On May 21, the Sunday of the Blind Man, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, paid an archpastoral visit to Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church in Summerville, SC. That weekend, the parish was celebrating not only the appointed feasts of the day and Sunday, but also the 50th anniversary of its founding and the upcoming patronal feast of the Holy Equals-of-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius, Teachers of the Slavs ‒ May 24.
On Sunday morning, the faithful greeted the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad at the gates of the church with words of welcome, traditional bread and salt, and a bouquet of flowers. After giving his blessing, Metropolitan Nicholas processed to the nave with the congregation, accompanied by Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin) and Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (diocesan clerics), as well as parish rector Archpriest Anastasy Yatrelis and his assistant, Priest Daniel Gregoire. After His Eminence was vested in the midst of the church, Divine Liturgy commenced.
At the Little Entrance, Fr. Daniel ‒ celebrating the sixth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood ‒ was awarded the right to wear the nabedrennik.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas blessed the five loaves of the artoklasia and instructed the faithful with two homilies, one in English concerning the spiritual life, and one in Russian contemplating the Gospel lesson of the Blind Man.
His Eminence joined the rest of the community outside for a festal luncheon in celebration of the parish’s 50th anniversary. During the meal, Fr. Anastasy ‒ one of the parish’s original founders ‒ was recognized for his years of service to the parish and presented with a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Fr. Anastasy recognized all of those present, and all of those reposed of the local community, who have given so much of themselves to make the parish of Sts. Cyril & Methodius a warm spiritual home, underscoring that they deserved honor and gratitude more than he did.
Festivities concluded with singing of church hymns by children, instrumental performances, and a final blessing from Metropolitan Nicholas after triumphant chants of "Christ is Risen!" that filled the streets of this small Southern town.