On the 5th week of Great Lent, the clergy of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign and St. Sergius Chapel in New York City continued to hold the lenten divine services in the absence of parishioners.
On Wednesday evening, April1, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan led the reading of the Great Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, co-served by cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer. On Friday evening, the eve of the feast of the Laudation of the Mother of God, His Grace led the evening service with the reading of the Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos. Serving alongside the archpastor were Fr. Andrei, Abbot Zosimas (Krampis), and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY).
On April 5, the 5th Sunday of Great Lent, dedicated to Venerable Mary of Egypt, Bishop Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral, co-served by Frs. Andrei and Nicholas. Special prayers were offered up at the service for the repose of long-time cathedral Archdeacon Eugene Burbelo, who reposed on this day three years ago.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas thanked the clergy for their joint prayers, and reminded those watching that, "when we sin, wherever we are, we are acting like the scribes and Pharisees ‒ we betray our Savior, we mock Him, we do not love Him, and we depart from God’s grace. But God is love, and receives all those who repent.
"On this Sunday, we remember Venerable Mary of Egypt ‒ a sinner who repented and received mercy from God, the forgiveness of her sins, and before her death was vouchsafed to commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. We all must also strive for this ‒ to have time to acquire God in this life, to feel His love, to bring forth our repentance, and with God’s help to commune of the Holy Mysteries."
His Grace reminded the faithful watching the divine services over the live-feed that on Tuesday, April 7, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, will celebrate Divine Liturgy for the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos.