Archpastors, Clergymen and Laity of the Mordovian Metropoliate Bid Farewell to the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign”

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, St Theodore Cathedral in the city of Saransk, Russia, saw the return of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,” which had spent two days in the dioceses of Ardatovsk and Krasnoslobodsk. The stream of worshipers coming to venerate the miracle-working icon did not end, and they were undaunted by the length of the queue.

Police officers worked in shifts to maintain order at the cathedral plaza. There were four shifts every 24 hours, at which 80 security officers were in place from various departments, and they kept perfect order.

Inside the cathedral, volunteers aged 18-30 from the Orthodox Youth Union of Mordovia maintained order. They helped pilgrims, among them the handicapped and small children, venerate the holy icon. A total of some 250 volunteers took three-hour shifts, including Cossacks of Saransk’s St John the Forerunner Society.

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Soon after the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon was placed on an analogion in the middle of the cathedral, the faithful were permitted to approach it for prayer, and all-night vigil was performed, headed by the caretaker of the icon, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Vladyka Nicholas was joined by Protopriest Viktor Khokhlov, Secretary of the Saransk Diocese and Senior Priest of the cathedral, along with its clergymen and those accompanying Bishop Nicholas from NewYork.

Since this was the eve of the feast day of Holy Apostle John the Theologian, polyeleos was performed, during which the clergymen and choir sang the laudation to the Most-Holy Mother of God and St John. Vladyka Nicholas then censed the cathedral and offered unction to the worshipers.

On Sunday, October 9, the 16th Sunday of Pentecost, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Zinovy of Saransk and Mordovia at St Theodore Cathedral in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon. Joining him were His Grace Bishop Kliment of Krasnoslobodsk and Temnikovsk and His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Ardatov and Atyashevsk, along with Vladyka Nicholas and the metropoliate’s clergymen. Singing was the cathedral choir under the direction of Nun Fomaida (Sinitskaya). After the augmented litany, special prayers for peace in Ukraine were intoned.

At the end of the service, Metropolitan Zinovy delivered a sermon, and thanked the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for brining the Kursk Icon to their region. He also thanked all those who secured the constant veneration of the icon despite the large masses of people who gathered. Vladyka thanked the local government and municipal authorities, the Cossacks and youth.

After Liturgy, a painted copy of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, which was consecrated atop the original, was given to the cathedral as a gift.


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