On Monday, July 12, 2021, the feast day of the Chief Apostles SS Peter and Paul, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, made an official visit to the headquarters of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in New York. His Eminence officiated at Divine Liturgy along with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of ROCOR, and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Cathedral Dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer and local clergymen.
The cathedral choir sang under the direction of Vadim Gan. Despite the workday, congregants and visiting faithful prayed at the service, and many partook of the Holy Gifts of Christ.
After the service, the Primate of the Church Abroad expressed thanks to the visiting Metropolitan Hilarion:
Your Eminence Vladyko:
I extend fraternal greetings on this celebration of the Chief Apostles Peter and Paul, and offer my heartfelt gratitude for the joint prayers we lifted on this holiday, and for the love, attention, words of guidance and greetings.
I do not have the words to express the special feeling we had as we celebrated Divine Liturgy.
Remembering today the podvigi and archpastoral service of one of my predecessors, Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) of blessed memory, the author of the popular “Conversations with One’s Own Heart,” who was consecrated to the episcopacy on this day 115 years ago in Uspensky Cathedral in Moscow’s Kremlin, we pray that the Chief Pastor Christ, will continue and increase His mercies upon the spiritual unity between the Churches Abroad and in the Fatherland, which we achieved with brotherly love and great effort. I believe that the unity that we share will serve as a source of blessed consolation and strengthening for all the children of the Local Russian Orthodox Church, more so in the present complicated times for the Orthodox world.
From my heart I wish you God’s assistance in your archpastoral service and your very responsible external ecclesiastical witness, and once again I thank Your Eminence and beseech your prayers and the holy prayers of our dear Mother, the Russian Orthodox Church.
In response, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk extended the greetings and blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, and expressed his joy at the possibility of celebrated Divine Liturgy in this historic cathedral of the Russian Church Abroad, which is her very heart. In his sermon, Vladyka Metroplitan recounted the lives and social service of Apostles Peter and Paul.
To commemorate the joint service, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad gave the visiting hierarch a panaghia with an image of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God which had belonged to Bishop John (Legky, +1955).
A reception was then offered at the cathedral hall.