May 27, 2016
Poughkeepsie, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Patronal Feast of St. Nicholas Church

On Sunday, May 22, the feast of the Translation of the Relics of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas, the parish of St. Nicholas Church in Poughkeepsie, NY triumphally celebrated its patronal feast day. Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, visited the parish and celebrated the festal Liturgy.

His Eminence was co-served by Bishop Jerome, parish rector Archpriest Alexander Donchenko, Abbot Cornelius (Apukhtin; cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY), Priest George Temidis (member of the Diocesan Council), Protodeacons Vadim Gan (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), and Dionysius Lvov (Synodal cleric), and Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Mahopac).

During the Hours, Metropolitan Hilarion elevated Reader Konstantin Aleshin to the rank of Subdeacon. His new duties as subdeacon, will include looking after the altar and sacristy belongings of the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac.

The parish of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Mahopac came to church in Poughkeepsie, in order to jointly celebrate the feast. In accordance with long-established tradition, the two parishes visit one another on their patronal feast days.

Bedecked in white Paschal vestments, the church was beautifully adorned with bright flowers. Beneath the church’s domes rang out the joyful greetings: "Christ is Risen – Indeed He is Risen!" in Church Slavonic, English, and Georgian. The choir sang prayerfully and triumphally.

In his sermon, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the faithful with the feast of St. Nicholas and spoke about how this initially little-known 4th century saint was glorified throughout the world through miracles and aid granted to those who appealed to him in prayer. The relics of the holy hierarch were providentially moved more than seven centuries after the saint’s repose to the Italian city of Bari from Myra in Lycia, where they were under threat of desecration by the Saracens. The journey lasted nine days and on May 9, 1087, the relics of St. Nicholas were triumphally met by the faithful of Bari. By God’s grace, sweet-smelling myrrh continues to flow to this day from the hierarch’s relics. At the end of his sermon, His Eminence wished everyone spiritual growth and joy in God.

After Liturgy, parishioners and guests showered the two bishops with words of greeting and festal well-wishing. All were invited to a shared luncheon, which proceeded abundantly in a lively and joyous atmosphere under a white tent over a field adjoining the church. The youth sat on an adjacent grassy hill, and it was hard to believe that the church is in fact located in the midst of a large and bustling city.

Under the century-old pines in the cool of the white tent, the people were filled bright joy at spending time with those dear to their hearts.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese