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Enthronement of Primate of the Japanese Auton…

Enthronement of Primate of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church takes place.

DECR Communication service, 22.10.2023. 

On 22nd November 2023 on the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost the enthronement took place in the Resurrection Cathedral of Tokyo of the newly-elected Primate of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church the Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan Seraphim.

With the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill in his capacity as representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, which granted in 1970 granted autonomy to the Japanese Church, the festivities were attended by the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations the metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony.

Concelebrating at the divine liturgy with metropolitan Seraphim and metropolitan Anthony were clerics who had come to Tokyo from all of the parishes in Japan.

Among those praying in the cathedral were the temporary representative of Russia in Japan Gennady Ovechko, as well as numerous guests and parishioners.

The service was conducted in Japanese, Church Slavonic and English.

At the Little Entrance the chancellor of the Japanese Orthodox Church archpriest Mark Koike read aloud the resolution of the Council of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church of 28th September 2023 on the election of the archbishop of Sendai Seraphim as Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan. Metropolitan Anthony read aloud the decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill on the canonical confirmation of the election.

After the singing of the Trisagion metropolitan Anthony made the following proclamation: “May the grace divine, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is wanting and which forever guides the providential ways of his Holy Orthodox Churches, place upon the throne of the holy hierarch of Japan Nicholas our father Seraphim, the Most Eminent Archbishop of the God-saved city of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Upon the proclamation of these words and the repeated singing of Axios (“He Is Worthy”), the two most senior clerics of the Japanese Orthodox Church archpriest Mark Koike and archpriest Paul Oikawa thrice placed Metropolitan Seraphim on the hierarchical throne, after which metropolitan Anthony placed upon him two encolpions with images of the Virgin and a cross as gifts from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.

At the end of the liturgy from the ambo the chairman of the DECR presented to the newly-elected Primate of the Japanese Church the blue-coloured mantle of metropolitan, white headdress and, upon reading a special prayer, the episcopal staff.

In his address of reply Metropolitan Seraphim expressed his heartfelt thanks to His Holiness for his constant paternal concern for the Japanese Orthodox Church and to metropolitan Anthony for his participation in the enthronement and help given by the Department for External Church Relations. He placed special emphasis on the important of preserving the unity of the Orthodox faithful of Japan and the Mother Church.

Metropolitan Seraphim then received congratulations from the clergy and parishioners.

A festive reception was held at the end of the service.

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