Blessing of Orlets (Photos: Matushka Leslie Sochka) - 04/03/16

Just before the start of Liturgy, His Eminence blessed a gift from the OCF and Chapel members:  a specially designed circular rug (Orlets / Eagle) on which a bishop stands during services.  This rug was designed specifically for Archbishop Michael as the presiding hierarch of the Diocese of New York-New Jersey.  Rather than the typical Byzantine eagle, the rug features an American bald eagle, the nation’s symbol, carrying an olive branch, above a grouping of various churches of the Diocese as well as the Empire State Building and the new Freedom Tower representing the City of New York, the Archbishop’s official See.  The outer rings of the rug depict waves of the bodies of water of NY-NJ such as the Hudson River, and bridges connecting the two states and three deaneries.  The requisite protecting walls of the Orlets depict the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island, the entry point to America for many of our Orthodox ancestors.

American bald eagle
Archbishop Michael's see of NY and Nj