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On 27 November 2012, the commemoration day of St Philip the Apostle, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem – the Church of the Resurrection in Filippovsky side-street in Moscow. As one of the Church’s side-altars is consecrated in the name of St Apostle Philip, the Church’s patronal feast was celebrated that day.

Concelebrating with Metropolitan Hilarion were archimandrite Stephan (Dispirakis), rector of the Representation; archpriest Vladimir Divakov, Patriarch’s secretary for Moscow and dean of Moscow Central District; protodeacon Vladimir Nazarkin, assistant to the DECR chairman; and clerics of the Representation church.

Praying at the service was the Consul General of Greece in Moscow, Mr. Ioannis Plotas, and his wife.

After the Liturgy, Archimandrite Stephan (Dispirakis) greeted Metropolitan Hilarion in Greek (addressed Metropolitan Hilarion with the words of greetings in Greek).

Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed to all those present the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and said in particular:

“Celebrating the Divine Liturgy here, in this church which has been for many decades the Representation of the holy Church of Jerusalem – the Mother of all Churches, I cannot but think about the Holy Sepulchre and those places which we have heard about in the Gospel reading and which His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and myself have recently visited. We experienced the joy of prayerful and Eucharistic communion with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine.

“With great joy and reverence, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill venerated the shrines of Palestine and the Holy Sepulchre. He visited the places where our Saviour and Apostles walked. The Primate of the Russian Church celebrated the Divine Service at the Holy Sepulchre together with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos, praying about the Church in the entire world and lifting up special prayers for our holy Russian Orthodox Church.”

Metropolitan Hilarion called upon the faithful to “pray to God so that He may give us an opportunity not only to visit the earthly Jerusalem, but also to reach the Heavenly Jerusalem which can be a dwelling place for all of us.”