On 25th April 2023, Tuesday of the 2nd Week after Easter, Day of Rejoicing (Radonitsa), His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy and the Paschal Commemoration of the Dead in the Moscow Kremlin Cathedral of Archangel Michael, website Patriarchia.ru reports.
Concelebrating with the His Holiness were Archbishop Foma of Odintsovo and Krasnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; Bishop Savva of Zelenograd, deputy chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; and the Moscow clergy.
Among those who attended the divine service were members of the Working Group for the Bilateral Relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, namely Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, co-chairman of the Working Group; Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, secretary of the Working Group; Metropolitan Abraham Mar Stephanos, head of the Diocese of the UK, Europe & Africa; and Rev. Aswin Fernandis, executive director of the Malankara Church’s Department of Ecumenical Relations.
During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church offered a prayer for the Holy Rus’.
During the Litany for the Departed, prayers were lifted up for the repose of the souls of the departed servants of God – “Primates of the Russian Church of blessed memory, builders and rulers of the Holy Rus’, right-believing princes and princesses, tsars and tsarinas and all those in power who cared for the unblemished faith, ruled over our country with diligence and in the faith of Christian law, and were buried in this place and in other places, as well as all our forefathers, fathers and brothers who have reposed from all the ages.”
After the Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Lity (Litya) for the Departed at the tombstones in the Kremlin Cathedral of Archangel Michael.
Having offered his felicitations to all those present on the occasion of the Paschal Commemoration of the Dead, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill thanked the choir and greeted the members of the Malankara Church delegation who had arrived in Moscow to take part in a meeting of the Working Group for the Bilateral Relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Malankara Church. His Holiness said in particular:
“I would like to welcome the metropolitan and the priest of the Malankara Church of India. This Church is authentic in that making it up are not foreigners, who had come to India as missionaries, but the local people bearing in their hearts the Orthodox faith received from Apostle Thomas.
“We rejoice, brothers, that for two thousand years now your Church has been preserving the faith, educating your people and praying for your country. The Indian and the Russian people have much in common and now, by God’s mercy, we are of like mind on many issues in the face of the world’s crises.
“May the Lord help Russia and India, the Russian Church and the Malankara Church to carry out their apostolic service so that the light of Christ may never fade in the hearts and minds of our peoples.
“Welcome, dear brothers, I am glad to see you today in the very heart of Russian Orthodoxy. Christ is Risen!”
Photo by Rev. Igor Palkin and Sergei Vlasov