On May 6th Russian Orthodox Church celebrates feast of the Holy Victorious Great Martyr George. This is the Patronal feast of our parish. On this day we had a beautiful celebration in our temple. The Divine Liturgy was headed by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov who was co-served by Abbot Eutychius (Dovgan) from the ROCOR Synodal Cathedral. Service was attended by our parishioners, as well as a large number of guests from other parishes. Among the visitors was Hieromonk Zosimas (Krampis), our former Rector who was present at the Liturgy.
On this holy day our choir was joined by several guests, so the singing was especially beautiful. Hymns in honor of St. George, as well as Paschal hymns were nicely performed before the rite of the Holy Communion.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a homily in which he pointed out that our Patron Saint was a Martyr for Christ. Christianity very often means martyrdom for Christ. Today’s two Epistle lessons from the Acts of the Holy Apostles were telling us about persecutions of the Holy Apostles, especially Peter and Paul. And the Gospel reading reminded us that, according to the words of the Lord, “A servant is not greater than his master” (Jn. 15, 20). If our Lord Jesus Christ Himself was persecuted, His servants were persecuted also. Holy Apostles were persecuted and most of them died as Martyrs. And later many other followers of Christ had to become Martyrs. Our Patron, St. George was one of them. Therefore, being a Christian always means to be ready for becoming a confessor or even a martyr for Christ. But if this idea is disturbing, let us remember that our Lord is always with us and He conquered death and rose from the dead. Today’s feast of St. George always falls during Paschal season, and our Church hymns dedicated to the martyrdom of St. George are mixed with the Paschal hymns of the Resurrection. This is why we have to be of a good cheer remembering that the Lord is the Victor of evil, so the Saints like Great Martyr George are also the victorious in the Risen Lord.
The Rector also expressed his gratitude to the parishioners who labored to prepare for this celebration, as well the guests who joined us at this parish solemnity. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed to all the faithful present.
Our celebration continued at the abundant and delicious trapeza prepared by our ladies. Our clergy at the trapeza table was now joined by Archpriest Alexandre Anchoutine, Rector of Holy Protection Church in Glen Cove and Dean of the local ROCOR parishes. He had a speech congratulating the Rector and our parishioners on the occasion of Patronal feast and wishing all God’s blessings in our future religious life as a community. Fr. Alexandre also congratulated our Rector on the occasion of his recent appointment as Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes and expressed his wishes of God’s help at this responsible obedience. Another speech was later delivered by our Sacristan, Andrew Malyshew who on behalf of our parishioners expressed gratitude to our Rector, Fr. Igor, as well as the former Rector, Fr. Zosimas for their labors for the good of this parish. He pointed out that despite all the difficulties in our parish life, our church keeps serving the spiritual needs of the Orthodox believers and is under ongoing protection of its Holy Patron, St. George.