August 19, 2016
Los Angeles, CA: Bishop Nicholas leads Feast of Procession of the Precious Wood of the Cross in Holy Protection Church

On Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of August, with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, visited Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA, and led the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord (the first August Feast of the Savior).

Prior to the start of the All-Night Vigil, His Grace was greeted by the dean of the Western American Diocese’s Southern Deanery, Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff (rector of neighboring Holy Transfiguration Cathedral).

At Vigil, His Grace performed the bringing out of the Holy & Life-Giving Cross for veneration by the faithful.

The following day, at the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas was co-served by parish rector Archpriest Victor Tseshkovsky and Deacon Sergey Zhukov. In accordance with old Russian tradition, after the service, the clergy blessed honey.

In his sermon, His Grace spoke about why the Holy Cross is brought out for veneration by the faithful on the first day of the Dormition Fast, and noted that, fortifying ourselves by the image and power of the Precious & Life-Giving Cross of the Lord on which Christ the Savior suffered and died for us, we must apply all of our efforts over the next two weeks to fast worthily. The hierarch reminded the faithful that fasting is the very least that we can do in order to manifest our love and faithfulness to God.

Bishop Nicholas also commented on the Gospel reading for that Sunday – the feeding of the 5,000 – and reminded the faithful that we must ask the Lord to bless not only our earthly gifts and talents, but must also ask Him to grant us spiritual nourishment.

After the dismissal, His Grace offered words of greeting to the parish rector, Fr. Victor, and to the parishioners, sincerely thanking Archbishop Kyrill for his blessing and for the opportunity to serve in Holy Protection Church. Bishop Nicholas thanked Frs. Victor and Serge for their shared prayer, expressing his gratitude to the altar servers, to the choir for their beautiful singing, and to the faithful.

His Grace shared his memories of visiting Holy Protection Church with Metropolitan Laurus ten years ago, as well as with the Kursk Root Icon (of which Bishop Nicholas is the guardian) in 2013.

Fr. Victor thanked His Grace for visiting the parish and for his joint prayers, and asked him to relay his warmest wishes to Metropolitan Hilarion.

Upon completion of the service, the clergy and faithful venerated the Cross, and Bishop Nicholas distributed the antidoron.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese
Photos: Alexander Belyarchik