On Sunday, November 4, the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ, where he led its patronal feast day.
At Divine Liturgy, concelebrating with His Grace was the parish clergy: rector Archpriest Mark Burachek and Protodeacon Sergei Shoomiloff, along with clerics of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY – Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin.
At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Nicholas awarded Fr. Sergei Shoomiloff the right to wear the kamilavka.
The parish choir sang prayerfully at the service.
After Communion, the vicar of the Eastern American Diocese addressed worshippers with a sermon, in which he said, in part:
"On feast days of the Mother of God, we feel a special, grace-filled silence. This very thing is the closeness of the Mother of God to us. Whether we will call out to the Mother of God, whether we will be close to her, depends on us, brothers and sisters.
"We can come to church and depart again, having felt absolutely nothing. But if we will come with a humbled heart, a pure mind, and repentance, in order to call out to the Mother of God and implore her aid, then after the service we will leave changed. This is because our prayer was doubtlessly heard, and we have received a blessing from above to continue the salvific struggle of bearing our cross. That is why it is so important for us to celebrate this day – the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God – so triumphally, especially when it is your patronal feast day.
"We thank the Mother of God for giving birth to the Son of God, for being more honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, and for never abandoning us. Today we feel this, and we thank God for such mercies."
Upon completion of the service, a short moleben was served before the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. A festal luncheon was then offered in the parish hall for the clergy and faithful.
Newark, NJ: Bishop Nicholas leads Patronal Feast of Our Lady of Kazan Church - 11/04/18
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - P. Lukianov