Notice on the upcoming feast day celebration in the face of continued restrictions

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord!

The patronal feast is a feast in honor of a saint or sacred event in whose name the altar in the church is consecrated. Each monastery and parish has its own patronal feast day-the altar table of our church is consecrated in honor and memory of St. Seraphim, the wonderworker of Sarov, who after many years of asceticism acquired the great gift of unceasing Paschal joy in the Risen Christ, which generously poured out on all who visited the famous Sarov Hermitage.

The key components of patronal feasts are congregational prayer (the celebration of the Divine Liturgy with moleben and procession of the Cross) typically followed by a joint festive meal. Patronal feasts were celebrated in even the smallest villages and parishes of the Fatherland and the Russian Diaspora. Priests and pilgrims attended services in other churches to honor the memory of the saint in whose honor the church was consecrated, and pray with parishioners of neighboring parishes.

On Saturday, August 1, on the day of the memory of St. Seraphim and the patronal feast of our church, the Divine Liturgy and a moleben to the saint will be led by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, concelebrated by His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. During the service, an icon of St. Seraphim, along with a reliquary with things that belonged to the saint-the personal shrine of His Eminence Vladyka Hilarion-and other relics associated with St. Seraphim will lie on the central analogion of the church.

Despite the fact that we recently entered the next phase of the quarantine which allows attendance at services as long as masks are worn and social distancing is practiced, the occupancy of the church must still not exceed 33% of capacity at any given time. To help us adhere to these guidelines, we created a sign-up sheet for Liturgies to give all parishioners a chance to attend services. Unfortunately, this practice also extends to our feast day and we must limit the number of faithful who attend Divine Liturgy on August 1. Because we are unable to accommodate all parishioners and guests on our feast day, we are extending our celebrations through to Sunday, August 2, the day of St. Elias the Prophet and Monk Martyr Athanasius, when we will commemorate the founders, benefactors, and reposed parishioners. A festive socially-distanced trapeza will take place on both days.While we are always happy to have guests pray and celebrate with us, because of these unusual circumstances we ask guests to be mindful when signing up for services to ensure that the St. Seraphim parishioners have the chance to attend and celebrate their church’s feast day. When registering for a service, remember the following rule: 1 spot = 1 married couple with child; if there are more children in the family we recommend taking two spots. Acolytes for both days will be appointed by the rector, and singers will be appointed by the choir conductor. Anyone not contacted by the rector or choir conductor should not assume they can help in the altar or sing. We apologize in advance, but it is imperative we follow the set guidelines.

We ask all for your holy prayers that we, as a parish, spend our feast day safely and with spiritual benefit and endure this difficult time with patience.


Friday, July 31

7:00 PM-The parish clergy will serve a blessing of the waters with an akathist to St. Seraphim. This service will only be broadcast on the parish YouTube video channel.

Saturday, August 1

9:00 AM-Reading of the hours, after which we will meet and vest His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. The Divine Liturgy and moleben will follow.

Sunday, August 2

9:00 AM-Hours, followed by the Divine Liturgy.

Things to Remember

· If you signed up for a service, please arrive no later than 9:00 AM on your assigned day. An assistant at the front door will allow only those who signed up to enter the church.

· Wearing a mask in church and on church grounds is mandatory.

· Upon entering the church, you will be able to purchase candles, and will take turns venerating the icons and lighting candles. Please limit your movement once you are done and get to your assigned spot.

· No groups or clusters should form near the candle counter and icons, and there should be no unnecessary conversations, especially at the candle stand and icons.

· Before Communion of the laity, a common confession and prayer of absolution will be read for those who prepared to receive the Sacrament. The communion of the clergy and laity will take place in the usual manner.

· The trapeza will be held simultaneously in two places: in the refectory for clergy, acolytes, singers and some invited guests, and in the church courtyard for the rest of the faithful who signed up for that day’s service.

St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church
131 Carpenter Ave.
Sea Cliff, NY 11579