His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas graced the parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Summerville, SC with his presence on May 21, 2023 to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and to commune with the faithful. The parish celebrated not only the appointed feasts of the day and Sunday, but also the 50th anniversary of its founding and the patronal feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, equals of the Apostles and evangelizers of the Slavs.
The faithful greeted His Eminence at the gates of the church on Sunday morning with words of welcome, traditional bread and salt, and a bouquet of flowers. After giving his blessing, Metropolitan Nicholas processed to the nave with the congregation, accompanied by Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin) and Protodeacon Dimitry Temidis as well as the parish pastor Archpriest Anastasy Yatrelis and his assistant Fr. Daniel Gregoire. There His Eminence was vested in the midst of the church by Subdeacon Alexander Alekseyenko and Subdeacon Simeon Oliver, and the Divine Liturgy commenced.
At the Small Entrance, Fr. Daniel—celebrating the 6th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood—was awarded the right to wear the Nabedrennik. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence blessed the five loaves of the artoklasia and instructed the faithful with two homilies, one in English concerning the spiritual life, and one in Russian contemplating the Gospel lesson of the Blind Man.
His Eminence joined the rest of the community outside for a festive trapeza meal in celebration of the parish’s 50th anniversary. During the meal, Fr. Anastasy—one of the parish’s original founders—was recognized for his years of service to the parish and was presented with a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Fr. Anastasy recognized all of those present, and all of those reposed of the local community, who have given so much of themselves to make the parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius a warm spiritual home, underscoring that they deserved honor and gratitude more than he did.
Festivities concluded with singing of church hymns by children, instrumental performances, and a final blessing from Metropolitan Nicholas after triumphant chants of “Christ is risen!” that filled the streets of this small southern town.
Glory to God for all things!