May 12, 2016
Howell, NJ: Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrates Patronal Feast
of St. George’s Church
Bright Thursday the 5th and Friday the 6th of May, the feast of the
Holy Great-Martyr and Trophy-Bearer George, the faithful celebrated
the patronal feast day of
St. George’s Cossack Church
in Howell, NJ. St. George’s feast day always takes place during the
Paschal period, but this year, the holiday was especially joyous, as
it took place during Bright Week itself.
On Thursday evening, parish rector Archpriest Serge Lukianov led the
Paschal Vespers & Matins. The reading of the canon to the Holy
Great-Martyr mingled with the choir’s singing of the Paschal Canon.
The following morning, prior to the start of Divine Liturgy, Priest
Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of neighboring St. Alexander Nevsky
Diocesan Cathedral) performed the blessing of the water. Bishop
Nicholas of Manhattan then arrived and – for the first time as
bishop – celebrated Liturgy in St. George’s Church. His Grace was
co-served by Fr. Serge, Archpriest Rafael Melendez (Albanian
Orthodox Church) and Petro Kunitsky (cleric of Holy New Martyrs of
Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY), and clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky
Cathedral: Archpriest Boris Slootsky, Fr. Seraphim, and Protodeacons
Leonid Roschko and Paul Drozdowski.
completion of the service, Bishop Nicholas addressed the faithful
with a sermon, in which he said, in part: "This Sunday, Bright Week
will come to an end. And we can calmly look back at this week, at
all of Lent, and in general at our spiritual life. And we must ask
ourselves: how have I behaved? How have I lived? How has this all
influenced my spiritual life? Have I loved the Lord God with all my
heart, as this martyr of Christ loved Him, and as all of the saints
loved Him? Today, this is a good lesson and reminder for us, how we
must, with all our heart and soul, fully trust in God, believe in
Him, and love Him. And this martyr gives us his wonderful,
magnificent example, for which we magnify him. Let us continue to
abide beneath the protection of this great-martyr, let us constantly
consider his example, always asking ourselves: have I loved the Lord
God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my thoughts?
May the Lord God help us continue to be worthy Christians, not in
name only, but in our life. Amen."
Bishop Nicholas congratulated everyone with the feast and thanked
the clergy, choir, and worshippers for their shared prayer.
After the service, a bountiful luncheon was served in the Cossack
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese