Since the founding of the Eastern American Diocese in 1938, the annual St. Vladimir’s Day Celebrations have been an event around which the entire Russian Diaspora in the Eastern United States has united in the thousands and even tens of thousands. Even today, nearby parishes will cancel services on this weekend, with the clergy and faithful taking part in the largest annual concelebration in the Diocese.
Every parish that is able is encouraged to continue this good tradition, joining together at St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ on Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 31st of July.
However, for parishes that are too far away for this to be an option, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, has given his blessing ‒ at each rector’s discretion ‒ to serve the special service for the Baptism of Rus’. The rubrics for the service, combined with the resurrectional service and (this year) the Sunday of the Fathers of the Six Ecumenical Councils, are available here.
In 2020, with the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, the special service commemorating the Millennium of the Baptism of Holy Rus’ was translated into English and is available for download here.
The service, originally published by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1988, is also available for download in the Slavonic script here.
The service borrows many of its themes and hymns from "The Sermon on Law and Grace," delivered by the Holy Hierarch Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kiev & All Rus’, in the middle of the 11th century. The Sermon is considered by scholars and historians to be one of the founding documents of Russian literature. Where applicable, translations of excerpts from the Sermon are taken from Simon Franklin’s Sermons & Rhetoric of Kievan Rus’ (Harvard University Press; 1991).