Celebrations at Epiphany Church in Boston

From the Editors: The following is an article on the visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion to Epiphany Church in Boston, the main church of the Northeastern Deanery of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York. During his archpastoral visit to Massachusetts, His Eminence also visited communities in Framingham and Ipswich.

On Saturday, February 7, 2009, the eve of the feast day of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, arrived in Boston. The Metropolitan was greeted with spring-like weather: after a deep freeze and drifting snows, a thaw set in. Bright sunshine echoed the joy in the hearts of the parishioners and worshipers of Epiphany Church. Before his appointment to the Australian Diocese, Vladyka Hilarion often visited Epiphany Church as Bishop of Manhattan, so the senior parishioners greeted him as an old, dear friend. The many new members of the parish family, mostly recent émigrés from Russia and its “near abroad,” met Vladyka Hilarion for the first time. Everyone without exception greeted Vladyka as a loving father.  

On Saturday evening, His Eminence officiated at all-night vigil, and on Sunday, he led the celebration of Divine Liturgy. Vladyka was joined by Priest Victor Boldewskul, Rector of Epiphany Church; Priest Alexei Aedo of Chile; Priest Brendan Crowley (during vigil); along with Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk; Protodeacon Thomas Reske; Protodeacon Nicholas Drobot; Deacon Alexander Jarostchuk; Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky and Deacon Eugene Kallaur. During the minor entrance, Deacon Alexander was elevated to the rank of protodeacon. His Eminence also performed two ordinations: after the Great Entrance, Protodeacon Thomas Reske was ordained to the priesthood, and after the Eucharistic Canon, Vladyka Hilarion ordained Subdeacon Victor Ganson to the deaconate. It is interesting that on this same day, Hieromonk Joasaph (MacLellan), who grew up in Epiphany Church and was a reader and choir director at the parish, was elevated to the rank of archimandrite in Munich.    

Because of the large number of communicants, two chalices were used to administer the Holy Gifts. At the end of Divine Liturgy, His Eminence delivered two sermons: one in Russian on humility in the life of a Christian, and the second in English on the podvig of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Protodeacon Joseph then intoned Eternal Memory to Bishop Mitrophan (Znosko-Borovsky) and Protopriest Roman Lukianov of blessed memory; the latter was the long-time Rector of Epiphany Church. Then, Many Years was sung to the parish clergy, choir director, warden and sisterhood. The choir, under the direction of Vladimir Roudenko, sang succinctly, prayerfully and solemnly. It was the first time that the St Nicholas Men’s Choir of Epiphany Church sang at a divine service. 

After Liturgy, a reception was held at the hall of the local St Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church. In attendance were priests from fraternal churches: Protopriest Alexander Androsov and Priest Michael Crowley. During the trapeza, at the request of Fr Victor, Metropolitan Hilarion recounted his experiences at the recent Council of Bishops and Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. 



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