On November 29, the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and the feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada. Concelebrating with the hierarch were cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY). The Synodal choir sang beautifully.
Many parishioners gathered to pray at the service, most of whom communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Archbishop Gabriel addressed the faithful with a sermon on the Gospel reading of the day, explaining ‒ by means of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, who helped the man who had fallen among thieves ‒ whom we should consider our neighbor. He noted that anyone can be our neighbor, and if we see someone in need, we must help them.
His Eminence reminded the faithful about the introductory days of the Nativity Fast, which lead us to the great feast of Christ’s Nativity. He noted that "fasting is not merely refraining from non-lenten foods. Refraining from food only helps us to fast spiritually… A true fast is accompanied by our good deeds, almsgiving, and love. And the most important thing is to do good works, just as the Good Samaritan did. We must try throughout the fast to visit the sick, to give aid unto those in need, and to be gracious to one another. And then we can hope that we will acquire eternal life."
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that Metropolitan Mark of Berlin & Germany is currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of his hierarchal consecration. His Eminence congratulated Metropolitan Mark and wished him God’s aid in his archpastoral service to the Holy Church for many years. Metropolitan Hilarion also relayed his congratulations and well-wishes to Bishop Matthew, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, on the occasion of his namesday.