Howell, NJ: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Patronal Feast of St.
Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral
On Sunday the 11th and Monday the 12th of September, the patronal
feast day of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ,
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York led the
All-Night Vigil and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Diocesan
Center. Co-serving with His Eminence were:
Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (dean of New Jersey)
Archpriest Mark Shinn (rector of St. Andrew’s Cathedral (MP) in
Archpriest Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary, cathedral dean)
Archpriest Liubo Milosevich (rector of Holy Trinity Church in
Archpriest David Straut (rector of St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr
Church in Rocky Hill, NJ)
Archpriest Mark Burachek (rector of Our Lady of Kazan Church in
Archpriest Boris Oparin (rector of St. Joasaph of Belgorod Church in
Archpriest Rafael Melendez (cleric of the Albanian Orthodox Church)
Archpriest Petro Kunitsky (cleric of Holy New Martyrs & Confessors
of Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY)
Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cathedral cleric)
Archpriest George Zelenin (rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in
Archpriest Vasiliy Raskovskiy (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of
the Sign in New York City)
Archpriest Zoran Radovic (rector of St. George’s Serbian Church in
Priest Seraphim Chemodakov (cathedral cleric)
Priest Dimitri Jakimowicz (cleric of the Church of All Russian
Saints, Burlingame, CA)
Priest Theodore Gregory (rector of Holy Trinity Church (OCA) in
Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Protection Church in
Protodeacons Leonid Roschko & Paul Drozdowski (cathedral clerics),
Deacon Petr Utkin (cleric of Holy New Martyrs Church in Brooklyn).
praying in church was Priest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St.
Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ).
the eve of the feast, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the
Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God – was brought to the cathedral
from New York City for the All-Night Vigil; to the joy of the clergy
and faithful, the icon remained in the church for veneration during
the services. At Liturgy, the parish choir was joined in their
singing by the "Konevets" Quartet from St. Petersburg.
At the Little Entrance, in accordance with the resolution of the
Holy Synod, Fr. Seraphim Chemodakov was elevated to the rank of
The church was full of worshippers for its patronal feast day, and
many communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
completion of the service, Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the
faithful with a sermon: "The Lord blesses and gives many gifts to
those who please Him, those who struggle and who accomplish their
salvation alongside Him. One such great saint of God was the holy
right-believing Great Prince Alexander, who labored much for the
well-being of his country. The Emperor Peter the Great, highly
valuing St. Alexander’s struggles and victories over the Swedes,
ordered that the saint’s relics be transferred from Moscow to St.
Petersburg. Three Russian tsars bore the name Alexander, which made
him the Heavenly patron of the Imperial Family. But the Church
glorifies St. Alexander Nevsky not for his victories, but for his
inner spiritual life, because he glorified God in his life, prayed
for the Russian land and for his enemies, and so cultivated his own
soul that God might abide within him. And the Lord granted him might
and fortitude, that he might defend his homeland and his people."
Eminence congratulated the cathedral clerics and the namesday
celebrants bearing the saint’s name, wishing them "good success in
all things, that this day might be full of joy and spiritual
jubilation," and that joy in the Lord might always remain with them.
After the festal Liturgy, the traditional procession was held around
the cathedral with the Kursk Root Icon and other holy icons of the
behalf of the clergy and parishioners, cathedral dean Fr. Serge
Lukianov congratulated Metropolitan Hilarion as rector on the
occasion of the patronal feast day, and thanked His Eminence for his
archpastoral love and joint prayers, and wished the Metropolitan
fortitude and God’s aid.
Serge then introduced to the faithful Sister Martha (Wall), director
of the Russian School in Bethany in the Holy Land. He told them
about the current status of the girls’ school, in which over 500
students are presently enrolled, and which next year will mark its
Metropolitan Hilarion, joined by clergy and parishioners, proceeded
to Nevsky Park, located behind the cathedral’s altar, where he
planted a tree in memory of his parents. The clergy touchingly sang
"Memory Eternal" to the ever-memorable Alexey and Euphrosynia.
cathedral sisterhood invited the clergy and faithful to a festal
luncheon in the parish hall, where general interaction continued.
The "Konevets" Quartet performed a concert of Russian folk music for
all those present, and was greeted with thunderous applause.
Horseback riding was also organized in Nevsky Park for adults and
children alike. This caught the excited attention not only of
parishioners with children, but also of the clergy, who decided to
have a ride on the horses, as well. The cost of the horses was
covered by a donation from the owners of the local Bear & Birch
Interaction between the clergy, parishioners, and guests continued
long into the afternoon.
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese