On Great Thursday, April 29, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, celebrated the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky (cathedral cleric), Abbot Zosimas (Krampis; rector of the Synodal English Mission), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric). Praying in the altar was the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York. The choir sang under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
Liturgy was held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, recently returned from her travels to the Mid-American Diocese. On the day when the Holy Church commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, virtually all those gathered at the service communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
In his sermon upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas congratulated communicants with the feast, and reminded the faithful of the words of the Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom, who wrote that "when we commune of the Body and Bloody of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must emerge from the church as lions breathing fire, in order to stand against the devil and all dark powers."
That evening, Matins was served with the reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels. Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada and Bishop Nicholas led the service, co-served by the above-named clergy. The Synodal choir sang profoundly. A multitude of parishioners came to pray at one of the most triumphal and, at the same time, awe-inspiring services of Great Land and of the liturgical year in general.