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. A mixed youth choir sang magnificently under the direction of Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Novo-Diveevo Convent). In order to give as many young people as possible a chance to take part in the events, the divine services were live-streamed over the Internet.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Fr. Alexis Duncan addressed those present with a sermon, talking about the saints to came to the American land to spread the Orthodox Faith, about the challenges that they faced and overcame, and about their dedication to the Lord and to their zealous missionary labors.
New York City: Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates Liturgy in Synodal Cathedral for Feast of Venerable Herman of Alaska - 12/25/20
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - G. Konyev