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

On Friday of the fifth week of Holy Forty Days, hierarchical services were held in the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas celebrated the prayer service with the akathist to the Venerable Seraphim and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

Before the liturgy, the ruling archpastor performed the first Ryassophor tonsure of this year’s Great Lent.

Following the Communion Rev. Fr. Alexiy Kurnosov, clergyman of the monastery, said a sermon. Father Alexiy dedicated it to humility, the virtue every believer should cultivate in himself, so that we never doubt that the Lord is present every minute of our life and leads us to salvation, drawing us away from spiritual doom.

At the conclusion of the service, Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, on behalf of the entire monastery family, heartily thanked Metropolitan Georgiy for the hierarchical prayers raised beside the relics of batiushka Seraphim, at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts and for performing the monastic tonsures yesterday and today.

Matushka hegumenia expressed particular gratitude to the ruling hierarch for keeping the Diveyevo monastery in his care and wished that the Lord, through the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God, Venerable Seraphim and all the saints of Diveyevo, strengthens the Vladyka as he carries out his archpastoral labors.

In his hierarchical address, the head of Nizhny Novgorod Metropolis congratulated the congregation with the conclusion of the fifth week of Holy Forty Days.

“Lent is a time of a particular prayerful deed and abstinence. We often assume that, by enduring the labors of abstinence in food and drink, avoiding idleness and revelry, we have already accomplished a great work of our salvation. This isn’t true though. These deeds are only a precursor to what the Lord calls us to do; this is what the prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian speaks about: “O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talking give me not. But rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me Thy servant. Yea, O Lord Kind, great me to see my failings and not condemn my brother, for blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen,” said Metropolitan Georgiy.

The archpastor recalled the words of Abba Sisoes how great it is for a man to see the depth of his fall. He emphasized that, if we condemn our neighbor, we are no longer able to see our own sins and to repent them which entails both despondency and idle talk. Anywhere there is condemnation, there can be neither chastity, nor humility, patience, or love.

At the end of his sermon, Vladyka Georgiy wished the congregation to have God’s help in completion of the Holy Forty Days in earnest to greet with spiritual joy the feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ.