On Monday the 6th and Tuesday the 7th of April, the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, led the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with His Eminence were cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY). Also praying at the services was Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Those who wished to celebrate the feast and pray were able to watch a live-stream of the services, which the cathedral organized in response to the epidemic crisis.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted all those praying at home with the joyous feast, and said, in part:
"Today we heard the words of the Archangel Gabriel: ‘Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.’ These words mean the same thing as the words, ‘God is with us.’ For, truly, from the very moment that Archangel Gabriel visited the Most Pure Virgin Mary and announced to her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, the Most Holy Virgin bowed to the will of God and conceived in that moment the Son of God. That is, God Himself, out of His love for mankind, send His Son ‒ the Master of Heaven and earth ‒ that He might take on human nature, in order to restore it and grant unto man the opportunity to return to the state he had in paradise, and to enter into the Heavenly Kingdom.
"We glorify the Mother of God for her purity, her love for God, her care for us, and we thank her and ask that she always shelter us with her holy veil and deliver us from sickness currently spreading as a trial for all mankind; that we all might repent of our sins, work on ourselves, and lead a God-pleasing life."
Metropolitan Hilarion wished all good health, strength, and many years of life.