His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Paschal Great Vespers at the Church of Christ the Saviour
DECR Communication Service, 24.04.2022.
On April 24, 2022, the Feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Paschal Great Vespers at the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
His Holiness’s concelebrants included Metropolitan Pavel of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Patriarchal Vicar of the Metropolis of Moscow: Metropolitan Dionisiy of Voskresensk, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, First Vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in Moscow; Metropolitan Feognost of Kashira, chairman of the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monastics; Archbishop Matfey of Yegoryevsk; Archbishop Aksiy of Podolsk and Lyubertsy, secretary of the Bishops’ Council of the Metropolis of Moscow; Bishop Siluan of Pavlov-Posad, deputy chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Bishop Matfey of Sourozh; Bishop Foma of Odintsovo and Krasnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Administrative Secretariat; Bishop Foma of Sergyev-Posad and Dmitrov, abbot of the St. Sergius Laura of the Holy Trinity; Bishop Savva of Zelenograd, deputy chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Protopresbyter Vladimir Divakov, secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in Moscow: Archpriest Nikolay Ryazantsev, ecclesiarch of the Church of Christ the Saviour; Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Alexiy (Turikov), personal secretary to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill; Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; Rev. Dionisiy Kazantsev, secretary of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in the Metropolis of Moscow; Hieromonk Yemogen (Burgin), acting chairman of the Financial and Economic
Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate; and Moscow clergy.
According to the Patriarchal Press Service, participating in the divine service were representatives of Local Orthodox Churches to the Patriarchal See of Moscow: Metropolitan Niphon of Philippople (Orthodox Church of Antioch); Bishop Anthony of Moravici (Serbian Orthodox Church); Archimandrite Seraphim (Shemyatovski) (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; Archpriest Daniel Andreyuk (Orthodox Church in America).
Among the worshippers were Mr. Vladimir Legoida, head of the Synodal Department for the Church’s Relations with Society and the Mass Media; Archpriest Kirill Sladkov, head of the Moscow Diocesan Youth Department; representatives of the Orthodox youth in the capital; and Moscow and Moscow Region clergy.
The liturgical hymns were sung by the Patriarchal Choir of the Church of Christ the Saviour (precentor I. B. Tolkachev).
The TV-Tsentr channel broadcast live the Patriarchal service, commented on by Prof A. K. Svetozarskiy, Moscow Theological Academy. The divine service was also broadcast live by Soyuz and Spas TV channels. With technical support of Spas TV channel, the Patriarchal service was also broadcast live by Patriarchia.ru, the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to the Great Vespers tradition, the old Altar Gospel of the time of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna was taken out. By the bequest of Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechayev) of blessed memory, it was conveyed by the Monastery of St. Joseph of Volotsk to the Church of Christ the Saviour for the most solemn festive divine services. The Gospel is taken out only twice a year - for Great Vespers on the day of the Nativity of Christ and for Paschal Great Vespers.
After Paschal Vespers, Metropolitan Pavel of Krutitsy and Kolomna, speaking on behalf of the worshippers and the whole Russian Orthodox Church, extended Paschal greetings to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. Addressing His Holiness, he said,
“Your Holiness and merciful father! In this Pascal evening, give your blessing for greeting you on the Pascha of Christ on behalf of the whole Russian Orthodox Church, on behalf of the episcopate, clergy, the faithful and all those who have assembled in this remarkable Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour. We all greet you with the word of the Paschal joy: Christ is Risen!
This evening, Your Holiness, we would like to wish you that the grace of the Holy Spirit, so abundantly given from Resurrected Christ the Saviour, may always inspire you in your Patriarchal ministry. We wish that your precious mouth might incessantly preach the Resurrection of Christ and teach, while we, listening to your words of edification, might be inspired and strengthened in faith, hope and love. For us, you are a brilliant example, an example of the service of the Church, God and people. We wish that the Paschal joy coming from Resurrected Christ the Saviour might always be with you, in your heart and in your consciousness and might be conveyed to all the faithful of our Holy Church. We wish you, Your Holiness, sound health, fortitude and many years of life!”
Metropolitan Pavel presented His Holiness a Paschal egg and a bouquet of red roses.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill was also greeted by representatives of the Orthodox youth. Greetings were brought by active participants in the youth association “The Generation of the Capital City”, acting at the Church of St. Nicholas of Myrrh in Licea at Pokrovskoye District in Moscow, Kirill Yershov and Maria Kramarchenkova.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the worshippers with a Primatial homily.
Then His Holiness accepted Paschal greetings from bishops, abbesses of convents and clergy.
His Holiness also had a talk with children from the Patriarchal Volunteers, a part of the Family Volunteers movement.