On Wednesday the 27th and Thursday the 28th of May, the great feast of the Ascension of the Lord, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, led the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Concelebrating with the hierarchs were cathedral clergy: dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky, Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff, and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; Eastern American Diocesan cleric).
The services were held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Those who wished to celebrate the feast and pray were able to watch the service via Internet live-stream.
At Liturgy, the clergy commemorated Archbishop Agapit of Stuttgart, who reposed in the Lord that same day.
Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted the clergy and those praying at home with the joyous feast, as well as the sisters laboring in Holy Ascension Convent in the Holy Land. In his sermon, His Eminence said, in part:
"After His Resurrection, Christ remained on earth for 40 days, making His disciples steadfast in their faith, instructing them, and telling them how to strengthen Christ’s Church, which He established here on earth. After 40 days, He went to the top of the Mount of Olives, from whence He ascended into Heaven, and abides there now on the right hand of His Heavenly Father.
"We thank the Lord God for becoming incarnate and ascending to Heaven, and for giving us all that we need for our salvation, while the Holy Spirit, the Comforter Whom He sent us, strengthens and guides us."
Metropolitan Hilarion wished everyone good health, endurance, and many years of life.