RIGA, LATVIA: October 8, 2018
Divine Liturgy is celebrated at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" in Riga, Latvia
On October 7, 2018, the 19th Sunday After Pentecost, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and All Latvia; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the caretaker of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign;” His Grace Bishop Alexander of Daugavpils and Rezeknes, and His Grace Bishop Ioann of Jelgava, Vicar of the Riga Diocese of the Latvian Orthodox Church, celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Riga, Latvia, which is now graced with the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon. The hierarchs were joined by numerous clergymen of the diocese and of the delegation of ROCOR.
Two choirs sang at the service: a combined choir of the parishes of Riga under the direction of the cathedral’s choir director, Natalia Mudraya, and a youth choir of the Palace of Schoolchildren “Accolada,” which sang under the direction of Oksana Cherkasova.
The parishioners of the cathedral and visiting worshipers from all over Latvia and neighboring countries gathered to venerate the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God and filled the church beyond capacity. People stood for many hours outside the church awaiting the opportunity to venerate the holy icon, many holding small printed copies of the Kursk-Root Icon.
After Liturgy, a moleben was performed before the icon. Metropolitan Alexander then delivered a sermon, thanking His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, for their blessing to bring the icon to Riga.
His Eminence also thanked Bishop Nicholas and gave him a painted icon of Holy Hieromartyr Ioann of Riga containing a relic of the saint, along with a panaghia depicting the Queen of Heaven. In response, Vladyka Nicholas thanked the Metropolitan and the entire Latvian Orthodox Church for their warm hospitality, and offered gifts of icons of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco and the Holy New Martyrs of Russia to the three Latvian hierarches.
On October 8, the feast day of St Sergius of Radonezh, with the blessing of Metropolitan Alexander, the icon was taken to Riga’s Holy Trinity/St Sergius Convent, where a hierarchal Liturgy was celebrated. The icon was then taken back to the cathedral; in three days, the ROCOR delegation will return with the Kursk-Root Icon to New York.