On May 16, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York and Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan performed an archpastoral visit to Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY. Joined by the diocesan vicar, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad celebrated Divine Liturgy in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day.
Concelebrating with the hierarchs were: parish rector Archpriest Paul Ivanov; Archpriest Vasyl Yurina (parish cleric); Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (cleric of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ); Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Fiodor Tulbur (parish cleric). The youth choir prayerfully sang Divine Liturgy under the direction of Gregory Ivanov.
Worshippers filled the church. In keeping with tradition, most of them came with their large families and children. The Lord’s Prayer was sung and recited in Church Slavonic, English, Georgian, and Moldovan. Almost all those who prayed at the service received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
At the end of the Liturgy, the clergy and faithful went in procession around the church. Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated everyone with the continuing days of Pascha and the patronal feast of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, who were the first to know about the Resurrection of the Savior and who brought this good news to people. He likewise wished everyone Paschal joy.
In turn, Fr. Paul said, in part: "Today, we experience threefold joy: the Heavenly Pascha, the earthly Pascha, and the Pascha of our altar, which our hierarchs have by their presence augmented, underscored, and made us feel this joy in the Risen Lord. The Myrrh-bearing Women were the first to hear from the Lord – ‘Rejoice!’ and worshipped Him. Our bishops told us these same words and we, like the Myrrhbearers, rejoiced, bowed down, and thanked them for their service and prayers. And this strengthened us, and we ask that what we have felt today would be for us not only for salvation, but also for the encouragement of our service to God, the Church, and our neighbors."
The rector thanked the archpastors for the visit and asked for their prayers and guidance in every good work.
The parish sisterhood adorned the church itself and the hall remarkably and prepared a Paschal meal, during which many kind words were spoken to the hierarchs, clergy, and those who labor in the parish.