Celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of St Seraphim Church, Memorial to the Restoration of Unity within the Russian Orthodox Church, Opens With Divine Liturgy

On Thursday, August 1, 2013, the feast day of St Seraphim of Sarov the Miracle-worker, the church dedicated to his name in Sea Cliff, NY, which is also a memorial to the restoration of unity within the Russian Orthodox Church, drew many people despite it being a work day, with great spiritual enthusiasm and familiarity, to divine services.

Divine Liturgy was led by Protopriest Serafim Gan, the parish Rector, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Secretary of the First Hierarch. He was joined by Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady "of the Sign" in New York and Vice President of the Synodal Youth Department; Protopriest George Kallaur, Rector of the Church of the Mother of God "Unexpected Joy" in Staten Island, NY; Protopriest Yaroslav Belikov, spiritual father of the St George Pathfinder scout camp (ORYuR) and Rector of St John of Shanghai Church in Boston; Priest Zoran Radovic of the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church; Priest Alexandre Antchoutine, Rector of Intercession of the Mother of God Church in neighboring Glen Cove, NY; along with Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff of the Synodal Cathedral, and the parish's own Protodeacon Paul Wolkow and Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur.

On Wednesday evening, July 31, before all-night vigil with an akathist to St Seraphim, the clergymen, parishioners and other worshipers greeted the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" brought by its caretaker, Priest Nicholas Olhovsky. At the end of the service, the rector hosted a reception for all those in attendance that evening.

The most notable moments occurred the next morning during Divine Liturgy, when the Myrrh-streaming Hawaii Iveron Icon of the Mother of God was greeted; the singing of the Cherubic Hymn composed by Musicescu and the Paschal irmosi by Vedel before Holy Communion; as well as a profound sermon read by Fr Yaroslav. The many communicants partook of the Holy Gifts from two chalices.

After a moleben and procession of the cross around the church that followed, a special prayer to the parish's patron saint was read, after which the protodeacons intoned the customary Many Years. Venerating the Iveron Icon and that of St Seraphim, which contain a portion of his relics, the participants in the services were anointed with oil from the Iveron Icon, after which they proceeded to the parish refectory, where the sisterhood, headed by Elizabeth Mikheev, offered a splendid feast in honor of the parish's holiday, at which many warm, heartfelt speeches were read. Joining the aforementioned clergymen was Protopriest Alexander Krassovsky, Rector of SS Peter and Paul Church in Santa Rosa, CA, who also made a speech and sermon.

The parish website includes the schedule of upcoming celebrations.


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