On Saturday, July 27, on the eve of the feast day of the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-of-the-Apostles, the national celebrations at St. Vladimir Memorial Church began with the All-Night Vigil, led by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion.
Prior to the beginning of Vigil, the clergy triumphally greeted two wonderworking icons of the Mother of God – the Kursk Root Icon (Protectress of the Russian Diaspora) and the Pochaev Icon (brought from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY). The third, myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon – arrived later.
At the Vigil, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was co-served by three hierarchs – Their Graces, Bishops Meletiy of Khotin, vicar of the Chernovtsy Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; George of Mayfield, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese; and Irénée of Quebec City (OCA) – and a multitude of clergy.
The multitudinous choir, under the direction of Deacon Alexander Petrovsky, beautifully adorned the service. The faithful joyfully celebrated the 1025th anniversary of the Illumination of the Russian people, paying homage to the cause of this triumph of the Faith – the Holy Prince Vladimir.