On Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th of September, the clergy and parishioners of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral marked their patronal feast day. This year, the celebrations were officiated by Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New Yorк, who travelled from New York City to perform the archpastoral visit, together with Bishop Job of Stuttgart, vicar of the German Diocese. Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada also came to share in the solemn service with the other hierarchs.
To the joy of the clergy and parishioners, the myrrh-streaming Iveron-Montreal "Hawaiian" Icon of the Mother of God arrived at the festal services, accompanied by its guardian, Priest Nectarios Yangson, who, since the beginning of this year, has been rector of the eponymous church in Hawaii and whom numerous parishioners in the United States remember as a subdeacon and deacon.
The joy of the feast was shared with the clergy and parishioners of the cathedral by numerous believers from other U.S. states. Throughout the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy, the stream of believers to the wonderworking icon did not slow.
On Monday evening, Bishop Job officiated the Litia with a procession of clergy faithful believers around the cathedral, the Polyeleos, and the Great Doxology.
The next day, Metropolitan Nicholas celebrated the festal Liturgy, co-served by Archbishop Gabriel and Bishop Job. Concelebrating with the hierarchs were parish and visiting clergy:
- Archpriest Vasily Andrejuk (cathedral cleric)
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov (cathedral rector)
- Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk (deaн of St. Catherine OCA Representation Church in Moscow)
- Archpriest Luka Novakovic (cathedral cleric)
- Archpriest Zoran Radovic (rector of St. George Serbian Church in Elizabeth, NJ)
- Archpriest Ljubo Milosevic (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ)
- Archpriest David Straut (rector of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ)
- Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cathedral cleric)
- Abbot Eutychius (Dovgan; rector of St. Nicholas Skete in Freehold, NJ)
- Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Abbot Arseny (Manko; rector of Sts. Cosmas and Damian Church in Passaic, NJ)
- Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov (rector St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, CT)
- Archpriest Milorad Orlic (rector of St. Nicholas Serbian Church in Atkins Park, PA)
- Archpriest Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Protection Church in New Brunswick, NJ)
- Archpriest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ)
- Archpriest Valery Sukholobov (rector of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Philadelphia, PA)
- Archpriest Noah Bushelli (cleric of the Antiochian Archdiocese)
- Priest Stephen Kaznica (rector of Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in Passaic, NJ)
- Priest Nikolai Gulin (OCA cleric)
- Priest George Temidis (secretary of the diocesan administration)
- Priest Anatoliy Revitskyy (diocesan cleric)
- Priest Anthony Williams (cathedral cleric)
- Priest Nectarios Yangson (rector of Holy Theotokos of Iveron Church in Kailua, HI)
- Priest Gabriel Souza (diocesan cleric)
- Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski (cathedral cleric)
- Protodeacon Seraphim Komleski (cleric of St. Elizabeth Church)
- Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric)
- Deacon Alexandre Sarandinaki (cathedral cleric) and
- Deacon Eugene Grigoriak (cleric of Holy New Martyrs of Russia Church in Brooklyn).
The parish male choir sang during the All-Night Vigil, and the parish mixed choir sang during Liturgy (both choirs conducted by Alexandra Lukianov).
At the Little Entrance, for their dedicated labors to the Holy Church, Metropolitan Nicholas awarded Archpriest Leonid Goferman the jeweled cross and Priest Anthony Williams the right to wear the kamilavka.
After the Eucharistic Canon, His Eminence ordained Subdeacon Patrick Hinds to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Patrick will fulfill his service at St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, a moleben was served, and the clergy and believers went around the cathedral in a procession with the reading of the Gospel.
Bishop Job addressed the believers with a sermon, in which he said, in part:
"The fruits of the Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky are you, this temple, this presence of the East in the West, this preservation of the identity of the Russian people, and we must hold fast to the Orthodox Faith and be wise, as Prince Alexander was wise."
Metropolitan Nicholas expressed his joy at everyone having gathered on the patronal feast of the cathedral, which is for the parish a "second Pascha," and called on believers to pray to St. Alexander Nevsky as the champion and defender of the Orthodox Faith.
"He gathered us to teach us the Orthodox Faith, and we feel his prayerful help. We also greet the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon, as a reminder to us that the Mother of God does not leave us and says: ‘I am with you and no one is against you, and I will pray for you before my Son Jesus Christ.’ Let us firmly remember these words."
The rector Fr. Serge Lukianov thanked the hierarchs and clergy for their joint prayers. On behalf of the cathedral, Bishop Job was presented with a commemorative cross and panagia with an icon of St. Alexander Nevsky, and Fr. Daniel Andrejuk – with an icon of the Right-Believing Prince, painted by the cathedral’s Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski for St. Catherine Church in Moscow.
The protodeacon intoned the Polychronion for the cathedral clergy and those celebrating their namesday. Everyone was then invited to a festal meal in the church hall, where fraternal interaction between the clergy and parishioners continued.
Howell, NJ: Metropolitan Nicholas officiates Patronal Feast of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - 09/12/23
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - G. Konyev, T. Veselkina