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On December 7, 2014, the commemoration day of the Holy Protomartyr Catherine, His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St Catherine’s, the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America.

On the eve of the patron saint’s day and the 20th anniversary of the resumption of liturgical life of St. Catherine’s, His Beatitude Tikhon celebrated All-Night Vigil at the St. Catherine representation.

The service was conducted in Church Slavonic and English. Numerous parishioners congregated for it. Present in the church was also Canada’s ambassador to Moscow Mr. John R. Kur.

After the Reading of the Gospel, Metropolitan Tikhon addressed the congregation. He spoke about the significance of his peace visit to the Russian Orthodox Church together with a delegation of the Orthodox Church in America as a visible sign of communion between the two Churches, especially on the Day of St Catherine, who suffered martyrdom for Christ. He reminded the congregation that the 7th of December is also the day when Japan attacked the Pearl Harbour in 1941 and the USA entered World War II. At that time Russia, the United States and Canada were allies and Russia was going through unthinkable suffering.

He also noted that his visit took place at a time of tension between the two countries because of the tragedy in Ukraine. Nevertheless, he said, the faithful in our countries are united in prayer for all who suffer. ‘We remember that during seven decades the suffering of the faithful in Russia was an example showing that no dark, no evil of this world can extinguish the light of Christ’.

He stressed that the Church stands above all national and political interests. ‘In our witness to the Kingdom of God, we show that people of all nationalities can live in peace’, he said. But it takes efforts not only for us to be themselves peaceful people but also for us to resist aggression on all levels, personal, national and international.

After the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, a prayer was lifted up for peace in Ukraine.

As ‘a help in prayer and a sign of unity of the Russian Church and the Orthodox Church in America’, Metropolitan Tikhon presented the rector and parishioners of St. Catherine’s with an icon of the Synaxis of American Saints.

DECR Communication Service