On Wednesday, July 28, on the day of commemoration of the Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov attended celebration of the patronal feast at St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ.
Coming early before the Liturgy, our Rector visited the lower temple dedicated to St. Olga. Fr. Igor offered his prayers for the repose of the known archpastors of the Russian emigration buried there and venerated the altar of the lower church. Later he joined the clergy in meeting the celebrating bishop in the main, upper temple of St. Vladimir.
The Divine Liturgy at that temple was headed by His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. He was co-served by the 8 priests, including Archpriest Igor Tarasov, as well as 2 deacons.
The divine services were held in the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God which our Rector had an opportunity to venerate before the Liturgy.
After the Ambo prayer Bishop Nicholas preached a homily about the significance of the celebrated Saint, the Baptizer of the lands of Rus’.
Upon completion of the Liturgy the clergy performed a short prayer service to St. Vladimir in the middle of the church. Then His Grace congratulated all those present on the feast. The Protodeacon intoned the Polychronion for the hierarchs, clergy, and all who prayed at the services.
Following the services the clergy and the faithful gathered for a festal luncheon in the Parish Hall. Our Rector had a speech in which he expressed gratitude to His Grace, Bishop Nicholas for leading the clergy and faithful in celebration of St. Vladimir. Fr. Igor also pointed out how important is to follow the true Christian faith in our difficult times. We are going through a pandemic which threatens our health, however we are in danger of losing the true faith and moral values due to different attempts to eradicate religious and ethical principles from the society. It is very important to adhere to the true Orthodox faith of St. Vladimir. It is uplifting and encouraging to learn that yesterday in Kiev, in the ancient city of St. Vladimir’s Baptism of Rus’, Orthodox Christians had a great cross procession which gathered thousands of members of the canonical Church of Ukraine. These brethren of ours manifested that they are the heirs of St. Vladimir and they belong to the true Orthodox Church, not to some schismatic group. Thus we here, across the ocean, should rejoice and should cherish the same Orthodox faith and to be joyful in celebrating today’s feast of our holy Baptism.
After the Patronal feast celebration in Jackson, Fr. Igor visited a place in Freehold, NJ dedicated to be a future St. Nicholas Skete of the Russian Church Abroad. A prayer service with the blessing of the newly-constructed gazebo chapel was held there. That service was headed by Abbot Eutychius (Dovganyuk). His Grace, Bishop Nicholas was present at the service and performed the blessing of the chapel. He also brought there the Kursk Root Icon. A small group of faithful who support the future skete gathered there for the blessing and had an opportunity to venerate the icon. Following the blessing and veneration a dinner was served by the hospitable activists of the future holy place. Bishop Nicholas, Fr. Igor and Fr. Eutychius enjoyed a quiet and beautiful farmland place, as well as a nice company of dedicated faithful.