On Saturday evening the 11th and Sunday the 12th of June, the great feast of Holy Pentecost (Holy Trinity Sunday), Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan officiated the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric).
The Synodal choir sang wonderfully under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
The cathedral had been decorated for the feast with greenery, and many worshippers came to church holding flowers. Most of them communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas delivered a sermon on the feast, noting that "today’s feast is the beginning of the life of the Church. The grace of the Holy Spirit illumines and strengthens all men.
"The apostles, having received God’s grace, taught and preached that which they had been taught by their Divine Teacher. On this day we, too, like the apostles, may also be illumined by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
"…We learn a great deal, we want to receive an education, to have a good job, and to live well on this earth. But where is our spiritual life? Where is our soul? What are we doing to illumine our inner man, to comprehend our spiritual life? One can acquire the whole world, wealth, every form of knowledge, but remain empty in the spiritual life. And only in the Church, where the grace of the Holy Spirit, Whom we glorify today, acts, do we have the Sacraments that illumine and strengthen us. Unfortunately, we often drown out this grace. We must renew it with spiritual reading, repentance, and prayer."
His Grace reminded the faithful that the feast of the Holy Trinity is the patronal feast of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, where Metropolitan Hilarion studied and was tonsured a monk. He called on them to make donation to the monastery in memory of Metropolitan Hilarion. Collections will also be held on June 24, the 40th day of Metropolitan Hilarion’s repose, as well as on the following Sunday, June 26.
Great Vespers were then served with the Kneeling Prayers, composed by the Holy Hierarch Basil the Great, in which we ask the Lord to illumine us, to send down the grace of the Holy Spirit, and not to deprive our departed relatives of His intercession.
In the cathedral hall, the sisterhood prepared a festal luncheon for the clergy and parishioners.