On Thursday, February 16, the feast day of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Nicholas, Archbishop of Japan, the namesday of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York was solemnly celebrated in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. The evening prior, the All-Night Vigil was served, and on the very day of the feast, Metropolitan Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, Bishop John of Caracas & South America, and Bishop Theodosius of Seattle, as well as:
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey)
- Abbot Vladimir (Zgoba; rector of the Church Our Lady "Unexpected Joy" in Staten Island, NY)
- Archpriest Elias Gorsky (rector of Holy Protection Church in Nyack, NY)
- Archpriest Serafim Gan (chancellor of the Synod of Bishops)
- Archpriest Andrei Sommer (dean of the Synodal Cathedral)
- Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov (rector of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City)
- Archprie Živojin Jakovljević (rector of St. Sava Serbian Cathedral in New York City)
- Archpriest Vasily Zelenyuk (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of New York City & Long Island)
- Archpriest Constantine Semyanko (rector of Holy Presentation Church in Stratford, CT)
- Abbot Arseny (Manko; rector of Sts. Cosmas & Damian Church in Passaic, NJ)
- Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Archpriest Dimitri Jakimowicz (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Stratford, CT)
- Abbot Cyprian (Alexandrou; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
- Archpriest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ)
- Abbot Zosimas (Krampis; rector of the English Mission at the Synod of Bishops)
- Priest Mark Rashkov (cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral)
- Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral)
- Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY)
- Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric)
- Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of "Novo-Diveevo" Convent)
- Deacon David Dutkanicz (cleric of St. Nicholas Church), and
- Hierodeacon Ignacio (Matzschke Brull; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery)
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.
Singing beautifully at Liturgy was the Synodal choir under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
Many believers from the cathedral and other churches gathered to pray at the service and congratulate the Metropolitan on his namesday.
At the end of the service, a short moleben was served.
Metropolitan Nicholas congratulated those present on the ongoing feast of the Presentation of the Lord, thanking the bishops and clergy for their prayers and said, in part:
"Today the Lord has gathered us to glorify our Savior, the Mother of God, the Holy Family and St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Japan. During our conciliar service, we felt special grace and joy.
"The saint was able to convert people in Japan to the Faith. We also profess the Orthodox Faith in a foreign land and we must take an example from him, we ourselves must affirm ourselves in the Faith and try to enlighten other people with our good example and kind words. This is our Christian duty. We should pray for the world, for each other, especially for those suffering today: Metropolitan Onufry and his flock in Ukraine, and prayerfully be with those who have suffered during the earthquake in Turkey and Syria."
On behalf of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Gabriel congratulated Metropolitan Nicholas on his namesday and noted that "the bishop is entrusted to care for his diocese, the metropolitan – for our entire Church Abroad, where the number of parishes has increased in recent years. I can draw parallels with the missionary activity of St. Nicholas of Japan, who ministered not only to the Russian-speaking flock, but also to the heterodox. Many people in Japan and around the world who were looking for the Orthodox faith, thanks to St. Nicholas, found it."
Archbishop Gabriel wished His Eminence good health and strength in his difficult hierarchal obedience. The protodeacon then intoned the polychronion for Metropolitan Nicholas.
In the cathedral hall, the sisterhood arranged a solemn banquet, during which many warm words and wishes were addressed to Metropolitan Nicholas for many years of life and blessed archpastoral service.