On November 27, the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, when on the eve of the Nativity (St. Philip’s) Fast, the Holy Church honors the memory of the Apostle Philip, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Archpriest Andrei Sommer (cathedral dean), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric). The Synodal choir sang the divine services under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
Upon completion of Liturgy, His Eminence addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he turned their attention to the importance of preserving peace in one’s soul.
"The Apostle Paul says, ‘Christ is our peace.’ We, for our part, wait for a great many things, are always seeking something in our lives. But who seeks Christ’s peace? Who seeks Christ? After all, it is only with Christ that we find spiritual, salvific peace. We attend God’s church on Sundays, where Liturgy is being celebrated, and Christ’s peace is sent down to us from above. We can receive this peace or reject it; preserve it or lose it – this depends on us. We can be with Christ and He will be with us. Or we can remain outside of Christ’s fold. This all depends on us."
Metropolitan Nicholas greeted the clergy and faithful with the coming Nativity Fast and noted that the fast is " a special time in which to acquire that peace within us: to more frequently attend church, to calmly and considerately confess and commune, to read spiritual literature, and to prepare to receive the day of Christ’s Nativity – to receive the Savior Himself; to receive that peace that He brings to man. Without God all is tumult and sin. But with God, we feel that peace and His blessing."
His Eminence called on the faithful, especially in this difficult time, to pay attention to and pray for all people, to pray for peace and, where possible, to actively demonstrate co-suffering love. And the fast is an opportunity to turn our attention to our spiritual life and renew our souls.
Metropolitan Nicholas greeted all of the altar servers and parishioners named Philip on the occasion of their namesday, as well as the cathedral’s assistant warden, Michael B. Ledkovsky, on the occasion of his recent namesday – the feast of the Holy Archangel Michael.
The cathedral sisterhood organized a luncheon for the clergy and parishioners, during which they continued their interaction.
New York City: On Eve of Nativity Fast, Metropolitan Nicholas celebrates Liturgy in Synodal Cathedral - 11/27/22
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - T. Veselkina, S. Yakushin