St. Nicholas Cathedral Celebrates Feast of St. Raphael
On Friday evening, November 1, 2013, the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York commemorated our father among the Saints, Raphael (Hawaweeny) the Bishop of Brooklyn, good shepherd of the lost sheep in America. A series of services for his feast day included Great Vespers with Artoklasia, the Festal Matins, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn.
Appropriately, the services for the Feast were held in the Cathedral, the first Orthodox community established by St. Raphael in America. His Grace Bishop Nicholas presided over the Great Vespers with Artoklasia, followed by festal Orthros (Matins) and finally the Liturgy. Two Byzantine choirs chanted in the services, which lasted for over four hours. The Arabic choir was led by Protopsaltis Rassem El Massih, assistant and chanter for His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and lecturer of Liturgical Music at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. The English choir was led by Cathedral priest Fr. Adrian Budica and St. Vladimir's seminarian Ian Abodeely, and consisted primarily of the Antiochian seminarians and their choir director, Hierodeacon Herman, along with several local Greek chanters.
Guest clergy from the local area included Archimandrite Damaskinos Ganas of Kimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition) Greek Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Archpriest Michael Ellias of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Protopresbyter John Lardas of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral (all of Brooklyn), and Archpriest Romanos Malouf of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church of Bridgeport, CT, Deacon Christodoulos of of Kimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition) Greek Orthodox Church, and Deacon Scott Miller from St. Vladimir's.