SEA CLIFF, NY: January 8, 2010
On the Second Day of the Nativity of Christ, Metroplitan Hilarion Celebrates Divine Liturgy at St Seraphim Church 

On January 8, 2010, the second day of the Nativity of Christ, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated Divine Liturgy at St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY. He was joined by its Rector, Protopriest Serafim Gan, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops and Personal Secretary of the First Hierarch; Protodeacon Paul Wolkow; Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky, Assistant to the Chancellor; and Deacon Eugene Kallaur, Synodal Archivist.

Also praying at the service were Protopriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Rector of neighboring Kazan Church and Deputy Director of the Department of External Church Relations of the Orthodox Church in America, and Priest Alexandre Antchoutine, Rector of Intercession Church in nearby Glen Cove, NY. The parish choir sang joyfully under the direction of Nicholas Miro. During the pre-Communion sticherion, the Rector read the Nativity Epistle of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

At the end of Liturgy, His Eminence Vladyka addressed the worshipers, after which he performed a funerary litiya at the coffin of the late Dr Panteleimon Leonidovich Shohov, one of the founders of the parish and an important leader of the Russian diaspora. He had always fervently supported Russian Orthodoxy, including the reestablishment of unity within the Local Russian Orthodox Church. (Readers can hear the Divine Liturgy in the Multimedia section.)

During the trapeza that followed, Fr Serafim and Fr Leonid greeted those in attendance. In his speech, Fr Serafim congratulated Vladyka Hilarion on the continuing celebration of the Nativity of Christ, and his recent birthday. Fr Serafim then asked His Eminence’s prayers that the parishioners of St Serafim Church always please His Eminence and the Church of Christ. Despite the fact that many are departing for the other world, such as Panteleimon Leonidovich, he continued, that is, people who labored to preserve Russia outside her borders, we believe and hope that the Lord helps us emulate our predecessors, the founders of the Russian Church Abroad and zealots of Holy Russia who live abroad. This is, after all, our calling, noted the Parish Rector, and our prayers for this ideal must not cease. The parish choir then sang carols and other songs celebrating the Nativity of Christ.

The funeral of Panteleimon Leonidovich was performed later that evening at St Seraphim Church, with the burial taking place the next day at the cemetery of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.  


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