From Monday, April 26, through Saturday, May 1, the clergy and faithful of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ observed all of the solemn divine services for the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Services were officiated by cathedral rector Archpriest Serge Lukianov, co-served by Archpriest Boris Slootsky, Priest Anthony Williams, Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski, and Deacon Dimitry Lisan. They were joined at Divine Liturgy on Great Saturday by Abbot Arseny (Manko; rector of Sts. Cosmas & Damian Church in Passaic).
On Saturday night, a multitude of the faithful gathered to celebrate the radiant feast of Christ’s Resurrection – Holy Pascha. The above-mentioned cathedral clergy served at Midnight Office, Paschal Matins, and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, joined by Protodeacon Nicholas Lukianov.
On Bright Monday, May 3, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to the parish and celebrated Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Grace were:
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov
- Abbot Arseny (Manko)
- Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ)
- Archpriest Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in New Brunswick, NJ)
- Archpriest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church)
- Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov; rector of the Hermitage of the Holy Protection in Buena, NJ)
- Priest Gregory Winsky (cleric of Holy Trinity Church in Baltimore, MD)
- Priest Anthony Williams
- Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski
- Deacon Rostislav Wojtenko (cleric of St. Vladimir Memorial Church), and
- Deacon Dimitry Lisan.
Virtually everyone in attendance received Christ’s Holy Mysteries. The choir sang beautifully under the direction of Inna Iavtouhovitsh.
Hierarchal services on Bright Monday are a longstanding tradition in the cathedral, as is the designation of the day as a "children’s holiday." Over 100 children from the parish and nearby churches took charge of the procession, carrying icons and gonfalons, and rang the bells. After the service, the children were treated to an Easter egg hunt, hosted by the parish Russian School.
The sisterhood prepared a bountiful Paschal luncheon in the parish hall.