On May 28, 2023, the 7th Sunday after Pascha - the Sunday of the 318 Holy Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary held commencement exercises at the conclusion of its 75th academic year. The day began with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence, Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. His Grace Bishop Luke, seminary rector, was traveling abroad.
After the noon meal, a Moleben of Thanksgiving was served at 2pm, preceded by a procession led by Metropolitan Nicholas, Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky, Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (commencement speaker), members of the administration, the board of trustees, faculty in residence, and the entire student body. The academic procession moved from the monastery building to the Cathedral. Metropolitan Nicholas and participating clergy offered a Moleben of Thanksgiving for the Seminary's successes, and in supplication for divine blessings on all those who help to perpetuate the institution. The responses during the Molebien were sung by the Holy Trinity Seminary choir, and at the conclusion, We Praise Thee, O Lord (Tebe Boga Xvhalim) composed by D. Bortniansky was sung by a mixed quintet.
Following a group photo in front of the iconostas, a second procession from the Cathedral to the Seminary, including His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas began the commencement ceremony. Seminary Dean, Nicolas G. Schidlovsky, M.F.A.,Ph.D., then led the eight (8) graduates (from our on-campus degree programs) into the Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (main) Hall located in the Dean Nicolas Alexandrov Seminary Building.
The ceremony began with the singing of the Troparion of Ascension, the American National Anthem, and God Save the Tsar.
The welcome remarks from Bishop Luke (in absentia) can be read here.
Next, Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (B.Th. class of ’78) First Priest of the Holy Virgin Cathedral Joy of All Who Sorrow San Francisco, CA gave the main commencement address titled: "Ever Ancient, Always New".
Dean Nicolas began his remarks by thanking Fr. Peter for his address. He then spoke to the members of the graduating class about the importance of learning to take what they learned during their years in the seminary, and to first to apply it in their own lives and to then take these teachings out into the world. This, Dean Nicolas stated, is their calling; to take up their Cross, and fulfill their call to pastorship in the Church...