In the evening of January 23, 2016, Afterfeast of the Theophany, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated All-Night Vigil at the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia’s diocese of Western Europe, in Geneva.
His Holiness was assisted by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR); Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate administrative secretariat; Archpriest Pavel Tsvetkov, ecclesiarch of the cathedral; Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; Archpriest Mikhail Gundyaev, Moscow Patriarchate representative to the World Council of Churches and international organizations in Geneva; the Rev. Alexander Volkov, head of the Patriarchal press service; and the clergy of the cathedral.
During Matins, His Holiness Kirill anointed the faithful.
Greeting His Holiness after the service, Archbishop Michael noted that it was the first service to be celebrated by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross. In memory of this event, he presented His Holiness with an icon of St. John, Archbishop of Shanghai the Wonder-worker of San Francisco.
Patriarch Kirill delivered a patriarchal homily.
His Holiness presented Archbishop Michael with a pectoral icon produced for the Millennium of the Repose of the Holy Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles. Archpriest Pavel Tsvetkov was given a jubilee cross also produced for the millennium of the repose of the Baptist of Russia.
The Primate of the Russian Church gave as a gift to the cathedral an icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh. All the worshippers received small images of the Saviour-Not-Made-with-Hands with a Patriarchal blessing.
After that His Holiness Kirill took part in the common meal arranged by the parish in his honour in the crypt.
Tomorrow, January the 24th, the 34th Sunday after the Pentecost, the Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the St. Paul church in Chambesy.
Patriarchal Press Service
DECR Communication Service
Photos by Oleg Varov