On Saturday, December 14th and Sunday December 15th, at the invitation of Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Rector of St Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral, and in the presence of the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, the Divine Services were led by His Grace, Bishop Luke of Syracuse, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery and Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary. Jordanville’s Holy Trinity Seminary Choir, under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar, sang the responses.
The church was filled with the faithful throughout the weekend, including many who came to venerate the revered wonderworking Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, which was restored for the first time in many years in memory of the ever-memorable rector of the cathedral, Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, with funds donated by his family.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Bishop Luke ordained Subdeacon Andrei Silov to the Holy Diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Andrei will be assigned to St. Joasaph of Belgorod Church in Brooklyn.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Bishop Luke greeted the faithful with a sermon, in which he underscored that the most critical thing in the life of a Christian is above all to attain the Kingdom of God, confess and receive Communion, turn away from everything that binds us to sin, and to become virtuous.
Fr. Serge thanked Bishop Luke for leading the Divine Services, and the beautiful singing of the choir, and gifted His Grace with a $15,000 check from the parish, presented as a challenge grant to the Jordanville Annual Fund for the benefit of the seminary.
Also, on behalf of the cathedral sisterhood, Fr. Serge presented His Grace and the monastery clergy two sets of podsakkosniks and a set of podrizniks as Nativity gifts.
At the meal, which was arranged by the sisterhood in the church hall, Christmas gifts were also given to seminarians from the parish.
Thereafter, a Panakhida was served at the grave of Protopresbyter Valery by His grace Bishop Luke, at which the responses were also sung by Jordanville’s Seminary choir.