Dear fathers, brothers and sisters!
I wholeheartedly greet all of you on the blessed feast of the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ!
In these holy days full of Christmas joy, all our hearts with trembling and reverence rush to "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (1 Tim. 3:16)”. This is one of the many mysteries of the spiritual world invisible to us - the mystery of the Incarnation, in which the incomprehensible power and depth of the infinite love of God's Son is manifested both for humanity as a whole and for each of us. He came into the world to bring hope to our hearts and open to us the path of salvation.
And today, in the days of difficulties and severe trials, we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, because we believe that the Lord God is “an everlasting stronghold” and in Him “our strength and eternal salvation (Isaiah 26:4).”
Sharing with you the joy of the great feast, I sincerely wish you spiritual and physical health, and I pray with you that the feast of the Nativity of Christ will become for all of us a day of our spiritual enlightenment and rebirth, that the coming New Year be filled with peace and prosperity. The way the Nativity light of the Star of Bethlehem will sanctify us with Divine grace and fill our hearts with infinite joy, the gracious spirit of peace, love and hope.
I invoke God's blessing on all of you. With love in the newborn Savior,
Bishop of Sourozh
Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA & Canada
On Monday, November 21st the Archpriest Luka (Novakovic), Rector of St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, along with parishioners and guests celebrated the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, Synaxis of Angels. Archpriest Mark Shinn, Rector of Saint Andrew Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, was the Chief Celebrant of the Divine Liturgy. His co-celebrants included Archpriest Lyubo Milosevic, Rector of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Vineland, NJ; Archpriest Valery Sukholobov, Rector of Our Lady "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Russian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, PA; Priest Nicholas (Dellermann) SS. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Albanian Archdiocese in Philadelphia, PA; and Archpriest Luka (Novakovic). After Divine Liturgy, a wonderful celebratory luncheon was prepared to welcome all in attendance.
The Women's Fellowship is hosting a fundraiser luncheon on Sunday, November 20,after Divine Liturgy. There will be take away options available. All are invited to enjoy a meal together to celebrate our church's feast day.
On Monday, November 21, Divine Liturgy will be served at 10 AM. We will be blessed to have several priests joining us. A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
On Great and Holy Friday, April 22nd, the service of Matins of Great and Holy Saturday, Lamentations at the tomb, concluded with a procession around the Church carrying the plachinitsa and veneration by the faithful. Beautiful, fresh spring flowers adorn the tomb of Christ, as the faithful approached, they were greeted with a sweet fragrance and joyful heart. In the morning on Great and Holy Saturday, April 23rd, Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, concluded with the Blessing of Paschal Baskets in the Church.
On Palm Sunday, April 17th, Divine Liturgy concluded with a procession around the Church for The Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem Feast Day. Pussy willows carried by the faithful in the procession were blessed in the Church that morning. Following services, a wonderful meal and special time together was enjoyed in the hall. The children, together with Fr. Luka, hand-decorated and colored eggs for Pascha, as they prepared for their Journey through Holy Week.
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