On January 19th the Orthodox Church celebrates great feast of the Theophany, or Baptism of the Lord. Our parish had a beautiful celebration of that holy day headed by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov. He served the Divine Liturgy at St. George Church. Following the Gospel lesson the Rector preached a homily in Russian.
In his homily the Rector preached that incomprehensible and ineffable God came into the world in order to not let mankind to perish and abide in a slavery to sin. The mystery of God’s appearance to the world is incomprehensible for we cannot grasp how an infinite God can be incarnate in what is timely; how eternal can appear in time; and how ineffable can be understood. But the greatness of our God manifests itself when things impossible with men become possible with God, one in the Holy Trinity.
Our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate and became Man. After thirty years He came to the Jordan river to reveal Himself to the world. And as His birth was humble and incomprehensible to those who are accustomed to live in the boundaries of human greatness, so His appearance to the world is incomprehensible for those who measures everything according to the human pride, power and ambition. Jesus Christ comes to the sinners who stand on the bank of Jordan; He comes and stands among them and desires to immerse Himself in the waters of Jordan along with the sinners.
Christ had no sin, but He took upon Himself our sins, thus He comes to the sinners. The sin is awful and disgusting but the Lord does not despise our sins. He becomes one of us, so we won’t perish. This is the mystery of Theophany. It is in the love of our Lord towards everyone of us. For our sake He came into the world, He was born for us and He was baptized for us, so we may know the way of faith. For us to know the true God He reveals Himself in the Holy Trinity: the Son of God staying in the waters of Jordan, the Holy Spirit descending upon Him like a dove, and the voice of the Heavenly Father: “This is My beloved Son” (Mt. 3, 17).
“We have the greatest joy to be children of the Church of Christ, we are in unity with our Savior. Let us glorify Him who accomplish all these things for our salvation,” – concluded his homily Fr. Igor.
The choir prayerfully performed hymns of the feast during preparation for Holy Communion.
After the Prayer behind the Ambo the Rector performed the Great Blessing of water.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar servers came before the icon stand and performed the rite of glorification singing the troparion and kontakion of the Theophany.
Our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow had a speech and greeted the Rector on the occasion of his past birthday. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed. Then Fr. Igor thanked her and parishioners for their greetings and congratulated parishioners on the occasion of the great holy day.
Our Sunday service for January 12 had been cancelled due to the Rector’s illness.
The pictures below chronologically illustrate the 30 years of priestly ministry of our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov.
Предлагаем Вашему вниманию фотографии, хронологически изображающие 30 лет священническое служение нашего настоятеля, протоиерея Игоря Тарасова.
This Christmas the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov celebrates 30th Anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
On January 7, 1990 Fr. Igor was ordained a priest by His Grace, Bishop Vladimir (now Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova). Our Rector performed his priestly ministry in Moldova and Ukraine. In 1994 he came to the United States. Since 2007 he serves in the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA. In 2016-2017 he was the Dean of the Eastern States. In 2017-2019 Fr. Igor held an important position of the Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA. All these years, since his joining the Patriarchal Parishes, he was our parish priest in Bayside, NY.
On this Christmas of 2020 Archpriest Igor was congratulated on the occasion of his priestly jubilee. Fr. Igor received a message from the Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, Archpriest George Konyev who took that opportunity to greet the jubilarian. On Christmas Day, following the beautiful Divine Liturgy in our temple, the Rector was congratulated by parishioners. Church Warden and Choir Director Olga Roussanow proclaimed the greetings from all the members of the Parish. In their greetings St. George’s parishioners wished Fr. Igor good health and further successful ministry for the glory of God. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta”) was also proclaimed in honor of the Rector.
Let us wish Fr. Igor God’s help, all the blessings and many more years of serving the Holy Orthodox Church!
On January 7 the Russian Orthodox Church observes feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as Christmas. Our St. George Church had a nice celebration of that holy day. Most of our parishioners as well as some visitors came to the temple to participate in the services.
On January 6, on Christmas Eve, our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the All-Night Vigil. That service had been conducted in our parish for the first time in many years. It consists of the Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour. The choir prayerfully performed different hymns of the feast during those special services at night. On Christmas day, January 7, our Rector served the Divine Liturgy.
During the preparation for Holy Communion at the Liturgy the choir beautifully performed different liturgical hymns of the Nativity.
After the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and altar servers performed the rite of glorification singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the Nativity before the festal icon in the middle of the church. Following the Liturgy the Rector greeted the faithful on the occasion of the great holy day of the birth of the Son of God. He preached a sermon (both in English and Russian) about the significance of God’s Incarnation. He pointed out that such a great mystery of God becoming Man is beautifully described in our Church hymns. For instance, the Hirmos of the 9th Ode of the Nativity Canon says, “A strange, most glorious mystery I behold! Heaven-the cave! The cherubic throne-the Virgin! The manger-the place where Christ lay, the uncontainable God…” Heaven which is unsurpassable becomes contained in the cave of Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The Virgin Mary, although She is Holy, She was an earthly woman, yet She became the cherubic throne bearing God. The manger where Jesus the Child was laid became a place for infinite God! God had humiliated Himself and condescended to this world. All this was done for our salvation. Therefore, we have to be worthy of that great manifestation of God’s love. Our faith has to be firm, our prayer has to be fervent, and our spiritual life has to be zealous. We cannot be lukewarm, for God despises such spiritual attitude, but to be ardent in our faith and life in Christ.
Our celebration continued at the trapeza table where a delicious luncheon was prepared by our parishioners. Before the luncheon began our Warden, Olga Roussanow had a speech in which she congratulated our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov on the occasion of his 30th Anniversary of priestly ordination. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) to Fr. Igor was proclaimed. Then the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company. The toasts to the Rector and parishioners were raised during the luncheon. Fr. Igor and our choir singer, Tetiana Migal enjoyed singing several Ukrainian Christmas carols.