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December 19, 2009
Red Bank, NJ: Bishop George led the Divine Services in St. Nicholas Church on the occasion of its Patronal Feast Day

redbank.lg.jpg (60639 bytes)On December 19, the feast day of St. Nicholas, Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, led the divine services in St. Nicholas Church in Red Bank, NJ, on the occasion of the parish’s patronal feast day. On Friday, December 18, the eve of the feast, parishioners and other faithful festively greeted the wonder-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God and His Grace with a procession prior to the start of the All-Night Vigil. The Vigil was led by Bishop George, co-served by the rector, Archpriest Serge Lukianov, and parish clergy – Priest Jonah Campbell and Deacon Leonid Roschko. Upon completion of the Vigil, a litiy was served for the repose of the newly departed Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest (OCA) and Archimandrite Joasaph (McLellan), who had passed away that same day. After the litiy, Fr. Serge offered a touching homily on the half of the departed.

The following morning, despite a snowstorm sacking the Eastern American Diocese, parishioners gathered to glorify their Heavenly Intercessor and celebrate their parish feast day. The Divine Liturgy began after the triumphal greeting of the bishop and the icon, and was celebrated by His Grace Bishop George, co-served by the parish clergy, as well as Priest Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church, NJ) and Priest Vitaly Lialukov (cleric of the Church of Our Lady, the Inexhaustible Chalice, NY). At the end of the service, Vladyka gave a wonderful sermon on the life of St. Nicholas, which was followed by a moleben to the Thetokos and St. Nicholas. Upon completion of the Liturgy, Fr. Serge greeted His Grace, thanking him for his archpastoral visit to Red Bank and presenting him with a copy of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Bishop George then presented a copy of the icon to the warden, Nicholas E. Burbelo, on the occasion of the latter’s namesday, while smaller icons were presented to altar-servers celebrating their namesday. After the service, a festal luncheon was offered in the parish hall.

Later that evening, despite the heavy snowfall, a small group of the faithful returned to fill the church of St. George with their heartfelt prayer, greeting the bishop and, along with him, the wonder-working icon of the Mother of God, for which a marvelous blue frame of flowers had been made by the parish youth. Unfortunately, the poor weather necessitated canceling services on Sunday, but the faithful thanked the Almighty for the chance to venerate this holy icon before its departure to the South. O Holy Hierarch and Father Nicholas, pray unto God for us!


Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese