On Tuesday, September 27, the great feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY, where he celebrated the festal Divine Liturgy. This marked his first visit to the parish as First Hierarch.
In the church narthex, warden Vladimir I. Mikhailichenko greeted the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad with bread and salt. The rector, Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine, greeted His Eminence, assured him of the constant prayers of the church’s clergy and parishioners, wishing him God’s unceasing aid in the bearing of his Primatial cross, and likewise entreated the Metropolitan’s holy prayers.
Prior to the start of Liturgy, Fr. Alexandre presented the First Hierarch a gift on behalf of the parish: a white klobuk and blue metropolitan’s mantle, sewn by craftsmen in Moscow.
Concelebrating with His Eminence at Liturgy were:
- Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar; abbot St. Dionysios the Areopagite Monastery in St. James, NY)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (parish rector)
- Abbot Arseny (Manko; rector of Sts. Cosmas & Damian Church in Passaic, NJ)
- Priest George Temidis (rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY)
- Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY)
- Protodeacon Serge Ohotin (cleric of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ), and
- Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric).
Parishioners gathered to venerate the Cross and to pray at the divine services; most of them communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Metropolitan Nicholas ordained Subdeacon Andrei Antchoutine to the diaconate. It is worth of note that this diaconal ordination was planned by the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion, and became the first performed by Metropolitan Nicholas as First Hierarch. The newly ordained Deacon Andrei will fulfill his service at Holy Intercession Church.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas delivered a sermon on the feast, reminding the faithful that each must bear his cross with humility.
The protodeacon intoned the Polychronion for His Holiness, Patriarch Kyrill, Metropolitan Nicholas, the clergy, parishioners, and the newly ordained Deacon Andrei.
The parish sisterhood organized a festal luncheon for the clergy and faithful, during which words of congratulation and well-wishes were offered. The people did not disperse for a long time, taking advantage of the opportunity to speak with their First Hierarch, the clergy, and one another.