On March 28, the Friday of the Fourth Week of Great Lent, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, served the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was co-served by monastery cleric Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski, Archimandrite Peter (Kondratyev; cleric of the Church of Greece), Archpriest George Zelenin (rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Paterson, NJ), Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), and Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (monastery cleric).
After the Prayer Behind the Ambo, Metropolitan Hilarion read the faithful an edifying sermon by Venerable Theodore the Studite. In his lesson, St. Theodore speaks to his pious audience about the majesty of Christ’s Pascha, noting how it must be met with a pure heart, one that is not burdened with passionate desires and the vanities of this life. Herein is opened for us the spiritual significance of Great Lent, whose true value is reflected in the need to cleanse our senses and minds through abstinence.
After the Liturgy, the clergy and faithful, along with the sisters of the convent, continued their interaction with His Eminence in the monastic refectory, which generously provided all with a simple, lenten, and delicious home-cooked meal.