Despite snowy and icy conditions, many faithful gathered at Saint John the Baptist Church in Passaic NJ for the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” Vespers on Sunday, 1 March 2015. After a 40-minute travel delay, clergy from our New Jersey Deanery and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA) greeted and received blessings from His Eminence, Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America (AOCA). His Eminence led the procession of clergy into the church accompanied by His Grace, Bishop Michael, and His Grace, Nicholas, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn (AOCA) and Assistant to the Metropolitan.
The Vespers service was beautifully enriched by the chanting and singing of the “Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir” and a choir of AOCA singers. Metropolitan Joseph delivered an edifying and inspiring homily. The service concluded with the traditional procession of icons, the reciting of the Synodikon [proclamation] of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and dismissal. Following the service, a wonderful Lenten meal was served by the faithful of the hosting parish. “Many thanks to the parish of Saint John the Baptist and to their priest, Father Igor Kseniuk,” said Father Gary Breton (Dean, NJ Deanery), “for their wonderful hospitality!”
Unfortunately, His Beatitude, Tikhon (Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada), and His Grace Nicholas (Bishop of Manhattan and Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), were unable to attend due to extremely hazardous travel conditions.