On Sunday evening, January 2, at the invitation of His Grace Nikolai of Manhattan, we served the Akathist Hymn before the miracle-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God at the Cathedral of the Sign near Central Park. Vladyka Nikolai was present during the entire service. A small group of youth chanted the responses. Those present at the beautiful and prayerful service felt the Mother of God’s loving embrace and left with their hearts full of grace. For those couple of hours, the Mother of God let no fears or worries touch the hearts of those present.
At the end of the service, Protosyngellos Ieremia offered words of gratitude to Vladyka Nikolai for always receiving the Romanian faithful and having so much patience to allow us to stand in prayer for as long as we want before the Mother of God. Finally, Vladyka anointed everyone, reminding us that we only lose the grace that the Mother of God gives us when we sin, and thus we should approach her with prayer and repentance, which she always readily receives.