On December 16-17, the 28th Sunday after Pentecost, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse paid an archpastoral visit to St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ, where he officiated the divine services.
Serving alongside His Grace at All-Night Vigil on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning were the parish clergy: rector Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Archpriests Vasily Andrejuk, Luka Novakovic, Rafael Melendez, and Boris Slootsky; Priest Anthony Williams; Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski; and Deacons Alexis Golubov (cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City), Alexandre Sarandinaki, and Dimitry Lisan.
Singing the divine services beautifully and prayerfully was the Holy Trinity Seminary Choir from Jordanville, NY, directed by Deacon Nicholas Kotar.
The wonderworking Jordanville copy of the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God was present to the joy of the faithful, who came to venerate it throughout the services.
At the Sixth Hour, Reader Stephan Lukianov was ordained a subdeacon for continued service in the cathedral.
Almost the entire parish and student of the parochial Russian School confessed their sins and communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Since 2017, St. Alexander Nevsky parish has established a tradition to invite the bishop and the seminary choir, together with the Pochaev Icon, in December for the purpose of raising much-needed funds for Holy Trinity Seminary. Glory to God, this year the parish Benevolent Fund raised $25,000 for the seminary.
After Liturgy, a festal luncheon was held in the lower cathedral hall, where warm words of welcome and well-wishes were spoken. All of the visiting clergy and seminarians received gift bags filled with icons, spiritual books, and lenten dark chocolate bars, peanuts, and candy.
Before leaving, Bishop Luke and the seminarians visited Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov’s (+2018) grave behind the cathedral and sang a litia for the departed.