On Friday, March 30 – the eve of Lazarus Saturday – Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY, and celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the convent’s main St. Seraphim Cathedral. His Eminence was co-served that morning by convent clergy: cathedral dean Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski, Abbot Photius (Oulanov), and Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, as well as Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin) and Deacon Pavel Roudenko (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City).
In accordance with Novo-Diveevo tradition, established many years ago by Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko; +1978) of Rockland, the clergy changed into gold vestments at Typica before Liturgy, in honor of the feast of the resurrection of Lazarus. They will likewise serve in gold for Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday. The clergy and choir sang festal, rather than Lenten, hymns. Many of the faithful received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan Hilarion read aloud a sermon from Venerable Theodore the Studite "On the Friday of Palms: About how we must protect ourselves from the intrigues of the devil."
His Eminence greeted the faithful with the upcoming feasts of Palm Sunday and Pascha. The Metropolitan presented Abbess Makaria, the clergy, monastics, and regular worshippers an icon of the Synaxis of the Saints of Diveevo, which he had brought back from Diveevo Convent for Novo-Diveevo, strengthening the ties between the two convents.
After the services, a luncheon was served in the parish hall. Metropolitan Hilarion then visited with some of the local faithful before heading back to Synod.
That afternoon, the convent was visited by members of the "Peter the Great" Troop of St. George Pathfinders of America (SGPA), who volunteered their time to clean the church property in preparation for Palm Sunday, Passion Week, and Pascha.