His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates at Christ the Saviour Cathedral on the second anniversary of his enthronement
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 1 February 2011, the second anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Concelebrating with the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church were His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine and other permanent members of the Holy Synod: Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg and Ladoga; Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova; Metropolitan Varsonofiy of Saransk and Mordovia; chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; and other hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate who have arrive to take part in the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church; representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches to the Moscow Patriarchate; schema-archimandrite Iliy (Nozdrin); ordained chairmen of the Synodal Departments; abbots of the stavropegic monasteries; and Moscow clergymen.
Attending the divine service were Alexander Beglov, deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation; Vladimir Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department; Valery Ganichev, chairman of the Russian Union of Writers; mother superiors of convents; staff members of the Synodal and other church structures; representatives of parish councils; students of the church educational institutions; and guests of honour.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated in his enthronement vestments, with the replica of the staff of St. Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow and Wonderworker of All Russia.
The Choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour conducted by Iliya Tolkachev, the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Alexei Puzakov and the Choir of the Sretensky Monastery conducted by Nikon Zhila sang at the Liturgy.
At the Lesser Entrance, His Holiness elevated Bishop Nikon of Lipetsk and Yelets into the rank of archbishop.
The thanksgiving verses from Eph. 5:9-21 and the Gospel according to Luke (17:12-19) were read; special prayers for His Holiness Patriarch Kirill were included in the Litany of Fervent Supplication.
Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, said a prayer of thanksgiving after the Liturgy.
Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg and Ladoga read out the congratulatory address from the members of the Holy Synod and presented His Holiness with a copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.
Archpriest Maxim Shevtsov, a cleric of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and a member of the Diocesan Council, greeted His Holiness on behalf of the Moscow Diocesan Council and Moscow clergymen. Archpriest Vladimir Divakov, Patriarch’s secretary for Moscow, and Moscow clergymen presented His Holiness with an altar cross.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sent congratulations to His Holiness the Patriarch on the anniversary of his enthronement.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the worshippers and awarded six hierarchs with the Orders of the Russian Orthodox Church in consideration of their zealous archpastoral labours.
At the festive repast, Archbishop Nifon of Philippopolis, representative of the Patriarch of the Great Antioch and All the East to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia greeted His Holiness, saying: “The event, which anniversary we are celebrating today, turns a golden page in Your Holiness’ life and apostolic ministry by which your faithfulness to God is praised. At difficult times, You were sowing faith and piety in society according to the Saviour’s words: ‘From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.’ (Lk 12:48).
Archbishop Nifon noted the importance of Patriarch Kirill’s statements on the most topical problems of modern world as they are meaningful not only to church people, but also to secular society. “We are confident that Your position on many present problems should be supported in the entire Orthodox world.” He added: “Have been gifted with brilliant eloquence, You are calling people to strip off the old self and clothe themselves with the new self (cf. Col 3:14). We see that the Lord has illumined Your heart to illumine people with God’s truth and we thank God the Father Who has called You to participate in the heritage of the saints.”
Archbishop Nifon wished His Holiness Patriarch Kirill good health and strength to continue the blessed and salutary labours for the good of the Church.