On 15 May 2013, Wednesday of the second week after Pascha and commemoration day of the holy passion-bearers princes Boris and Gleb, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the building of the former cathedral of “The Helper of Sinners” icon of the Mother of God, which now houses a museum.
Children of the compatriots living in Shanghai gave a hospitable reception to His Holiness offering him bead and salt according to a Russian custom.
Celebrating with His Holiness were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR’ Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; archpriest Dionisiy Pozdnyayev, rector of Ss Peter and Paul church in Hongkong; archpriest Alexiy Kiselevich, rector of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia church in Shanghai; and Rev. Michael Wang Quansheng and protodeacon Evangelos Lu Yaofu, the eldest retired clerics of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church living in Shanghai.
Attending the divine service were Andrei Denisov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China; Russian Consul General in Shanghai, Andrei Smorodin; Ukrainian Consul General in Shanghai, Sergei Burdyliak; Belorussian Consul General in Shanghai, Vladimir Vorobey; and Bulgarian Consul General in Shanghai, Ms Irina Beleva.
The choir of the Moscow Novospassky Monastery sang during the litury.
The Apostol and the Gospel were read in the Church Slavonic and Chinese languages, and some exclamations were proclaimed in Chinese.
After the liturgy, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated Litiya for the reposed archpastors, pastors, monastics and laymen of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.
Patriarch Kirill said in his homily: “It is remarkable that the liturgy in the Church of “The Helper of Sinners” icon of the Mother of God, the first divine service after fifty years of interruption, was celebrated during Easter-tide… Both China and Russia give us examples of revival after the time of sorrow. The Divine Liturgy celebrated today is a symbol of China’s revival.”
His Holiness greeted all Orthodox worshippers, Russians, Chinese, Ukrainians, Byelorussian, Moldavians, Greeks, Georgians, Serbs and Bulgarians, who gathered in the church and reminded them that when an Orthodox Christian comes to a certain place, he becomes a member of the local Orthodox community. “Today we, who have gathered here, are the Chinese Church.”
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church presented liturgical vessels to the church, and small icons of the Resurrection of Christ with patriarchal blessing to the worshippers.