On January 21, the 33rd Sunday after Pentecost, that after Theophany, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, co-served by: cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov, Hieromonk Theognost (Kogan), and Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cathedral clerics). Singing at Liturgy was the Synodal choir.
A multitude of cathedral parishioners came to pray at the divine service, many of whom communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. Upon completion of Liturgy, Archbishop Gabriel greeted everyone present with the feast of the Theophany of the Lord, and addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he said, in part:
"Only in the Orthodox Church do we see a spiritual approach to the feasts, which, unfortunately, has been lost in other Churches, and indeed which they may never have had at all. Thus in the Orthodox Church, a 40-day fast is appointed before Christ’s Nativity, so that we might spiritual prepare to meet the feast, the celebration of which lasts for eight days, after which begins the forefeast of the next holiday – the Lord’s Baptism. In ancient times, these feasts were celebrated on the same day. Now they are 12 days apart. During these days, we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s Theophany, when at 30 years of age the Lord began His service to mankind with His preaching and, bringing the people the New Testament, the testament of love for one another, he called out after John the Baptist: ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ At a time when humanity had reached the height of licentiousness, they wanted people to understand that repentance is required to receive the true Messiah – the Savior of the world, Who came preaching the New Testament and saying that love is above all things…
"Likewise in the modern world, repentance is far from felt by all. How often do we hear from people that the goal of the modern life is convenience, wealth, and comfort, and that everyone must live for himself… But the Savior revealed to us the meaning of our life ‒ striving to live piously and always to offer repentance, to confess our sins, and to commune of the Body and Blood of Christ."
Upon completion of the service, the cathedral sisterhood organized a luncheon in the church hall.