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On 8 April 2018, the Feast of the Radiant Resurrection of Christ, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Paschal Great Vespers at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

Concelebrating with His Holiness was an assembly of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches to the Moscow Patriarchal Throne, and abbots of the stavropegic monasteries.

Praying at the service were hegumenesses of convents, deans of the Moscow church districts and rectors of Moscow churches, clerics of Moscow and the Moscow region, members of the Moscow parish councils, staff members of the Synodal departments, representatives of the Orthodox youth organizations, and many pilgrims and parishioners.

By tradition, used during Great Vespers was the old Gospel Book that dates back to the time of the Empress Yelizaveta Petrovna. It was bequeathed by the late Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechayev) and transferred from the Monastery of St Joseph of Volokolamsk to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. With the blessing of the late Patriarch Alexy II, this Gospel Book is brought from the sanctuary only twice a year, during Great Vespers on the feast days of the Nativity of Christ and of Pascha.

After the Paschal Vespers, Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on behalf of the Holy Synod, worshippers and the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church, saying in particular:

“For two thousand years lies and slander have been spread about the Nativity and Resurrection of Christ. However, nowadays I, deeply touched, want to say that with your blessing the preaching of the Risen Lord reaches even small children. Yesterday I heard a moving story about a child who had returned home after a meeting with a priest and said to his parents, “Mom and dad, do not take offense, I love you, love you very much, but I love the Lord more.”

“This, Your Holiness, is the result of the missionary preaching activitites entrusted by you not only to clergymen, but also to educators. Your Holiness, allow us to wish you God’s abundant help in your Primatial ministry. And may the faith of Christ flourish and never die down in our homeland.”

Greeting His Holiness Patriarch Kirill were also representatives of the Orthodox youth organizations, hierarchs, representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, clerics and laypeople.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church delivered a Primatial homily and blessed the worshippers.

After the service, a concert took place near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, organized by the Moscow Orthodox youth.

Patriarchal Press Service/

DECR Communication Service