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. Due to the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus outbreak, that service had to be performed without our parishioners present. Only an altar server and two choir singers attended the church.
After the Gospel reading the Rector preached a homily in Russian. He stressed that although we get used to think of our parish patron, St. George, as a brave warrior, his most important endeavor was in his martyrdom for Christ. Being an army officer and a good warrior, this Saint faithfully served his emperor, but when Christians were persecuted, he openly professed his faith and accepted sufferings for the Lord. He endured severe tortures and was finally executed. This was his testimony for Christ, and this is the main role of the Martyrs – to be the witnesses to testify before the world about Christ. And we, as parishioners of the temple dedicated to this Saint, have to strive to be the similar witnesses of Christian faith. This has to be fulfilled in our faith, our life as it is viewed by others, by our loving care of our neighbors and also by our readiness to suffer for Christ.
During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, the Rector proclaimed the petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease. After the Litany he also offered a special prayer for the deliverance from pestilence.
Hymns in honor of St. George, as well as Paschal hymns were nicely performed by our choir singers before the rite of the Holy Communion.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector along with the altar server came out of the sanctuary to the middle of the temple and performed the rite of glorification singing the troparia, the kontakion and the magnification in honor of St. George.
After the church service the Rector performed an automobile procession around Bayside and Flushing area of Queens, NY driving with the icon of St. George and blessing the city with our patron’s holy image.