On Sunday the 5th and Monday the 6th of November, the feast of the Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to Cumming (Atlanta), GA, where he officiated the divine services in honor of the patronal feast of the city’s eponymous parish.
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad arrived on Sunday evening, having celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City that morning. To the joy and consolation of the faithful, His Eminence was accompanied by the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which remained at the parish throughout the services that evening and the following morning.
At Vigil on Sunday evening, Metropolitan Nicholas prayed in the altar during Vespers, and led the Polyeleos and the anointing of the faithful. Upon conclusion of the service, he greeted everyone present on the occasion of their patronal feast. A supper was held after the service, during which His Eminence conversed with the faithful.
On Monday morning, the First Hierarch celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Archpriest Dimitri Oselinsky (cleric of St. Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA), Priest Eugene Antonov (rector of the parish), Priest Alexander Revyuk (rector of Holy Trinity Church OCA in Brooklyn, NY), Priest Mikhail Beliakov (cleric of St Mary of Egypt Church), and Deacon Anton Kouznetsov (parish cleric). Subdeacons and altar servers from both St. Mary of Egypt and Joy of All Who Sorrow served together in the altar.
The parish choir sang beautifully at the divine services, at which many faithful from local ROCOR and OCA parishes were present.
Metropolitan Nicholas delivered a sermon on the Mother of God and her protection of the faithful, stressing the importance of praying to her. He also noted the beauty of being in the presence of her two icons: the Kursk Root Icon and the Joy of All Who Sorrow. The latter holds a piece of the bishop’s mantle of St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco, who had a deep connection with these two icons.
His Eminence presented the parish rector and choir with a copy of the newly published Akathist to the Kursk Root Icon.
After Liturgy, a festal meal was served by the parish sisterhood. Metropolitan Nicholas then led a cross procession with the Kursk Icon around the new church building which is being constructed. The First Hierarch departed on Tuesday, after meeting with some of the faithful who had missed the services and wished to venerate the icon.