May 19, 2016
Albany, NY: On Thomas Sunday, Bishop Jerome celebrates Liturgy at Nativity of the Mother of God Church

On Thomas Sunday, May 8, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, paid an archpastoral visit to the parish of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Albany, NY. Since the Sunday of the Holy Apostle Thomas fell on the feast of the Holy Apostle & Evangelist Mark, Bishop Jerome served the Liturgy of St. Mark, one of the oldest Divine Liturgies of the Church. The Liturgy was historically served in the Church of Alexandria, which was founded by the Apostle.

Bishop Jerome arrived to the peal of bells and was greeted by parish clergy: rector Archpriest Alexis Duncan, Archpriest Michael Fritz, Priest Andrei Rudenko, and Protodeacon Michael Soloviev, as well as Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY, accompanying His Grace).

After the vesting of the hierarch and the reading of the Hours, the Liturgy of St. Mark was celebrated, with the parish choir, under the direction of director Natalia Schuler, singing the responses beautifully.

The parishioners found this ancient Liturgy both moving and intriguing. Many of the faithful received the Holy Mysteries, and Bishop Jerome delivered two sermons: in Russian, on the words of the festal troparion, "Through them renewing a Right Spirit for us," and in English, on the words of the Savior to the Holy Apostle Thomas, "Thou hast seen, therefore thou hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed."

At the end of his congratulations and thanks to the parish, His Grace greeted all the mothers of the parish with the American holiday of Mother’s Day. A luncheon was provided for the faithful, and Bishop Jerome departed home for the New Kursk Root Hermitage.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese