NEW YORK: January 24, 2020
The celebration of the Theophany of the Lord at the Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York
On Saturday, January 18, 2020, Theophany Eve, and Sunday, January 19, the great feast of the Theophany (the Baptism of the Lord), Eastern American Diocesan Vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan led all-night vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral “of the Sign” in New York City. Serving alongside His Grace were: cathedral Dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky and Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral clerics), and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY). Singing the divine services was the Synodal choir under the direction of Protodeacon Vadim Gan.
The festal divine services were held under the aegis of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. The church was filled with worshipers; the majority of those who came to pray confessed their sins and communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Congratulating the clergy and parishioners with the great feast, Bishop Nicholas said, in part:
"How should we treat the grace that we receive in baptism and in the Holy Sacraments? The Apostle Paul writes that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. And this can be accomplished only when we are in the bosom of the Holy Church – where Christ is, where the Most-Pure Mother of God is, where all the saints are, the holy new martyrs, and that same grace from God.
"It is easy in this day and age to become lost, to leave the path, but on days like this we feel where we ought to be, where it is pleasant for us, where God is. And I wish for all of you to always abide where God is, where salvation is, because everything there is already sober, and righteous, and pious. We must be there, and must strive for that state, for that life, constantly laboring and hoping that the Lord will receive us into His Kingdom, as well. Let us strive to abide, as we do today, with God – where there is light, and joy, and salvation."
Bishop Nicholas then performed the Great Blessing of the Water, and blessed all those present with the water of Theophany.
The sisterhood organized a festal luncheon for the clergy and faithful in the cathedral hall, during which they continued their brotherly interaction.