The Services of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus
On January 14, the day of the Circumcision of our Lord, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus performed Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign at the Synodal Building in New York along with Protopriest Andrei Sommer, the Cathedral's Senior Priest, Priest Michael Amelchenya and Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff. The choir, under the talented direction of Peter A Fekula, sang joyously and beautifully. Afterwards, a festive moleben was performed, and Many Years intoned. His Eminence then enjoyed a repast with the Cathedral's clergymen and members of the Synodal Administration.
On January 15, the feast day of St Seraphim of Sarov, His Eminence Vladyka officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ. At the end of the service, His Eminence gave Mitred Protopriest Boris Kizenko a gramata [decree of blessing] declaring the following:
"Accept from us this greeting, filled with love for your Reverence, on the fiftieth anniversary of your glorious service to the Church of Christ. You are one of the few surviving clergymen who remembers Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko, +1960) of blessed memory, whose remains are interred in this Memorial Church, and so many other pillars of our Russian Church Abroad . At first you served at the Cathedral of the Ascension in the Bronx, NY. Here on the day of his own consecration to the episcopacy, the late Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000), ordained you to the deaconate. Two months later, you became a priest. You were then assigned to the Diocese of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery, where you became the Rector of the Entrance into the Temple Church in Syracuse. Through the intercession of Archbishop Averky, you were awarded the gold pectoral cross by the Synod of Bishops, and were elevated to the rank of protopriest. You have labored at this Memorial Church since the early 1980's, exerting much work and effort to prepare it for its great consecration and the celebration of the 1000-year Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
"Highly esteeming your many years of service, witnessing your love for God and His Church, we express to you our gratitude and call God's blessing upon you. In witness to this we grant you this Gramata, duly signed and imprinted with the Synodal seal in the God-preserved city of New York, January 2, A.D. 2006."
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus then gave Priest Serge Ledkovsky an ukase on his appointment as Fr Boris' assistant and deputy rector. After a festive trapeza prepared by the parish sisterhood, His Eminence attended the Nativity pageant [yolka] at St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell [Lakewood].
On January 22, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus officiated at services at Epiphany Church in Roslindale [near Boston]. Here the parishioners celebrated the 40 th anniversary of the clerical service of their Rector, Mitred Protopriest Roman Lukianov. During Minor Entrance, His Eminence elevated Deacon Thomas Reske to the rank of protodeacon, and awarded Deacon Alexander Jarostchuk with the double orarion. Both are clergymen of Epiphany Church. During the trapeza that followed, the parishioners honored their Rector and his wife, Irina, who always supported Fr Roman in his ministry (see photos at the parish website: www.bostonrusschurch.org ).