On January 7 Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas, feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. On that special day St. George Parish had a very beautiful celebration. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy. Following the Scripture readings he proclaimed Christmas Sermon of the Venerable Father Isaac the Syrian:
“This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world; let no one be threatened. This is the night of the Most Gentle One – let no one be cruel. This is the night of the Humble One – let no one be proud. Now is the day of joy – let us not revenge. Now is the day of Good Will – let us not be mean. In this Day of Peace – let us not be conquered by anger. Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake. So, rich one, invite the poor to your table. Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask. So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us. This present Day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers. Let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.”
“Today the Divine Being took upon Himself the seal of our humanity, in order for humanity to be decorated by the Seal of Divinity.”
Upon the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector and the altar servers came out of the sanctuary and performed the rite of glorification before the icon of the Nativity singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the feast.
Following that Fr. Igor preached a short homily in Russian and congratulated parishioners on the occasion of the great holy day of the Birth of our Savior.
After the Rector’s sermon Parish Warden and Choir Director Olga Roussanow congratulated Fr. Igor on the occasion of his 25th Anniversary of priestly ordination. A traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta”) was sung. A group photo was taken.
After the service our Rector and parishioners continued celebration of Christmas at our favorite Pier 25A restaurant.