On November 12, the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, 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), Hieromonk Theognost (Kogan; cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric).
The Synodal choir sang beautifully under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
The service was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Addressing those present with a sermon on the Gospel reading from Luke about the healing of the demoniacs in the land of the Gadarenes, His Eminence said, in part:
"…But all of the residents of the city came to the Savior and asked Him to depart from them ‒ ‘You disturb us here.’ Christ calmly sat down in a boat and sailed over to the other shore of the lake. The divine Teacher comes to instruct the people, but they chase Him away."
"So often we see that God is with us, both in difficult times for us and in tranquil times. We can always pray and receive something. But by our unrighteous life, our incorrect behavior, just like the Gadarenes, we unfortunately drive our Savior out of our lives.
"Let us recall how the demoniacs cried out to the Savior and asked for His help. Here I call to mind the words of the Psalmist: ‘My help cometh from the Lord Who hath made heaven and the earth.’ The Lord created absolutely everything, and gave us all things. He is our help, and our hope is only in God. But we often seek other paths in which we might delight, in which we might feel ourselves comfortable and well off. And prayer is for later, when we will have the time, when we will need help for sure. But we must call out for help and guidance every minute. Let us remember that church is a prototype of the Heavenly Kingdom, that God created this world for us, and that all help is from God alone. Let us not be like the Gadarenes, but let us repeat the words of the Psalmist: ‘My help cometh from the Lord Who hath made heaven and the earth.’"
A traditional luncheon was held in the church hall during which interaction between the clergy and faithful continued.
New York City: On 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Metropolitan Nicholas celebrates Liturgy in Synodal Cathedral - 11/12/23
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - T. Veselkina