February 11, 2016
Brooklyn, NY: Bishop Nicholas leads Patronal Feast of Holy New Martyrs of Russia Church

On Sunday, February 7, the feast of the Holy New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, led the patronal feast day of Holy New Martyrs Church in Brooklyn, NY. After the arrival at the church of the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, the clergy and faithful greeted the hierarch.

His Grace was co-served by parish rector Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Archpriest Andrei Sommer (senior priest of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Archpriest Petro Kunitsky (parish cleric), Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Priest Alexey Bykon (parish cleric), Protodeacons Nicholas Lukianov and Leonid Roschko (clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral), and Deacons Petr Utkin (parish cleric) and George Kaplanov.

The Liturgy for the parish’s patronal feast was eventful. At the beginning of the service, acolyte Igor Zayats was ordained a subdeacon. For his longtime service to the Holy Church, parish cleric Archpriest Petro Kunitsky was awarded the right to wear the jeweled cross. Deacon George Kaplanov was ordained a priest. After his first forty days serving, Fr. George will be sent to serve at the Russian Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in Costa Rica.

Upon completion of the service, Bishop Nicholas congratulated the clergy and faithful with the patronal feast day, and reminded them of the spiritual struggle undertaken by the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, as well as the familial struggle faced by the Royal Family. His Grace noted with regret that, in our time, the understanding of the family has lost. "The Lord blessed that husband and wife should create a family as a domestic church," he said, and called on those present to follow the example of the Royal Family in their faith and spiritual labors, attending God’s church together, confessing and communing together, and performing pilgrimages to the holy places.

Following the Liturgy, the faithful were anointed with myrrh from the holy icon. In the church hall, the parish sisterhood prepared a festal luncheon for the clergy and faithful. The parish choir, under the direction of Nikodim Buryakov, had prepared a concert. The choir’s principal singer, graduate of Moscow’s Gnessin State Musical College and student in the Vocal Classes Department of New York university The New School Pavel Suliandziga, sang aria solos from several operas, as well as Russian folk songs, which were met with prolonged applause. The feast day was an enjoyable time for interaction between the clergy and parishioners.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese