On May 12, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York visited Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY, and led the parish’s patronal feast day. Concelebrating with His Eminence at Divine Liturgy were Archpriests Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Paul Ivanov (parish rector), and Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov; rector of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ), and Deacon Alexis Golubov (cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City).
For his many years of dedicated service to the Holy Church, Fr. Paul was awarded the right to wear the jeweled cross.
The church was filled with worshippers, including many children. Most of those present communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. The faithful were communed from two chalices.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the clergy and parishioners with the radiant feast of the Lord’s Pascha and the feast of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women. He also congratulated Fr. Paul on his award, and wished all the grace of the Holy Spirit in their labors.
In response, the rector said, in part: "During these days, the entire Orthodox world unceasingly glorifies the risen Christ. And today you have given us, who abide in this holy place, the gift of prayerful interaction with you. You were here for the opening of our church, and now, when we have grown accustomed to praying and being saved in this place, on the day when we celebrate the memory of our Heavenly intercessors, our First Hierarch has gladdened us with his visit."
Fr. Paul thanked the Metropolitan and the clergy who had shared in the joy of the feast alongside the parish.
The men of the parish prepared flowers for the women, and presented them after the "myrrh-bearers" approach the Cross, and Fr. Paul sprinkled them with holy water.
The parish of the Holy Myrrhbearers was founded in March 2015. Now the church is well established: the iconostasis is built, and a refectory organized. The parish hosts a school named in honor of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt, where over 30 children aged 3-15 study. The staff is primarily composed of women parishioners who volunteer their time, as well as some professional teachers. Children study the Law of God, Russian language and literature, Russian history, applied arts, and music.
Every summer, the boys and girls head off to Jordanville, to a camp organized and run by the parents and older youths. In Jordanville, the young parishioners also learned how to carol.
Many of the faithful in New York and surrounding states are familiar with the "Verbochkí" parish theater. While large-scale performances are still only in the planning phase, the young people regularly perform during Maslenitsa (Cheesefare) and other major feasts.
Parishioners, including children, especially love the parish pilgrimages: to American monasteries and to the American capital. Parishioners have even visited the Holy Land, treading the same paths as Christ the Savior once walked.
There are over 100 regular parishioners of the church. Between 120-130 people pray at Sunday Liturgy, while many more faithful gather in the church for major feast days. Upon completion of the service, the people themselves care for the church: cleaning up and helping in the refectory.
For parishioners, the most important thing in the life of the parish is that they live out Church life not only Sunday to Sunday, but throughout the week: they organize literary evenings, hold dancing lessons, and teach crafts.
The patronal feast day concluded with a festal luncheon, prepared for the clergy, guests, and parishioners by the church’s sisterhood.
Brooklyn, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Patronal Feast of Holy Myrrhbearers Church - 05/12/19