On 4 December 2017, the feast day of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, the centenary of enthronement of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Installed in the centre of the church was the shrine with the holy relics of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon, which had been brought there from the Donskoy Monastery on November 29, the first day of work of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.
His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa officiated at the service.
Concelebrating with him were the Primates and heads of the delegations of the Local Orthodox Churches who are participating in the festivities marking the centenary of the restoration of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church: His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, His Beatitude Metropolitan Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada, Metropolitan Theodore of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti – head of the delegation of the Georgian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech – head of the delegation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Participating in the divine service were also permanent members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Primates of the autonomous and self-governing parts of the Moscow Patriarchate: Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Patriarchal vicar for the Moscow diocese; Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova; Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, head of the metropolitan area in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Central Asian metropolitan aria; Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; participants in the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church; members of the delegations of the Local Orthodox Churches; and the Moscow clergy.
After the Litany of Fervent Supplication the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church offered the following prayer:
“O Great and Unfathomable God, Eternal Father, Co-Eternal Son and Co-Eternal Holy Spirit, Thee save the perishing, give life to the dead and by Thy glorious providence ordain everything! Show Thy mercy from the height of Thy holiness and accept from us, Thy humble and unworthy servants, unto whom Thee granted Thy great salvation from sorrows and havoc in the past century, these prayers of thanksgiving, confessions and praises, which we lift up to Thee by our hearts and lips. For Thou did not deal with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities, but looked down upon the multiple labours and zealous prayers of Thy faithful servants – members of the Sacred Council of the Russian Church, the archpastors, pastors, monastics and laypeople who took care of the good estate of our Church and placed St. Tikhon on the Primatial throne of the Russian Church, thus restoring the Patriarchate.
“O Lord, help us always have grateful, lasting and abiding memory of Thy glorious mercy. For we, having Thee as our guardian and protector, today and always hymn and glorify Thy holy Name. Vouchsafe us to live in faith, love and unity and to heal baneful divisions and schisms and may Thy Good Spirit abide in us. Redeem our life, enlighten our mind with the light of the Gospel teaching, kindle in our hearts the spirit of godliness, and lead us on the path of fulfilling Thy commandments. May in us, just like in the fathers of the Sacred Council of our Church who endured sufferings in the years of persecution, be glorified Thine all-holy and glorious Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”
Prior to the communion, Archbishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate, read out the Message of Sacred Bishops’ Council to the Clergy, Monastics and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church.
After the Divine Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed all those present with a Primatial homily.
His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa greeted the worshippers on behalf of the representatives of all Local Orthodox Churches.
The service was followed by a reception held at the refectory chambers of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Patriarchal Press Service/
DECR Communication Service
Photo by Patriarchal Press Service