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DIOCESE OF SAN FRANCISCO AND WESTERN AMERICA: November 7, 2006
The Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Celebrates its Feast Day

On the feast day of the Moscow Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America officiated at Divine Liturgy in his Cathedral along with His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland and Detroit, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit, and the clergymen of San Francisco and the Diocese. On this day, the Cathedral's parish celebrated not only its feast day, but also the 25 th anniversary of the glorification of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. At the end of the subsequent moleben and procession of the cross, the following members of the logistics sub-committee of the Pre-Council Committee of the IV All-Diaspora Council were given gramatas [decrees] of blessing from the Synod of Bishops: Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko; Protopriest Peter Perekrestov; Protopriest Sergei Kotar; Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis; Cathedral Warden NA Lukianov; the Cathedral Choir under the direction of VV Krassovsky; AB Maximow; AV Roudenko; TO Pavlenko; EV Perekrestov; MV Kotar; MS Roudenko and OV Medvedko.

On this holiday, the clergymen concelebrating with their bishops, and the Cathedral Choir headed by Mr Krassovsky, delivered the following addresses to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus:

ADDRESS OF THE CLERGY

Dear in the Lord Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus! Bless us!

Please accept our heartfelt greetings on the feast day of our Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

We appeal to you today as our First Hierarch and spiritual father.

Several days ago, we all prayed to St John of Kronstadt, the great emmpathizer and beseecher-of-the-Lord of the Russian land, and also prayed to our heavenly intercessors, the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, whose prayers edify us today in faith and hope in the Lord. The celebration today not only reminds us of the historical event of their glorification by our Russian Church Abroad, but the celebration of 25 years of their pious veneration by the part of the Russian Orthodox Church that is abroad.

The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia serve as a link in the history of the wholeness of the much-suffering Russian Orthodox Church. If at one time in the Homeland, there were difficulties and obstacles towards their canonization, today we clearly see, and are convinced, that their memory is honored everywhere and that those hindrances which separated us, the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, have been overcome. The unity of the Church will strengthen us in building the Kingdom of Heaven, which according to the Gospel abides within us. Can the Russian soul easily perfect itself when it is located at a vast distance from its holy sites, and having no spiritual communion with the Church in the Homeland? For this world "lies in wickedness" and everyone who does not resist it by struggling against passions and lawlessness is enslaved by it and falls into its quagmire.

We know well the prayer of our Lord from the Gospel of John, addressed to His Father: " And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are" (John 17:11). If Christ thus prayed for the unity of his disciples, what does that tell us? Our basic differences have already been overcome. The Russian people have already emerged from the period of the Babylonian enslavement, and the Church in Russia is gathering her strength, the strength she had during the monarchy. The House of the Most-Holy Mother of God, which is Holy Russia because of the latter's special veneration of the Theotokos, awaits us, awaits our active participation in the rebirth of Orthodoxy and churchliness.

The Righteous Saint John of Kronstadt spoke these words of prophesy about the rebirth of the Russian Church: "I foresee the reestablishment of a powerful Russia, greater and more mighty. Upon the bones of such martyrs… as upon a firm foundation, a new Rus' will be built—according to the old image; strong in her faith in Christ God and the Holy Trinity! And the legacy of the Holy Prince Vladimir will be fulfilled—as one Church!" The New Martyrs of Russia, washing the Russian Land with their blood, pray to the King of Heaven for the peace and unity of the Russian Church. And now we see the fruits of their fervent intercession.

We appeal to you, dear Vladyka Metropolitan, as to our Primate, in the name of the clergymen of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America and of the pious laity: we humbly ask that you continue without hesitation towards the great task, begun under your wise guidance, of restoring Eucharistic unity of the two parts of the Russian Church. We earnestly witness that with our efforts and prayerful assistance we will support you in this good work. In the union of peace we will achieve the unity of spirit. We hope that in the near future we will confirm our spiritual unity in Eucharistic communion.

May the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," to Whom we fervently pray today, strengthen you in health and success, in peace and spiritual joy for many good years!

Your Eminence's unworthy servants,

+ KYRILL, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America.

+ PETER, Bishop of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit.

Archimandrite Theodosius, Rector of St Tikhon of Zadonsk Church at the Diocesan Headquarters.

Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, Rector of the Church of All Russian Saints, Burlingame, CA.

Protopriest Peter Perekrestov, Senior Priest of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Protopriest Mark Gomez, Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Protopriest George Kurtow, Rector of St Seraphim Church, Monterey, CA.

Protopriest Sergei Kotar, Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Protopriest Paul Volmensky, Rector of Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA.

Protopriest Alexander Krassovsky, Rector of the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Santa Rose, CA.

Protopriest Yaroslav Belikov, Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Priest Vladimir Derugin, Rector of Protection of the Holy Virgin Church, Palo Alto, CA.

Hieromonk James, Rector of Old Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco, CA.

Priest James Steele, Rector of St Elias Orthodox Mission, Placerville, CA.

Hieromonk Juvenal, Rector of the Church of the Mother of God of Kazan, San Francisco, CA.

Archdeacon Andronik, Clergyman of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Protopriest Nicholas Triantafillidis, Clergyman of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

Deacon Sergei Shoomiloff, Clergymen of the Church of All Russian Saints, Burlingame, CA.

Deacon Dimitry Jakimowicz, Clergyman of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

ADDRESS OF THE CATHEDRAL CHOIR UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH KRASSOVSKY

Your Eminence, Eminent Vladyko! Bless us!

We, the singers of the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," where the uncorrupt relics of our bishop, St John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker, having gathered today on the feast day for solemn services, greet Your Eminence with all our hearts on this holiday, when our Diocese is also celebrating the 25 th anniversary of the glorification of the host of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. We fully understand that "their blood and podvig serve as a bridge over the bloody abyss of the Red terror of the last century" ( Ukase of Vladyka Kyrill) and they unify the two parts of the Russian Church.

This glorification, as Vladyka Alypy noted in his Epistle to the Diocesan Assembly of Chicago and Detroit, laid the foundations for the emancipation of Russia from the godless regime and of the restoration of Eucharistic unity of the Fullness of the Great Russian Church, which we now witness. We congratulate Your Eminence on this jubilee and hasten to express to you our love, devotion and full support. Holy Vladyka, we beseech the Chief Pastor and the Great Bishop, Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Most-Pure Mother and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the much-suffering Russian Land to bestow upon you strength, good health and spiritual firmness in the further service of the one, holy Russian Orthodox Church.

Eis polla eti despota!

Asking your holy prayers and First-hierarchical blessings, we remain in filial love for you in the Lord.

Reader Vladimir Krassovsky and the Singers of the Cathedral Choir of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow." (70 signatures).

October 24/November 6, 2006

   
Photos: George Nikitin