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On the night of April 16, 2017, the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk presided over the Paschal celebrations – Midnight Office, Procession with the Cross, Paschal Matins and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The archpastor was assisted by the clergy of the church.

The festive hymns were sung by the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Russia’s Honoured Artists A. Puzakov.

After the Midnight Office, Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the congregation, saying,

‘We have gathered together in the church in order to glorify the Risen Lord. The brief divine service, which has been celebrated just now, is called Paschal Midnight Office. It is a service devoted the Lord Jesus Christ Who died on the Cross and was buried. And the Shroud with the image of the dead Saviour, which was in the church for the two previous days, has been taken into the sanctuary as a sign that the Lord Jesus Christ was buried.

In a few minutes a divine service will begin, called Paschal Matins. It will be devoted to the glorification of the Resurrection of Christ. The Paschal Matins begins with our going out to the street to walk in a procession with the cross around the church. Why does such a custom exist in the Church? – Because on the night of the Resurrection of Christ the Church bears witness to this event not only within the church, but also in the street, in the place where people live their everyday life. It is the Church that wants to remind them that Christ is Risen.

After the procession with the cross we will come back to the church where the Paschal Matins will continue, and the Paschal canon of St. John of Damascus will be celebrated. And then we will change our white vestments to red ones and the Divine Liturgy will begin. During the Divine Liturgy, as is the custom, the Gospel will be read in various languages in memory of the apostles and their followers having brought the good news of the Resurrection of Christ to all countries in the world.

Those of you who will stand to the end of the service will be able to take the Holy Communion. It is a sacrament that united us with God spiritually and bodily, for in the form of bread and wine we take in the Body and Blood of the Saviour. And everyone who has prepared oneself is invited to take part in this Sacrament.

I wish you all God’s help and bright Paschal joy’.

At midnight, a procession with the cross took place with the participation of a multitude of people who came for the service.

During the Paschal Matins, Metropolitan Hilarion read aloud the Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom for Holy Pascha.

The Paschal Gospel (Jn. 1.1-17) was read by Metropolitan Hilarion and his concelebrants in Greek, Latin, English, French, Church Slavonic and Russian.

Hegumen Filaret (Tambovsky) read out a Paschal Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, monastics and all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After the Prayer behind the Ambo, His Eminence Hilarion blessed an artos.

DECR Communication Service