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During the night of January 7, the Day of the Nativity of Christ, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR) celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at the church of the Heavenly Queen’s Icon ‘The Joy to All the Afflicted’-in-Bolshaya Ordynka in Moscow.

The Great Compline and Matins were celebrated in the evening of January 6.

The archpastor was assisted by the clergy of the church. The singing was performed by the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Russia’s Honoured Artist A. Puzakov.

During the liturgy after the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine.

Hegumen Philaret (Tambovsky) read out the Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to All the Archpastors, Pastors and the Faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After the service Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a sermon, saying in particular, ‘Through centuries people have been seeking God, but He Himself has found us. He came to us and became man and lived our earthly life. And He has stayed with us, and these days we can feel by our hearts that God is not somewhere far but near and among us. On the Day of the Nativity of Christ we praise God Who became Man, who has opened for us a way to salvation, Who has come to us and lives in our midst. Let us ask Him that the joy of His dwelling in our midst may be always with us’.

After the service, greetings of the season were extended to Metropolitan Hilarion by members of the  youth club ‘Voskhozhdenie’ (Ascent) run by the church of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God ‘The Joy to All the Afflicted’.

DECR Communication Service