On 13 December 2015, the 28th Sunday after Pentecost and the commemoration day of St. Andrew-the-First-Called, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) and chairman of the Commission on Old Belief parishes and cooperation with the Old Belief community, celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Protecting Veil in Rubtsovo, at which the Patriarchal Centre of the Old Russian Liturgical Tradition operates.
Concelebrating at the Liturgy according to the Old Rite were archimandrite Irinarkh (Denisov), rector of the Common Faith church in the Mikhailovskaya Sloboda village, Moscow region; hegumen Kirill (Sakharov), rector of the St. Nicholas church on Bersenevka; archpriest Georgy Krylov, rector of the church of the New Martyrs of Russia in Strogino and head of the Assumption deanery in Moscow; archpriest Ioann Mirolyubov, head of the Patriarchal centre of the Old Russian Liturgical Tradition, a cleric of the church of the Protecting Veil in Rubtsovo and secretary of the Commission on Old Belief parishes and cooperation with the Old Belief community; Revd. Mikhail Zheltov, head of the chair of church practice sciences of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate Studies; Revd. Yevgeny Sarancha, a cleric of the Common Faith church in the Mikhailovskaya Sloboda village; hieromonk Sergy (Gaponov), rector of the Common Faith church in the Maloye Murashkino village in the Nizhny Novgorod region; and clerics of the parish.
Attending the Liturgy were Vladimir Yakunin, a founder of the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity Foundation, and Leonid Sevastianov, executive director of the Foundation and member of the Supervisory Board of the Patriarchal Centre of the Old Russian Liturgical Tradition.
After the Litany of Fervent Supplication Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine and addressed the worshippers, telling them in detail about the life and ministry of St. Andrew-the-First-Called, including the story of his apostolic mission in our land. St. Andrew was ‘the first baptizer of the Russian people even before St. Vladimir. It was St. Andrew who sowed the seeds of Christian sermon that has later born abundant and blessed fruits,’ Metropolitan Hilarion said and congratulated all reverend fathers, brothers and sisters on the feast and wished them St. Andrew’s aid in their labours.