4 December 2023 года

Hierarchical service on the feast of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple

Today is a special day when, two millennia ago, a little girl Maria born into the family of the pious Joachim and Anna was dedicated to the service of the Lord in Jerusalem.

Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas presided at the festive services in the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery dedicated to this event. In the Trinity Cathedral, His Eminence venerated the holy relics of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. With the clergy of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery concelebrating him, he honored the memory of the miracle-worker of Sarov by serving a prayer service and the akathist. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated place next in the Trinity Cathedral.

Two hundred students from the Nizhny Novgorod universities, who came as pilgrims to the shrines of Arzamas and Diveyevo at the time, prayed at the service. It is wonderful that they arrived here on the feast of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, because this feast reminds us of the special significance of the church as a school of piety. The church holds significance because the Divine grace dwells in it. It is in the temple that the Church of God where the community of faithful headed by bishop or a priest comes together and invokes the name of the Holy Spirit. This invocation of the Holy Spirit brings a real spiritual power that comes down to people from God.

The Mother of God began her life by entering the temple and later, as the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us allegorically (Hebrews 9:1-7), became a temple for the incarnate God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Archpriest Oleg Struchkov, clergyman of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, delivered the post-communion sermon. Addressing the worshipers, the priest called to remember about the importance to fight evil thoughts and cited the admonition of St. Macarius the Great: “If you want to cope with anything evil or vicious that arises from the depths of your soul, you need to do only a few things. 1. You need to increase your effort in fasting. 2. It is necessary to read the Holy Scriptures, in the first place, the Gospel and the writings of the Holy Fathers. 3. It is necessary to pray.”

At the end of the sermon, batiushka wished that we “carefully watch those thoughts and feelings that visit our soul”, “trying to observe the deed of fasting and prayer” and “the Lord because of His grace will give us relief from this temptation not only during the Nativity fast, but also during all the days of our earthly life.”

At the end of the service, Hegumenia Sergia (Konkova) thanked Vladyka Georgiy for adorning the feast by conducting the hierarchical service and presented him with prosphora, prayer beads for remembrance in prayer and the icon of the feast of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother  in the Temple.

Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas thanked matushka hegumenia for the gifts and addressed those present in the church with the sermon where he recalled the history of the feast and its significance for every one of us.

“During his life, every man has a moment when, inside his heart, he meets the Lord. If a man opens the gates of his heart, this meeting will bring really good fruit. But, if our heart is closed to the Lord, a desert is inside,” Vladyka Georgiy noted. “Venerable Seraphim tells us about the acquisition of the Spirit of God. It is possible only when a person follows the path taking care of the purity of heart.”

Metropolitan Georgiy noted that this feast is strictly monastic, because the monastics reject the earthly life for the sake of the heavenly, spiritual life.