August 2, 2016
Jackson, NJ: Bishop Nicholas leads Patronal Feast of St. Vladimir Memorial Church

On Wednesday the 27th and Thursday the 28th of July, the feast day of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan led the divine services – the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy – for the patronal feast day of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ.

At Liturgy, His Grace was co-served by:

-          Archimandrite Seraphim (Rakovsky; rector of Odessa Theological Seminary, Ukraine)

-          Archpriest Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary, dean of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ)

-          Archpriest Paul Volmensky (cleric of the Western American Diocese)

-          Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell)

-          Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (rector of Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY)

-          Archpriest John Prokopiuk (rector of Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church OCA in Jackson)

-          Priest Gregory Winsky (cleric of St. Michael’s Church MP in Philadelphia, PA)

-          Priest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell)

-          Priest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of the memorial church)

-          Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City)

-          Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY)

-          Protodeacons Leonid Roschko & Paul Drozdowski (clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)

-          Deacon Nathan Mousselli (cleric of the memorial church)

-          Deacon Vladimir Barros (cleric of Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove).

The parish choir, under the direction of director Julia Kovaleva, sang the divine services.

Upon completion of the Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas congratulated the clergy and parishioners on the occasion of their patronal feast, and addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he said, in part, that the Holy Great Prince Vladimir and Great Princess Olga not only adopted the Faith, but did everything possible for that Faith to spread among all of the peoples; he reminded them of the words of the Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai, who said in his Sermon on the 950th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’: "From the time of the Baptism of Rus’ to our own days, there has not been, it seems, even a single moment when there was not a saint living in the Russian land who, upon his death, did not become a Heavenly intercessor for the Russian land. Every province of Russia, from Carpathian Rus’ (the Venerable Moses the Hungarian and Ephraim of Novy Torg) to Alaska (Venerable Herman), which belonged to Russia for only a short time, had its holy spiritual laborers. Every nation in Russia, virtually every city of note had its own holy relics or icons. Her spiritual centers were the monasteries, which influenced both villages and cities. Every locale, every dialect was sanctified in service to God. The history of Russia, full of marvelous proofs of God’s providence for her, is a history of God building up a nation, a new sacred history…"

"Does holiness live on today? And do we see this holiness?" asked His Grace. "Yes, Holy Rus’ lives, around us and above us – our Heavenly patrons, intercessors between God and us. The most important thing is that we sense this holiness in our hearts and reverence it… We are far from holy, far from ascetic laborers, but we must strive toward that ideal, toward a holy life on this earth, towad a life with God. Our holy forebears – Prince Vladimir and Princess Olga – understood this. Let us give thanks unto God for giving us such saints; let us ask their blessing and prayers; let us consider ourselves one Orthodox family with our holy forebears."

The clergy and faithful performed the traditional procession around the memorial church, after which they gathered for a festal luncheon.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese