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Saint Sergius Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Parma, Ohio
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     On October 7-8, 2010, the Cathedral of St. Sergius celebrated the Feast day of its heavenly patron, St. Sergius of Radonezh.  This year also marked the 60th Anniversary of the Cathedral parish, and the services to St. Sergius began the festive weekend of celebrations. 
     Earlier in the week, a set of seven bells cast for this anniversary were delivered from the Pyatkov Foundry in Russia.  The three largest bells bear inscriptions commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Cathedral Sisterhood, the Russian-American Cultural Society of Cleveland, and the Cathedral Parish.  The bells were installed in a temporary structure in time for the services, and added to the festive atmosphere. 
     Before the Vigil to St. Sergius, the dean of the Cathedral, Fr. Ilia Marzev, greeted the Wonderworking Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God.  The Icon was present for the services to St. Sergius, and a multitude of people from various Orthodox Churches in the greater Cleveland area came to venerate the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora. 
     The Vigil to St. Sergius was presided over by Bishop Peter of Cleveland, along with Bishop George of Mayfield and the Cathedral clergy: Fr. Ilia Marzev, Fr. Peter Burlakov, Fr. Peter Selenoi and Deacon Nikolai Pravitsky.  Also present at all the services of the weekend were Protodeacon Vadim Gan and Deacon Alexander Kichakov from Chicago.  Assisting at all the services were a multitude of subdeacons, readers, seminarians, and servers from the Cathedral, Jordanville, Holy Cross Monastery, Chicago and other locales.  The choir, under the direction of Reader Alexander Petrovsky, chanted hymns from the monasteries of Russia for the Vigil, most notably settings from the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra by Archimandrite Matfei and Deacon S. Trubachev. 

Vigil on the Feast Day of St. Sergius - 10/07/10

Photos by Darina Molkina

(12 images)

     The following morning, the faithful gathered at the Cathedral for the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of St. Sergius of Radonezh.  Joining the clergy from the previous evening were: Fr. Roman Starr (Michigan), Fr. Paul Bassett (Cincinnati, OH), Fr. Dragomir Tuba (Akron, OH), Fr. Basil Stoyko (Lorain, OH), and Fr. Seraphim Wing (Pennsylvania).  During the reading of the hours, Sergei Kaminsky, Vladimir Rodzianko and Valery Trubachev were tonsured to the rank of reader, then Readers Sergei and Matthew Kaminsky were ordained as subdeacons.  At the small entrance, Fr. Peter Selenoi was awarded the palitsa for his service to the Church.  Following the Liturgy, a moleiben and Cross procession were held in honor of St. Sergius.  The faithful were met outdoors with a beautiful, warm fall day among the changing leaves of the forest surrounding the Cathedral.  At the end of the services, Bishop Peter congratulated the parish on the day of its heavenly patron, noting that even though he lives in Chicago and only visits a few times a year, he always prays for the parish of his cathedra. A festive banquet was held at Shynok Restaurant, giving those who labor at the Cathedral an opportunity to pray at the services and enjoy in the Feast Day.

Liturgy on the Feast Day of St. Sergius - 10/08/10

Photos by Darina Molkina

(21 images)

     On Saturday evening, October 9, the Cathedral welcomed Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.  He was met with the peal of the new bells and the singing of the troparion to St. Sergius by the Cathedral male choir.  This was his first visit to the Cathedral as Metropolitan, but His Grace first visited Cleveland as a hieromonk in 1976, serving his first Pascha as a priest here.  Metropolitan Hilarion was joined by Bishop Peter and Bishop George and the Cathedral clergy and visiting deacons.  

Vigil with Metropolitan Hilarion on the 60th Anniversary - 10/09/10

Photos by Darina Molkina

(11 images)

     On the morning of Sunday, October 10, Metropolitan Hilarion presided at the Liturgy and celebrations honoring the 60th Anniversary of the St. Sergius Cathedral parish.  Joining the Metropolitan were Bishop Peter and Bishop George, Cathedral Dean Fr. Ilia Marzev, Fr. Peter Burlakov, Fr. Peter Selenoi, Protodeacon Vadim Gan, Protodeacon Gregory Petrochko (Mayfield, PA), Deacon Alexander Kichakov and Deacon Nikolai Pravitsky.  Also praying in the Altar for all the services was Protodeacon John Onopko, one of the founding members of the St. Sergius Parish.
     Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and faithful proceeded to the new bells where the Blessing of the Bells took place.  The bells, cast in honor of the 60th Anniversary, bear the Icons of Sts. Kyrill and Methodius, St. Vladimir, St. Sergius and St. John of San Francisco on the larger bells, and range from 16 lbs to 365 lbs.  Following the blessing, the ground was then blessed for a permanent belfry which will be constructed soon. 
     Upon the conclusion of the services, a Gramota was presented to the Parish on its 60th Anniversary from the Synod of Bishops.  Metropolitan Hilarion also presented an Icon of the Mother of God to the Parish.  The parish then presented the hierarchs with gifts in honor of the 60th Anniversary.  Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George were presented with new bishop staffs and Bishop Peter was given a new mantia. 
     The Cathedral choir, under Alexander Petrovsky's direction, continued to add to the solemnity and beauty of the services.  The hard work and preparation of the choristers was evident throughout the weekend celebrations.  The choir was honored to be joined by Dr. Kurt (Lawrence) Sander, one of the foremost composers in the Russian Orthodox Church.  The choir sang 3 major liturgical compositions by him for the first time in Church:  "Blessed is the man", "Bogoroditse Devo", and the Cherubic Hymn.  Kurt was introduced to the Orthodox faith in St. Sergius Cathedral, and he and his wife Larissa, and the entire Sander/Kaminsky family, have been long-time supporters of the Cathedral.  The choir also welcomed Dr. Peter Jermihov, previous director of the Cathedral choir.  Dr. Jermihov established the high standards of church singing during his tenure which the choir maintains to this day.  It should be noted that the choir sang many selections during the Vigil, and nearly the entire Divine Liturgy, written by contemporary composers, including Kurt Sander, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Gennady Lapaev, Archbishop Ionafan (Eletskik), and Sergei Tolstokulakov.

Liturgy with Metropolitan Hilarion on the 60th Anniversary - 10/10/10

Photos by Darina Molkina and N. Marzev

(35 images)

     Following the services, a festive banquet was held in honor of the 60th Anniversary.  Metropolitan Hilarion greeted everyone on the occasion, and noted that these types of milestones are not reached without the strong spiritual bond of a parish community.  Bishop Peter and Bishop George also greeted everyone on the festive occasion.  A commemorative book of the history of the St. Sergius Parish was given to everyone in attendance.
     The Sts. Kyrill and Methodius Church school then presented a program of children's songs and skits, much to the delight of everyone present.  A classical recital was given by Marina Sakharova on piano and her daughter Julia Sakharova on violin (assistant Concert Master of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra) in honor of the anniversary.  The cathedral choir also performed a selection of Russian folk songs.
     The Cathedral community would like to thank all those who assisted with this making this joyous celebration possible.  May the prayers of our heavenly protector, St. Sergius, continue to give us the strength to serve in our Lord's vineyard.

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