On the great feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York officiated All-Night Vigil on Saturday the 8th and celebrated Divine Liturgy on Sunday the 9th of April 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), Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ), Priest Pavel Rusakov (cleric of Our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" Church in Brooklyn, NY), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Alexander Petrovsky (cleric of St. George Church in Loveland, OH).
Singing at the divine services was the Synodal choir under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan. The services were held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, recently returned from her travels in the Mid-American Diocese.
A multitude of parishioners and faithful from other churches in the city gathered to pray in the Synodal cathedral. Most of these communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, His Eminence greeted those gathered with the feast and delivered a sermon in which he said, in part:
"The Lord raised Righteous Lazarus. Many came at that time to behold the miracle and the risen Lazarus, but paid no attention at all to the Savior. So it is in our lives, as well: we are fascinated by the news, by something worldly, something wholly secular, and we want to be there, because it seems interesting and everyone is gathering to look at it. But do we try to gather in God’s church, where our Sacraments are? We ought to strive to be there, to make haste to go there, and to approach with a heart that is broken and humbled. And we ought not only approach to gaze and behold, but to worship God and ask Him to revive our slumbering soul.
"We know that after his resurrection, the Righteous Lazarus served God and the Church, becoming a bishop on the island of Cyprus. We receive much from our Savior; do we use these gifts for the benefit of our church life?
"Today Christ triumphantly enters Jerusalem. He is greeted by those who have believed in Christ, with the words ‘Hosanna in the highest.’ But, beholding Jerusalem, Christ begins to weep. He understood that many were greeting Him as an earthly king, as a new ruler, a new conqueror, but gave no thought to the spiritual life. The Savior sorrowed for those people just as He does for us today. The Lord came in order to enlighten us and by His death to defeat the devil and open the gates of paradise."
Metropolitan Nicholas called on the faithful to come to pray in the cathedral during the days of Passion Week, on the threshold of Christ’s Glorious Resurrection.
The traditional plate collection was held in the cathedral to benefit the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, which is held every year on Palm Sunday.
The sisterhood prepared a festal luncheon for the clergy and faithful in the cathedral hall.
New York City: On Palm Sunday, Metropolitan Nicholas celebrates Liturgy in Synodal Cathedral - 04/09/23
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - T. Veselkina