His Holiness Patriarch Kirill officiates at Divine Liturgy in Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 5th anniversary of reunification of Russian Church Abroad with Russian Orthodox Church
On 20 May 2012, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, Sunday of the Blind Man, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia officiated at the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Concelebrating at the service marking the fifth anniversary of the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) with the Russian Orthodox Church was the delegation of the ROCOR.
Concelebrating with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill were Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saransk and Mordovia, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, first deputy President of the ROCOR’s Synod of Bishops; Archbishop Feofan of Berlin and Germany; Archbishop Gregoriy of Mozhaisk; Archbishop Arseniy of Istra, the Patriarch’s first vicar for Moscow; Archbishop Innokentiy of Vilnius and Lithuania; Archbishop Yevgeny of Vereya, chairman of the Education Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church; Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe; Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, administrator of the patriarchal parishes in the USA; Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, chairman of the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism and abbot of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius; Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, Moscow Patriarchate’s director for institutions abroad; Bishop Feofilakt of Dmitrov; Bishop Tikhov of Vidnoye; Bishop Ignaty of Bronnitsy, chairman of the Synodal Department for Youth Affairs; Bishop Roman of Serpukhov; Bishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Administrative secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate; Bishop Savva of Voskresensk, abbot of the Novospassky Stavropegic Monastery; Bishop Nikolai of Balshikha; archpriest Vladimir Divakov, Patriarch’s secretary for Moscow; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; archpriest Mikhail Ryazantsev, a sacristan of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour; abbots of stavropegic monasteries; ordained members of the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad; and Moscow clerics.
Praying at the Liturgy were mother superiors and sisters of the Convents of the Moscow diocese, worshippers from Moscow and the Moscow region, and young pilgrims from the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Singing at the service was the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Alexei Puzakov.
During the Liturgy, special prayers were lifted up for the repose of the souls of ever-memorable Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus who signed the Act of Canonical Communion.
Archpriest Mikhail Ryazantsev read out the Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion.
After the Liturgy, a thanksgiving prayer for church unity was said.
Then His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed the worshipers with a primatial homily.
In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the restoration of prayerful and canonical unity of the two parts of the Russian Orthodoxy, Patriarch Kirill presented Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York with the icon of St. Matrona and said, in particular:
“St. Matrona gathers thousands and thousands of people at her miracle-working tomb every day. She lived in the Soviet Union, was a disabled person, physically infirm, but she became the brightest saint of Moscow and our Church. She became famous not so long ago, in the period of severe persecutions and splits. May her icon help all those, who have doubts about the importance of what happened five years ago, to realize that God’s grace overcomes human infirmity and weakness and that God’ power is made perfect in human weakness.”
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presented Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York with a cross and a panagia in commemoration of the service and in gratitude for taking pastoral care of the Russian Church Abroad.
Metropolitan Hilarion spoke in response and presented the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church with the portrait of His Holiness made by painter Igor Babailov.
Then “Many Years” to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was sung.