On Palm Sunday, April 25, the great feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with His Grace were cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky and Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral clerics), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric). Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York prayed in the altar. The Synodal choir sang wonderfully under the direction of conductor Vadim S. Gan.
On the feast day, much beloved by the faithful, the church was filled with worshippers. Most of the parishioners confessed their sins and communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of the service, Bishop Nicholas delivered a sermon on the feast, also touching on the feast celebrated the day prior: the Raising of Righteous Lazarus. This feast is especially celebrated by the members of ROCOR’s Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and the sisters in Gethsemane, who on this day prayed in Bethany, where the Mission has a small parcel of land and the renowned Bethany School for Girls. There is also a special stone there bearing an inscription that Christ spoke in that very spot with Martha and Mary about the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.
His Grace noted how important it is to be as humble as Jesus Christ, Who entered triumphantly into Jerusalem, seeing at all times and in all things our Savior, and thanking God for all things, according to the words of the Apostle Paul: "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks."
Bishop Nicholas informed the faithful that, on Monday of Passion Week, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God was to return from her travels throughout the Mid-American Diocese, and will spend the days of Passion Week and the radiant feast of Pascha in her home in New York City. In keeping with tradition, a festal plate collection was held to benefit those laboring in the Holy Land.