Primates of Church of Alexandria and Russian Church celebrate Liturgy in Moscow Kremlin on commemoration day of Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles
On 28 July 2018, commemoration day of the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, the celebrations marking the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia were held in all dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church.
To take part in the celebrations, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa and delegations of the Local Orthodox Churches arrived in Moscow.
To begin the commemorative events, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Concelebrating with the Primates were the heads and members of the delegations of the Local Orthodox Churches:
- Metropolitan Athanasios of Kyrene, representative of the Patriarch of Alexandria to the Moscow Patriarchal Throne; Metropolitan Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria; Archimandrite Daniel (Biazis), chief secretary of the Holy Synod (Orthodox Church of Alexandria);
- Archimandrite Stephan (Dispirakis), representative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (Orthodox Church of Jerusalem);
- Bishop Vakhtang of Nikortsminda (Georgian Orthodox Church);
- Bishop Irinej of Bačka and Bishop Stefan of Remezija (Serbian Orthodox Church);
- Metropolitan Gavriil of Loveč; Bishop Gerasim of Melnik, chief secretary of the Holy Synod; Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov), representative of the Patriarch of Bulgaria to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (Bulgarian Orthodox Church);
- Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos, Archimandrite Stelios (Stylianou) (Orthodox Church of Cyprus);
- Metropolitan Nikkola of Apolonia and Fieri (Albanian Orthodox Church);
- Archbishop Jeremiasz of Wrocław and Szczecin, Hieromonk Spyridon (Kuziak) (Polish Orthodox Church);
- Archimandrite Seraphim (Shemyatovsky), representative of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and Hieromonk Alexandr (Galushka) (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia).
Concelebrating with the Primates of the Church of Alexandria and the Russian Church was an assembly of hierarchs and clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Praying at the Liturgy was also Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis, representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
Brought from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to the Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin were the icon of the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, and the reliquary containing a particle of his holy relics.
After the Litany of Fervent Supplication His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said a prayer for peace in Ukraine.
Before the communion, Archbishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk read out the Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Archpastors, Clergy, Monastics and Laypeople on the 1030th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
After the Liturgy His Holiness Patriarch Kirill greeted His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, saying in particular:
“We are glad that celebrating the Divine Liturgy with us today was His Beatitude Patriarch and Pope of Alexandria and All Africa. The See of Alexandria is the second in honour among all the Patriarchal sees. We greet Your Beatitude with particular cordiality, for you speak Russian, understand Russian and love the Holy Rus’. You lived in Odessa for many years as the representative of the Patriarch of Alexandria to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, for historically the Representation of the Church of Alexandria was located in Odessa. And I am happy that it was you who celebrated the Divine Liturgy today with your Moscow brother, with the assembly of clergy and worshippers here, in the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin, in the heart of our country. I cordially greet you.
“We are aware of your remarkable missionary activities aimed at enlightening the peoples of Africa with the light of Christ’s truth. We are aware of your love for our homeland and for the Russian Church. That is why today we have been praying with special feeling for the Church of Alexandria and for you that the Lord may give you strength to worthily carry out your lofty ministry. I once again wholeheartedly thank you for this historic moment – our concelebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Kremlin on the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
“May the Lord by the prayers of the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, preserve the Holy Rus’, all the lands and peoples bound up by one Kievan Baptismal Font. May He preserve our homeland and our Church in peace, unity, prosperity and spiritual strength.”
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, saying in particular:
“On behalf of all Churches we thank you. We love you and we pin our hopes on you. The whole Orthodox family prays for Your Holiness, prays for those people who want Russia to be strong. Yet, you want Russia to be holy as well.
“We thank Your Holiness for the love that you have for our ancient Church of Alexandria. We thank your brothers the archpastors, the clerics and the people for their support. Your Holiness, I want you to be happy, for you work hard for the sake of Christ. You hold your crozier to shepherd the holy Russian Church. We pray for you.
“We pray that peace may come to the Ukrainian people, because you are one nation which came out of one font.
“May the Lord grant you His bountiful blessings. Many and good years to you!”
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presented Mr. Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, with the Order of the Holy Right-Believing Prince Daniel of Moscow, 3rd Class, in consideration of his assistance rendered to the Moscow city diocese and on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
Later the Primates of the Church of Alexandria and the Russian Church led the worshippers in a procession with the cross to the Monument to the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles.
Patriarchal Press Service/
DECR Communication Service
Photo by the Patriarch Press Service