The head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolia presided at the Divine services in the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery

The second Ancestral Memorial Saturday of the Holy Forty Days Fast was marked by the archpastoral service at the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas presided at the akathist beside the relics of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov, the late-morning Divine Liturgy and the panikhida service. Concelebrating His Eminence was Bishop Innocent of Sormovo, Vicar Bishop of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese.

During the post-Communion sermon, Rev.Fr. Vyacheslav Bodan’, rector of the Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist in the village of Ivanovskoye in Nizhny Novgorod Region, spoke about the significance of the Ancestral Memorial Saturdays for the Orthodox Christians.

The preacher noted that Lent could be nominally divided into two segments. The first one is when the faithful, having received the call of the Holy Church to perform the deeds of fasting, are actually striving to achieve spiritual perfection. During the second stage, the Holy Church speaks of the Passions of the Lord and calls us to follow the Savior on His way of the cross. And so, the first part of Lent, when we make efforts to purify our hearts and draw closer to God, we are given an invaluable lesson of love: the Church invites us to attend the three Ancestral Memorial Saturdays to pray for the departed. “This call has become truly important for us right now, since love is the foundation of our life,” Father Vyacheslav has emphasized. “Love isn’t made of simple words, but of concrete deeds. It is essential for all of us to see the image of God in every man and let the Lord act, through us, for the sake and salvation of our soul and our neighbor.”

At the end of the service, Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, thanked Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas and Bishop Innocent for hierarchical prayers beside the relics of Venerable Seraphim, during the Divine Liturgy and panikhida, and expressed profound gratitude to Vladyka Georgiy for performing the monastic tonsures.

At the end of the service, matushka hegumenia wished that the Lord, through the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God, Venerable Seraphim, the saints of Diveyevo and all the saints whose memory we celebrate today protects the archpastors for many good years, and presented the prosphoras and prayer beads as a token of gratitude.

In his hierarchical address, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolia congratulated all those who prayed in the church with the conclusion of the third week of the Holy Forty Days.

“If we want the labor of Great Lent to bring forth the spiritual fruit, we must be always guided by the penitential prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian: “O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.” It’s our reminder of men’s virtues and weaknesses.

These virtues do not require us to do unbearable deeds, but remain observant of the state of our minds and hearts. If we follow the words of this prayer, the Lord will bestow great spiritual joy upon us,” said His Eminence Vladyka.

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