Holy Transfiguration Church in Pearl River NY was the venue of the fifth annual service of the Holy Mystery of Unction, celebrated in full by seven priests, on Tuesday night, April 3rd, 2012. Among his concluding comments, the parish rector, Igumen Joseph (Hoffman), remarked: “This event is a great witness to the common Orthodox Christian faith held by all those present who have received a holy anointing unto the forgiveness of sins and the healing of soul and body by a gathering of priests and many Orthodox faithful from across the New Jersey and New York City deaneries and other sister Orthodox Churches.”
Celebrating the unabridged service of the Holy Mystery of Unction were: Very Reverend Igumen Joseph (Hoffman); Very Reverend Archpriest Samuel Kedala (Dean of the New Jersey Deanery and rector of Holy Spirit Church, Wantage NJ); Very Reverend Joseph Frawley (Chaplain to the United States Military Academy at West Point); Very Reverend Kyril Riggs (Saint John the Baptist Church, Spring Valley NY); Maryon Chaykivsky (Saint Spiridon Church, Perth Amboy NJ); Reverend Stephen Evanina (Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church, Clifton NJ); and Reverend Igor Kseniuk (Saints Peter and Paul Church, Bayonne NJ). The priests concelebrated in anointing one another and a full church of Orthodox faithful including many young children and infants.
The Epistles were read by Reader Joseph Lawliss (Saint Nicholas Cathedral of the Moscow Patriarchate, Manhattan NY). The responses were sung by the Holy Transfiguration Church Choir, under the expert direction of Tatiana Tjoa, with guest singers from the Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir.
Following the service, Starosta Boris Maltsev and the parishioners of Holy Transfiguration Church hosted a splendid Lenten repast in the parish hall in honor of the guest priests and visiting Orthodox faithful. “This beautiful service of Holy Unction with the participation of seven priests has become a beloved aspect of the Great Fast by not only the parishioners of Holy Transfiguration Church but also several visitors who have come now for the fifth year since we began inviting additional clergy to concelebrate with us,” said Igumen Joseph, “it is a testimony to the Orthodox Christian solidarity of this diocese.”