On Wednesday, December 19, commemoration of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Divine Liturgy for the Patronal feast of the Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City was celebrated by the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of all America and Canada. His Beatitude was co-served by the interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh.
The hierarchs were co-served by the Rector of St. George Church and Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archpriest Igor Tarasov, and other clergy: Archpriest Alexander Golubov (cathedral cleric); Archpriest George Konyev (Rector of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ); Archpriest Nikolai Babijtchouk (rector of All Saints of Russia Church in Pine Bush, NY); Archpriest John Behr (cleric of St. Vladimir Seminary in Crestwood, NY, OCA); Archpriest Andrei Sommer (senior priest of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, ROCOR); Archpriest Eric Tosi (secretary of the Orthodox Church in America); Archpriest Yaroslav Lutoshkin, Abbot Nicodemus (Balyasnikov) and Priest Rodion Shamazov (cathedral clerics); Archpriest Alexey Bocharnikov (Rector of St. Nicholas Church in Chester, PA); Priest Dmitry Nedostupenko (Secretary of the Diocese of Sourozh); Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak (Secretary to the Metropolitan, OCA); Deacons Alexey Golubov, John Peters and Yulian Ryabtsev (cathedral clerics); and Deacon Nicholas DeGraaf (cleric of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ).
A number of parishioners from St. George attended that beautiful celebration, including our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow and our Sacristan, Andrew Malyshev.
During the Liturgy, Bishop Matthew ordained new clerics of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA: Deacon Nicholas DeGraaff to the Holy Priesthood, and Subdeacon Michael Sidorechev (cleric of St. Nicholas Church in Chester) to the Holy Diaconate.
Following the Ambo prayer, a rite of glorification was served before the icon of the Patron Saint of the Cathedral.
Following the dismissal of the Liturgy Bishop Matthew greeted Metropolitan Tikhon, thanking him for his prayers during the Liturgy. In commemoration of his visit, Bishop Matthew presented the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America with a jade prayer rope.
His Beatitude then greeted the concelebrating clergy and faithful, then asking Bishop Matthew to relay the words of gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus’ for his unwavering brotherly attention to the Orthodox Church in America as well as well as his support for the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
A bountiful lenten luncheon was served in the Cathedral refectory where interaction continued. Later, the two hierarchs met discussing various points of cooperation between the Orthodox Church in America and the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, as well as exchanging assessments on the situation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.