NEW YORK: 20 December 2022
On the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad heads Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral “of the Sign”

On December 18, 2022, the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, when the Holy Church honors the memory of Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were Archimandrite Gabriel (Pigarev, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church), Cathedral Dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin, diocesan cleric).

Singing at Liturgy was the Synodal choir under the direction of conductor Vadim Gan.

The service was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonder-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign.” The cathedral was filled with worshippers, most of whom used the days of the Nativity fast to commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.

Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan Nicholas greeted those present with the Lord’s Day and the ongoing days of Advent, and called on them all to wholeheartedly prepare for the feast of the coming into the world of the Divine Infant, that Christ might see the light of faith in us and desire to be with us.

His Eminence reminded them that, on this day, the Orthodox Church glorifies Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified, who labored in the Holy Land – founder of the monastery in Palestine at which labored the holy fathers John of Damascus, St Cosmas of Maiuma, and St Andrew of Crete. Great liturgical hymns emerged from this monastery: the marvelous words of the Octoechos and the Paschal Canon. These holy ascetics prayed and labored and glorified God with their lives, entrusting and giving to us the opportunity to glorify Him, as well.

"In all Orthodox churches today was read the Gospel passage of the healing of the ten lepers, of whom only one of the men healed returned to the Savior and thanked Him for His healing and His mercy. Christ receives him and asks, where are the other nine?

"This is a lesson for us. We receive a great deal from the Lord and we must always thank God for everything. So did the holy fathers who labored in the Monastery of St Sabbas. They received life, just as we did, and they dedicated that life and used their talents unto the glory of God: they wrote holy books, glorified the Lord in fasting and prayer. And we glorify them for that today."

Metropolitan Nicholas reminded the faithful that, during the preceding week, cathedral dean Fr Andrei and the head of Holy Ascension Convent on the Mount of Olives, Abbess Barbara, had celebrated their namesdays, and wished them and other parish namesday celebrants many years.

In the church hall, the cathedral organized a lenten Sunday luncheon.



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