Celebration of Paschal divine service at the representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Damascus
The Paschal Divine Service was celebrated at the Damascus representation of the Russian Orthodox Church on the night of April 8, 2018.
Pascha is preceded by Passion Week, during which services were celebrated for the first time since the war is Syria began seven years ago. The services were attended by the members of the Russian Orthodox Church living in the capital and the vicinity, Russian diplomats and refugees from the Damascus suburbs accommodated at the Representation.
On April 6 the militants entrenched in the city of Douma, east of Damascus, broke ceasefire agreement of March 25 and launched artillery attack on the residential areas of the capital, including the quarter in which the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church is located. The intensive fire continued on April 7, during the Great Saturday services, killing dozens of people, but there were no casualties among the parishioners of the Russian church. The building of the Representation remained safe.
Many parishioners came to the night service, took part in the Procession with the Cross and attended Paschal Matins and the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Hegumen Arseniy (Sokolov), representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
After the Liturgy Hegumen Arseniy read out the Paschal Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On April 8, the day of Holy Pascha, Hegumen Arseniy attended reception at the Patriarchate of Antioch and brought Paschal greeting to His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East on behalf of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.