On Monday, July 12, the feast of the Holy Leaders of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, visited the Synodal Headquarters of the Russian Church Abroad in New York City as part of his working visit to the United States. His Eminence celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign co-served by the First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, and diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.
Concelebrating with the hierarchs were: cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Abbot Nicodemus (Balyasnikov; secretary to the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA), Archpriest Edward Chervinsky (cathedral cleric), Priest Mark Rashkov (cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in NYC), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (Synodal cleric), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Alexis Golubov (cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral)
Singing the divine service was the Synodal choir under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan. Despite its being a workday, cathedral parishioners and guests gathered to honor the memory of the holy apostles; many of them communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad thanked Metropolitan Hilarion for their shared service and expressed his hope that "the unity of the Mother Church will continue to serve as a source of grace-filled inspiration for all of the children of the Russian Orthodox Church, especially in the current difficult days facing the Orthodox world," and wished his brother-archpastor God’s help in his important ecclesiastical witness outside of Russia.
In response, Metropolitan Hilarion relayed to the archpastors, clergy, and faithful the greetings and blessing of Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow & All Russia, and expressed his joy at the opportunity to celebrate Liturgy in this historic cathedral of the Church Abroad, which is its very heart. In his sermon, Metropolitan Hilarion spoke about the life and preaching of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
In memory of their concelebration, Metropolitan Hilarion presented the First Hierarch of ROCOR a panagia with the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, which had once belonged to Archbishop John (Legky; +1995) of Rockland, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.
After the service, a reception was held in the cathedral hall.