On Monday, September 6, a monumental occasion in the life of Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY took place. With the blessing of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan arrived to officiate the Great Consecration of the church and celebrate Divine Liturgy in the newly sanctified altar.
On Sunday, September 5, All-Night Vigil was served outside the iconostasis, as is appointed on the eve of a consecration. As the sun glistened behind the golden cupolas early Monday morning, His Grace was greeted at the main doors of the church by the parish warden and entered the temple.
Serving alongside Bishop Nicholas were His Grace Luke, Bishop of Syracuse, and local clergy:
- Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (dean of Joy of all who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco, CA)
- Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
- Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (parish rector)
- Archpriest Gregory-Lazarus Murphy (rector of St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Church in Geneva, NY)
- Archpriest Michael Taratuchin (rector of St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY)
- Archpriest Alexis Duncan (rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of New York City, Long Island & the Hudson Valley)
- Archpriest Constantine Semyanko (rector of Holy Presentation Church in Stratford, CT)
- Priest Seraphim Wing (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Edinboro, PA)
- Priest Matthew Smith (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Endicott, NY)
- Priest Ephraim Willmarth (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery)
- Priest John Boddecker (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery)
- Priest Andrew Hammond (rector of Sts. Theodore Church in Buffalo, NY)
- Protodeacon Andrej Strapko (parish cleric)
- Protodeacon Peter Markevich (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery)
- Deacon George Hammond (cleric of Sts. Theodore Church) and
- Deacon Nathan Reff (parish cleric).
At the conclusion of the Great Consecration, a procession was held with the relics of the saints that were then encased in the parish’s antimension.
During the reading of the Hours, Bishop Nicholas tonsured parish acolyte Nikolaos Kontogiannis a reader.
At the Little Entrance, by the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, Archpriest Gregory Naumenko was awarded the miter for his many years of dedicated service to the Church.
Singing at Divine Liturgy was the parish choir under the direction of Matushka Maria Naumenko.
Before Holy Communion, Archpriest Michael Taratuchin and Priest John Boddecker delivered sermons in Russian and English respectively on the historical aspects of the consecration. Most of those present received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Divine Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas greeted all those gathered with the momentous occasion. He then presented the parish with a Synodal Gramota acknowledging the many years of labors by parishioners to erect, fund, and beautify the church in Rochester.
A group photograph of the clergy and parishioners was taken, and all then proceeded to a festal banquet, during which many congratulatory addresses were read aloud.
Rochester, NY: Bishop Nicholas officiates Great Consecration of Protection of the Mother of God Church - 09/06/21
Photos: G. Konyev - Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese