May 13, 2016
Sea Cliff, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion blesses Frescoes in St.
Seraphim Memorial Church
Bright Saturday, May 7, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America &
New York paid an archpastoral visit to
Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY.
His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy, co-served by Bishop
Nicholas of Manhattan (vicar of the Eastern American Diocese),
parish rector Archpriest Serafim Gan, Archpriests Serge Lukianov
(diocesan secretary), Andrei Sommer (senior priest of the Synodal
Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Alexandre Antchoutine (dean
of Long Island & the Hudson Valley), Alexis Duncan (rector of
Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), and Vasiliy
Raskovskiy (Synodal cleric), Hieromonk Photius (Oulanov; cleric of
Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY), Protodeacons
Vadim Gan (Synodal cleric), Paul Wolkow and Eugene Kallaur (parish clerics), and
Dionysius Lvov (Synodal cleric), and Deacon Vladimir Barros (cleric
of Holy Virgin Intercession Church).
the Little Entrance, Metropolitan Hilarion blessed the frescoes on
the church’s ceiling, the final installments of that section of the
church’s iconography dedicated to the historical signing of the Act
of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia
and Abroad in 2007.
2012, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad selected St.
Seraphim of Sarov Church to be the Memorial Church to the
Re-Establishment of Unity in the Russian Church. With Metropolitan
Hilarion’s blessing, Priest Paul Akmolin (cleric of the Mid-American
Diocese) began work on the church’s frescoes. Depicted on the
altar’s apse is the icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,"
Protectress of the Russian Diaspora; on the ceiling above the
iconostasis – the Ascension of the Lord. Depicted in the middle of
the nave, from the narthex to the central cupola, is the entire
millennial path of the Russian Orthodox Church, from the Baptism of
Rus’ in 988 A.D. to the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in
Moscow. Depicted on the walls on either side of the altar are saints
especially venerated in the parish: the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov,
Anthony the Roman, and Onuphrius the Great, the Venerable-Martyr
Athanasius, the Martyr Laurus, and the Holy Hierarchs Alexius of
Moscow, Metrophanes of Voronezh, and John of Shanghai & San
the Liturgy was the youth choir of Prince Vladimir Association,
under the direction of Adrian Fekula.
Upon completion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted
the youth choir, and also congratulated Protodeacon Paul Wolkow on
the 25th anniversary of his diaconal ordination, wishing him firm
health to continue his service to the Church for many years. In
honor of 25 years of dedicated service to the Holy Church, His
Eminence presented Fr. Paul with the Russian Orthodox Church’s Order
of St. Innocent of Moscow, 3rd Class.
the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful, Fr. Serafim Gan relayed that,
this coming summer, the iconographer will deliver the canvas icons
depicting the saints to be placed in the church’s narthex. Fr.
Serafim noted that the fruits of the unification of the Russian
Church are visible to us today, including in the realm of youth
ministry, and wished the choir members soon to depart for Ukraine a
fruitful and blessed pilgrimage, and mutually enriching interaction
with their young compatriots.
The parish sisterhood organized a festal luncheon for the clergy and
parishioners, during which Fr. Serafim presented Fr. Andrei Sommer
(head of Prince Vladimir Youth Association and vice president of the
Synodal Youth Department) a check for $1,500, collected by the
parish sisterhood to cover the expenses of the youth choir’s coming
trip. An additional amount was gathered as a donation to the
children of the orphanage in the village of Bancheny, Bukovina. The
collection for this orphanage was conducted during Great Lent in the
parishes of the Diocese. All told, over $7,000 was collected,
reported Fr. Andrei, who thanked the parish sisterhood for their
support of the youth choir and their contribution to the larger
donation to the children of Ukraine.
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese