May 22, 2013
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the feast day of St John the Theologian, to whom the church of St Petersburg Theological Academy is dedicated, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Amvrosy of Peterhof, Rector of the institution, His Grace Bishop Markell of Tsarskoye Selo and His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle, Vicar of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The hierarchs were joined in the service by: Distinguished Professor Protopriest Vasily Stoykov, First Prorector of the Academy; Archimandrite Sofrony (Smuk); Archimandrite Georgy (Gurchiani); Protopriest Alexander Ranne; Protopriest Vladimir Bondarchuk; Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Vice President of ROCOR’s Synodal Youth Department, Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York; Protopriest Andrei Gerasimov, Senior Priest of Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg; Associate Professor Protopriest Kirill Kopeikin, Secretary of the Academic Council of StPTA; Protopriest Vitaly Yurevich, Prorector of Theology; Protopriest Vladimir Khulap, Prorector of Studies; and other clergymen. Protodeacon Kirill Zhuravlev headed a host of deacons.
Protopriest Vladimir Malchenko, Rector of ROCOR’s Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, Canada, also prayed during Divine Liturgy. A delegation of youth of the Russian Church Abroad was also present at the feast-day celebrations.
Three of the Academy’s choirs sang: a male choir under the direction of Mark Kachankin, a mixed choir under Lydia Maslova, and a women’s choir under Nun Ksenia (Kanshina), as well as a youth choir from abroad under Nikolai Kotar.
After the Gospel, Fr Vladimir Khulap gave a sermon devoted to St John the Theologian. As the clergymen partook of the Holy Gifts in the altar, Sergei Myachin, a second-year graduate student in the Academy’s Church Practice Department.
After the services, a procession of the cross went around the Academy building, after which Bishop Amvrosy read a greeting sent by His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of St Petersburg and Ladoga congratulating all students of theology. Vladyka Amvrosy thanked Bishop Markell and Bishop Theodosius for the opportunity to celebrate Liturgy with them. In memory of the joint service, Vladyka Amvrosy gave Bishop Markell an icon of St Nicholas of Japan, and Bishop Theodosius an icon of St Maria of Gatchina.
In his response, Vladyka Theodosius congratulated the Rector of StPTA on its feast day and noted that this year we are marking two great anniversaries—the 1025th of the Baptism of Rus and the 400th of the Romanov Dynasty.
After the services, the youth delegation of the Russian Church Abroad was led on an excursion of the Academy’s premises.