On Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th of August, the great feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, the clergy, faithful, and sisters of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY celebrated their patronal feast day.
On Saturday evening, the festal All-Night Vigil was officiated by Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski (dean of the monastery’s St. Seraphim Cathedral), co-served by convent clerics: Archpriest Vasily Zelenyuk, Priest Alexei Klar, and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin.
The following morning, an akathist was served to the Dormition of the Mother of God, followed by the lesser blessing of the waters. The above-mentioned clergy were joined by Priest Artem Siss (convent cleric). His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, then arrived to celebrate Divine Liturgy, greeted by the convent clergy. The local choir sang the divine services beautifully under the direction of Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (convent cleric).
At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of Metropolitan Mark and the Holy Synod, Fr. Nicholas Ilyin was awarded the right to wear the double orarion.
There was a multitude of visitors to the convent. The cathedral was filled with people who came to pray and commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas addressed the gathered faithful with sermon on the feast.
Following the sermon, a moleben was begun in the cathedral, praying for the clergy and sisterhood of the convent. The faithful then went in procession from the cathedral to the original church on the convent property, the Church of the Dormition, located in the main convent building. It is affectionately known as "the Little Church" by everyone at the convent.
The Protodeacon intoned the Polychronion for Abbess Makaria, the sisterhood, and the clergy. Bishop Nicholas thanked the abbess, clergy, and choir, as well as the multitude of people that came for the feast day. His Grace emphasized the importance of supporting the convent and the need for fervent prayer and how glorious it is that all can come together and pray. The faithful venerated cross was given in the Little Church, and people had the opportunity to venerate not only the original Portrait-Icon of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov, which was painted during the life of the saint, but also other relics and icons that are kept in Dormition Church.
After the service, everyone was invited to a luncheon held in the main convent hall. Well wishes were offered by many, including Bishop Nicholas, who individually thanked all of the priests that help the convent to continue the daily cycle of prayers and ensure that there are continued services daily at the convent.
Fr. Vasily spoke about how he has only been assigned to the convent for three weeks and has already come to understand how the walls of the convent are filled with prayer. He noted that people will travel to faraway holy places and monasteries to find this peace, this prayer, and yet, here it is, right here within this convent. Those who were here know that they do not need to travel any further. This inner peace, this prayer, and the salvation of one’s soul can be found right here.
The nuns, clergy, and faithful spent the whole the afternoon together until it was time for the evening service. Everyone’s hearts and souls were filled with joy of the feast.