Greeting by His Eminence
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York
during Divine Liturgy at St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ
From the Editors: At the end of Divine Liturgy headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine at St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York spoke the following words of greeting:
Your Beatitude, Vladyko Onouphry!
Today is an important day for us, we are happy to welcome you to our multi-national church, where Russians and Ukrainians pray together, Belarussians, Georgians, Romanians and Serbs, Americans and people of other nationalities.
It is significant that you are here just before the celebration of the memory of the Baptizer and Illuminator of Rus, Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, who brought the Light of Christ’s Truth to all of us, representing different ethnic groups, yet united in love and faith in Christ. As you said in yesterday’s sermon, unity and conciliarity in the Church is like a beautiful bouquet of flowers, separately they go unnoticed, but together they comprise stunning beauty. And so we too represent different nations and cultures, but together we form a remarkable bouquet of believers.
Yesterday you visited Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, where you officiated at Divine Liturgy and brought everyone great joy for the opportunity, if only for a short while, to pray with you, a memory that will remain in the heart for many years. Holy Trinity Monastery is for us living in North America our own little lavra, our spiritual base and prayerful support system. The monastery provides education for our Church’s future priests, constant prayer is “made” there, where for many years, the captain of the ship of the Russian Church Abroad, your companion in prayer and a person who revered you, Metropolitan Laurus, prayed and led his ascetic life; Your Beatitude led a pannikhida for his soul there yesterday.
Providential was Your Beatitude’s meeting the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God on American soil. The paths of our lives, wherever they might lead, convince us of the fact that the All-Merciful Lord sends us all that we need in moments of trouble. Only God and Your Beatitude know what your heart aches over, but the strengthening hand of God, the prayerful intercession and protection of the Most-Holy Mother of God, is what Your Beatitude and your flock are in need of every single day and every single hour.
We wish you, dear Vladyko, the all-powerful aid of God in your burdensome service as Primate towards the good of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the people of Ukraine. May your spiritual wisdom serve to preserve peace, spiritual support and the salvation of the people of God in the Ukrainian land.
In memory of today’s celebration of Divine Liturgy, allow me to present to you a copy of the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. May the protection of the Queen of Heaven be with you always.