On Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of January, the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, led the divine services in Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY.
Divine Liturgy and Vespers had been served on Saturday morning for Nativity Eve, after which a humble traditional lenten meal consisting of tea, kutia (sweet grain pudding), and uzvar (fruit compote) was served for those in attendance. This meal was offered again after the All-Night Vigil on Saturday night.
His Grace was co-served at the divine services by deputy rector Priest George Temidis and parish cleric Deacon Alexey Pnev. Abbot Cornelius (Apukhtin), who usually serves at the church, this year was visiting the Kursk Root Hermitage in Russia.
Upon conclusion of Nativity Liturgy on Sunday morning, Bishop Jerome delivered a sermon on the words "Glory to God in the Highest," and on what is meant by "peace among men" – peace, not only in the sense of the absence of war, but peace from false doctrines and satanic wiles aimed at bringing the Church community into disarray. God’s good will toward us, we know: but we must ourselves be people "of good will!"
The services were well attended, and the meals were accompanied by interesting discussions of the Orthodox faith by the assembled worshippers. After Liturgy, a bountiful festal luncheon was served for all in the parish hall.