Fr. Igor serves in Kiev

Our Rector, Rev. Priest Igor Tarasov stayed a couple of days in Kiev, Ukraine after his finals at the Academy. On Friday, February 25 he unofficially participated in the welcome meeting held at the Kievan Metropolia for the group of American agricultural professionals who visited Ukraine. Guests from the United States had an opportunity to visit the Kiev Cave Monastery and to meet with the Ukrainian Church officials. The meeting was headed by Archpriest Nicholas Danylevych, the Vice-Chairman of the Department of the External Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Fr. Igor was present and assisted in translation. He also had a chance to speak with the American visitors and to tell them about Orthodoxy in America, as well as about his own parish in Bayside. A lady from California asked Fr. Igor about the differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. He named some of them, including Catholic view on the primacy of the pope, some new dogmas adopted by Roman Church and mandatory celibacy of the priests. American guests were very impressed by the beauty of the Orthodox churches and by the religious zeal of the people of Ukraine who preserved their faith during persecutions of the past years.
On Cheesefare Sunday, February 26, Fr. Igor served the Divine Liturgy at St. Spyridon’s Church in Kiev. He assisted Fr. Nicholas Danylevych who is the Rector of that temple located at one of the neighborhoods of the Ukrainian capital. The temple itself was built last year. At the Liturgy Fr. Igor preached a sermon. He reminded faithful of the importance of fast because fasting was established by God already in paradise for the first people, Adam and Eve. Since on that day the Church commemorates the expulsion of Adam from paradise, we should remember that a return to the lost state of blessedness is possible only through the spiritual efforts of fasting, prayer and charity assisted by God’s grace. Therefore, we need to consider the advices given in the Gospel reading of Cheesefare Sunday. The Lord gives us three “recipies” for Lent: forgiveness, fast and gathering our treasures not on earth, but in heaven.
Following the service Fr. Igor joined clergy and active parishioners of St. Spyridon’s at the luncheon.