On the Feast of the Nativity of Christ Primate of Russian Church celebrates Grand Compline at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
In the evening on 7 January 2016, Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Grand Compline at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Concelebrating with His Holiness were Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Metropolitan Valentin (Mischuk); Metropolitan Arseny of Istra, Patriarchal first vicar for Moscow; Archbishop Yevgeny of Vereya, chairman of the Education Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church; Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, chairman of the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism; Archbishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches to the Moscow Patriarchate: Metropolitan Athanasios of Kyrenia (Church of Alexandria); Metropolitan Nifon of Philippopolis (Church of Antioch); Bishop Antonije of Moravicí (Serbian Church); Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov) (Bulgarian Church); and Archimandrite Seraphim (Shemiatovsky) (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia); as well as an assembly of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church; ordained chairmen of the Synodal institutions; hegumens of the Stavropegic monasteries; and the clergy of Moscow and the Moscow Region.
After the service, Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with the Feast of the Nativity of Christ on behalf of the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church, saying in particular:
“Your Holiness, Holy Vladyka and Father,
“Allow me to cordially greet you with the great feast of the Nativity of Christ on behalf of the Holy Synod, the archpastors, pastors and worshippers who are present here today, and, since the service is being broadcast live, on behalf of millions of TV viewers who have joined us in our common prayer this evening.
“Your Holiness, last year you celebrated your 70th birthday. You are at the peak of your creative Primatial powers, using them to lead all our people to the cave of the Divine Infant Jesus. Allow us to wish you many more years of Primatial service, so that you could joyfully behold again the Holy Rus’ with all its traditions and faith. May God save you for many years.”
Representatives of the Orthodox Volunteers Movement greeted His Holiness Patriarch on behalf of the Orthodox youth.
The Primate of the Russian Church addressed all the worshippers with a homily, saying in particular:
“Once again I wholeheartedly congratulate all of you on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ. When we gather together in this cathedral, especially on Easter or at Christmas, the whole Church of Moscow is visibly present under these vaults. Here, according to the ancient tradition, dating back to apostolic times, people of God assemble, led by their bishop, lifting up in their pure hearts prayers to the Altar of God.
“The Feast of the Nativity of Christ is a feast of miracle. It is not without reason that on this day we hear the Grand Prokeimenon, “You are the God Who performs miracles!” A miracle was his birth in a cave in Bethlehem; a miracle was all the life of the Lord. We may say that this miracles is still performed in the life of the Church, ensuring the victory of the Divine over human sin.”
“I apply particularly to the bishops and clergy of Moscow, to our active laypeople, to our youth who are working today side by side with the clergy, helping others to see what cannot be seen in any other perspective but the perspective granted by the Lord. It happens when both the mind and the heart open toward God, making God’s presence visible in human life and in human history. May God help our clergy work tirelessly, so that millions of our fellow citizens and compatriots could find strength in faith.”
Patriarchal Press Service/
DECR Communication Service