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Primates of the Orthodox Church of Antioch an…

Primates of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Russian Church celebrate Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow

On 26 January 2014, the 31st week after Pentecost, the week after the Theophany, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

Before the liturgy, the Primate of the Church of Antioch visited the Patriarchal working residence in Chistyside street, where he met with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and venerated the shrines of the home Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God.

The liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour marked the beginning of the celebrations dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the birth of St Sergius of Radonezh.

Concelebrating with the Patriarchs was an assembly of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and members of the Antiochiandelegation.

Following the pre-communion prayers, Metropolitan Mercury of Rostov and Novocherkassk read out the Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics, and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Churchon the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the birth of St Sergius of Radonezh.

The liturgy was broadcast live on the Syrian television.

After the liturgy, a thanksgiving to St Sergius of Radonezhwas said. Preceding the prayer service, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed the worshippers, saying in particular:

“By this Divine Service, we open the jubilee year dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the birth of St Sergius, our God-bearing father, Hegumen of Radonezh. In a thanksgiving that we will now celebrate, we will ask St Sergiusto protect, by his intercessory prayers, the whole historical Rus’, to save the Russian state from any calamities, disasters and tribulations, from conflicts and confrontations. We will ask him to preserve the unity of our Church, so that the Orthodox faith,enrooted in our people thanks largely to his work and his prayers, would bear its abundant fruit, strengthen people andencouragethem to lead a life according to God’s law.”

After the thanksgiving, the church banners with the image of St Sergius, made especially for the celebrations, were blessed. The banners will be sent to all dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church to be used for solemn services, processions of the cross and other festive events.

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