On Thursday, January 12, an official Nativity Reception was held in the Consulate of the Russian Federation in New York City, on behalf of Consul General Igor Leonidovich Golubovsky and the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk.
The reception was attended by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York; His Grace Eastern American Diocesan Vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan; clergy of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; the Russian Church Abroad and the Orthodox Church in America. Representatives from other various religious and secular organizations were also present for the reception.
Igor Leonidovich welcomed all the assembled guests to the Consulate and wished them good fortune for the New Year. Bishop John likewise greeted all the guests on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia with the Feast of Nativity of Christ and the celebration of the New Year.
Mr. Yuriy Sandulov, President of the fund established for the preservation of Russian-American History “Northern Cross”, presented Bishop John with a Panagia that once belonged to Bishop John (Legky) of Rockland, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR. Vladyka John (Legky), before returning to the United States was the Bishop of Buenos Aires and Argentina from 1990-1994. Mr. Sandulov, on behalf of the daughters of the aforementioned Archpastor also presented Bishop John with a pectoral cross that has been directed to be given to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia.
A festive concert of traditional Russian folk songs were then performed for all in attendance. Before the blessing of the food, the clergy and laity gathered triumphantly sang the festal Troparion of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ.