The summer day of August 9th turned out to be a memorable and joyful Sunday in the life of St. Alexander Nevsky parish at Lakewood. The parish was visited by Metropolitan Hilarion, who had just returned from his domain in Australia. We were happy to see Vladika in good health. Despite the usual summer lull in the attendance of the church services, this Sunday saw the spacious cathedral filled with the parishioners and the pilgrims. The service, accompanied by the uplifting singing of the cathedral choir, was imbued with prayerfulness and elevated state of the heart. It was pleasant to see the large gathering of the faithful, the local and visiting clergy and the multitude of altar boys and children in common prayer, headed by Vladika.
    The service was highlighted by two joyful events. At the small introit (entrance) our deacon Nicholas Lukianov was elevated to the rank of protodeacon, under the exclamation of Axios by the clergy and the choir. Father Nicholas was ordained to the diaconate at the same church by Bishop Hilarion in 1998.
 At the appointed time, after the consecration of the Holy Gifts, subdeacon Nathan Mousselli was ordained to the diaconate. The servers and the choir were again intoning Axios, as the newly ordained deacon was vested with the open orarion and maniples (cuffs), blessed with the service book and handed the ripida to fan the Holy Gifts. Father Nathan has been tonsured reader at an early age and has served the church and the kliros for many years. He now attends the extension program at the Holy Trinity Seminary at Jordanville.
After the Liturgy there was a dinner reception at the main hall of the parish center, during the course of which kind words and well-wishes were proclaimed in honor of Metropolitan Hilarion, Protodeacon Nicholas and Deacon Nathan.
The rector, clergy, administration and parishioners extend their sincerest congratulations to the toilers at the altar, who had  received the promotions.
Glory be to God!