March 25, 2016
New York – Boston – Philadelphia: On First Week of Great Lent, Bishop Nicholas leads Hierarchal Services in Diocesan Parishes

On the first week of Great Lent, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan performed archpastoral visits to parishes of the Diocese, and led the lenten services there.

On Monday, March 14, His Grace led the reading of the Great Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete in Holy Fathers Church in New York City. This church is traditionally considered the cathedral church of the Bishop of Manhattan. Parish rector Archpriest Alexander Botschagow served Great Compline. It is worth noting that this is the first time in the history of Holy Fathers Church that a bishop has read the Great Canon. In memory of his lenten visit and service, Bishop Nicholas left his hierarchal staff in the church.

On Tuesday, March 15, Bishop Nicholas read the Penitential Canon in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Abbot Cornelius (Apukhtin) served Great Compline. His Grace was co-served by the cathedral’s senior priest, Archpriest Andrei Sommer, and cathedral clergy, while the hierarchal choir sang Compline.

On Wednesday, March 16, Bishop Nicholas read the Great Penitential Canon in the Church of our Lady "Unexpected Joy" on Staten Island, NY. For the support, prayerful intercession, and spiritual comfort of the faithful, His Grace brought the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God to the church. Bishop Nicholas was co-served by parish cleric Archpriest Petro Zgoba.

On Thursday, March 17, Bishop Nicholas performed an archpastoral visit to Holy Epiphany Church in Boston, MA. Co-served by parish rector Archpriest Victor Boldewskul, His Grace led the reading of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, to the tender singing of the choir. Upon completion of the reading of the Canon, His Grace delivered an edifying sermon to the parishioners. Bishop Nicholas called the Canon of St. Andrew a "conversation with the soul," and called on the faithful to adopt it as a prayer rule during the Great Fast, reading it at home and internalizing the words of this lenten composition.

Upon completion of the service, as the choir sang the hymn "Beneath thy compassion," the clergy and parishioners, in accordance with pious monastic tradition, venerated all of the icons in the church, while Bishop Nicholas gave a blessing to all those present.

On Saturday, March 19, the feast of the Holy Great-Martyr Theodore Tyro, Bishop Nicholas celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and that evening in the Synodal Cathedral, co-served the All-Night Vigil with Metropolitan Hilarion. The Vigil took place under the aegis of the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God "Softener of Evil Hearts," which is visiting from Moscow, as well as the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon.

On Sunday, March 20, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Philadelphia, PA, and on the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy celebrated the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, co-served by parish rector Priest Valery Sukholobov and Deacon Nathan Mousselli (cleric of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ).

Bishop Nicholas also led the Rite of Orthodoxy, with the Anathemas, Memory Eternal, and Polychronion being intoned by Fr. Nathan. His Grace congratulated the clergy and parishioners on the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and wished them the acquisition of spiritual strength through prayer and fasting. The bishop thanked the faithful for their labors on behalf of the parish, and the parishioners thanked their archpastor for providing spiritual nourishment and shared prayer.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese