February 11, 2016
Howell, NJ: Bishop George of Canberra leads Divine Services in St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral

On Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th of February, on the feast day of Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, Bishop George of Canberra, vicar of the Diocese of Australia & New Zealand, led the All-Night Vigil and celebrated the Divine Liturgy in St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ.

Prior to the start of the All-Night Vigil, the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God was brought to the cathedral for veneration by the faithful.

At the Divine Liturgy, Bishop George was co-served by Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Archpriests Serge Lukianov (cathedral dean and diocesan secretary), David Straut (rector of St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ), Liubo Milosevich (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ), Rafael Melendez (Albanian Orthodox Church), Boris Slootsky (cathedral cleric), Athanasios Kyritsis (Orthodox Church of Greece), and Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Protection Church in New Brunswick, NJ), Priests Seraphim Chemodakov (cathedral cleric) and Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), and cathedral Protodeacons Nicholas Lukianov, Leonid Roschko, and Paul Drozdowski.

Before the start of Liturgy, Bishop George ordained Reader George Kaplanov a subdeacon, and during Liturgy ordained him to the diaconate.

Upon completion of the service, His Grace congratulated the clergy and faithful with the feast of St. Xenia, especially noting the fact that both services had taken place under the aegis of one of the great holy icons of the Russian Diaspora – the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Icon of the Mother of God. In his sermon, Bishop George spoke about the life of Blessed Xenia, pointing in particular to her example of renouncing worldly pleasures, which in turn leads to true repentance.

On the feast day of one of the especially venerated saints in Russia, and in the presence of the myrrh-streaming image of the Most Holy Theotokos, a multitude of faithful and students from the parish Russian School communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries, and received small icons and cotton balls with myrrh from the icon. Upon completion of the service, a festal luncheon was held for the clergy and parishioners.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese