Patriarch Kirill consecrates Cathedral of the Resurrection in Bishkek
May 28, 2017 – His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated the Cathedral of the Resurrection in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan capital city of Bishkek and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the newly consecrated church.
Before the service the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was met at the cathedral door by Bishop Daniel of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan, the Director of the Kyrgyz State Commission for Religious Affairs Z. Ergeshev, and the Russian Ambassador of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan A. Krutko.
Upon his arrival at the cathedral, Patriarch Kirill venerated the honourable relics of the Venerable Confessor Irakliy of Issyk-Kul.
During the liturgy, His Holiness was assisted by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, a great assembly of bishops and clergy from the Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and bishops and clergy from Russia.
Present at the service were Mr. Ergeshev, Russian Ambassador A. Krutko, and Kyrgyz state officials, as well as constructors and interior designers of the cathedral.
Among the worshippers were clergy and monastics of the diocese of Bishkek and schoolchildren of the St. Vladimir School in Bishkek, the Russian-speaking school with traditional Orthodox education.
The consecration was broadcast live by the Soyuz TV channel. Large screens were installed at the entrance to the cathedral for the faithful’s convenience.
After the liturgy, Metropolitan Vikentiy of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Metropolitan Okrug of Central Asia, greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, saying, ‘Our dear master and father, we are filially glad to welcome you to our land. It is your first visit to the Metropolia of Central Asia and your first primatial visit to Kyrgyzstan and the diocese of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan.
‘The Metropolitan Okrug of Central Asia has been recently established upon your blessing. It is a very wise decision, because these vast lands of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan used to be governed by only one bishop from Tashkent. Now each republic has its own bishop who can independently carry out his archpastoral duties and works. It is very important that in these republics people have an opportunity to see their archpastor each day, to receive his blessing and archpastoral instruction’.
Metropolitan Vikentiy congratulated Patriarch Kirill on his name day, the commemoration day of Ss Cyril and Methodius observed on May 24, and presented him with an Easter egg.
Patriarch Kirill was also greeted by Bishop Daniel of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan. He said, ‘This year marks the 145th anniversary of the arrival of the first archpastor of the diocese of Turkestan, Bishop Sofroniy (Sokolsky). All these years, Orthodox Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in the hospitable land of Kyrgyzstan, showing a model of peaceful, mutually enriching and good-neighborly relations. Your visit to Kyrgyzstan will be a great contribution to the strengthening of good relations between the peoples living Kyrgyzstan.
‘This year has been marked with another important date – the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Bishkek, which you have consecrated today after two years of the reconstruction of this main Orthodox church in our country. It is a truly historic event in the life of today’s Kyrgyzstan’.
Bishop Daniel presented His Holiness with a carved icon of the Venerable Confessor Irakliy of Issyk-Kul with a part of his relics.
Patriarch Kirill addressed himself to the congregation with a primatial homily.
As a token of his visit, he presented Bishop Daniel with a pectoral icon and a cross, produced for the centenary of the demise of the Holy Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles.
His Holiness presented the cathedral with an icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, a part of whose relics had been brought from Italian Bari to Russia. ‘Tens of thousands of people’, His Holiness said, ‘have already venerated these relics. People are standing for hours in line in the center of a modern megapolis, thus bearing witness to how firmly the Orthodox faith is rooted in the hearts of our people. May St. Nicholas, who is present in this church by his icon, help each of you in your life, in you journeys and in your decisions’
For the local parishes, Patriarch Kirill gave copies of the New Testament edition in Church Slavonic, which can be used in the celebration of the liturgy.
Then His Holiness presented high church awards to local clergy in recognition of their zealous pastoral work and to representatives of the construction and restoration teams in recognition of their contribution to the restoration of the Cathedral of the Resurrection.
After that, Patriarch Kirill had a talk with the director of the St. Vladimir School Ms. S. Aristova and schoolchildren.