On Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of March ‒ the Sunday of the Cross ‒ the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad performed an Archpastoral visit to the capital of Connecticut ‒ Hartford ‒ and led the divine services in St. Panteleimon Church. His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, was co-served by parish rector Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov, as well as Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Deacon Andrei Psarev (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY).
During the Sixth Hour, Metropolitan Hilarion tonsured parishioner Eugene Utnyukhin a reader. Upon completion of the Liturgy, the First Hierarch addressed the faithful with a sermon on the importance of bearing one’s cross in life without complaint, and explained the origins of the Orthodox tradition of the bringing out of the Cross – a comfort and joy to fasting Christians ‒ in the middle of Great Lent.
After the Liturgy, a bountiful luncheon was served in the parish hall in honor of the distinguished guest.