On Friday, April 7, the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, paid an archpastoral visit to St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, CT, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy.
Upon arrival at the church, Bishop Jerome was greeted by the parish warden with bread and salt, and then by parish rector Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov. Fr. Dionisy concelebrated Divine Liturgy with His Grace, along with Deacons Alexey Pnev (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY) and Eugene Utnyukhin (parish cleric).
The choir under the direction of Nicholas Semyanko sang beautifully, including rarer arrangements by Russian composers. The church slowly filled with worshippers throughout the service.
Upon completion of the service, Bishop Jerome delivered a sermon on the words spoken by the Most Holy Theotokos to the Archangel Gabriel: "Be it unto me according to thy word," and how it relates to the more familiar Gospel reading for feasts of the Mother of God, which includes the phrase, "Mary hath chosen that good part," noting that, "We too are faced with constant choices in our daily life, and it behooves us to choose the ‘good part.’"
After Liturgy, the sisterhood offered a bountiful festal luncheon in the parish hall.