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January 19, 2010
Red Bank, NJ: Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy in St. Nicholas Church and blessed the Navesink River

mh.lg.jpg (39554 bytes)On Tuesday, January 19, the great feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern American and New York, visited St. Nicholas Church in Red Bank, NJ, and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. His Eminence was co-served by parish rector and diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Archpriest Joseph Lickwar (rector of Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City, NJ), diocesan treasurer Priest Jonah Campbell, and parish Deacon Leonid Roschko. During the Little Entrance, in accordance with a resolution of the ROCOR Synod, Fr. Serge was awarded the right to wear the jeweled cross. Upon completion of the Liturgy, the Metropolitan performed the rite of the Great Blessing of the Water and led a procession through the city to the Navesink River. On the riverbank, His Eminence proclaimed the festal Gospel reading, blessed the river waters and released a white dove. The Metropolitan then gave his blessing to two servants of God from Kursk to jump into the Navesink River, continuing an old Russian tradition. Simultaneously, the clergy and parish children released doves over the river, representative of the Holy Spirit, Who descended upon the Savior in the Jordan. After the procession, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted the parishioners with the great feast and noted how pleasant it was to see that old Russian Theophany customs continue to be performed abroad. In his response, Fr. Serge thanked His Eminence for his archpastoral visit to Red Bank and presented him with a new white miter on behalf of the parish. A bountiful luncheon was held in the parish hall.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese