The feast of Saint Nicolas of Myra on 9/22 May, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the repose of His Eminence Anastassy (Gribanovsky), Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America, and First Hierarch of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. At the Holy Dormition Cathedral in Harvard Road, Archpriest Vladimir Vilgerts, assisted by Deacon Andrei Psarev, during the Divine Liturgy on that day chanted the litany for the departed, and afterwards served a memorial litya for the Metropolitan.
Metropolitan Anastassy (1873–1965) was the second First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He was born into a priest’s family in the Tambov Province of Imperial Russia. He went on to study at Moscow Theological Academy under Archimandrite (later Metropolitan) Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the future head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). He was ordained a priest and in 1906 consecrated as a vicar bishop in the Moscow diocese. A few years later he became Archbishop of Kishinev. After the Russian Revolution, he joined ROCOR and served as the head of the Jerusalem Ecclesiastical Mission. After the death of Metropolitan Anthony in 1936, unanimously he was elected Metropolitan. Under his nearly thirty years as First Hierarch, ROCOR moved its headquarters to the United States from Germany and underwent a great expansion in America. He retired in 1964, seeing the election of his successor Metropolitan Philaret (Vosnesensky) and reposed in the Lord in 1965. He is buried in a crypt beneath the altar of the main cathedral of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, USA.