Home

 
 
 


LOS ANGELES/MOSCOW: December 27, 2006
"On the Joint Divine Services Scheduled for May 2007 for the Signing of the Act of Canonical Communion"

A Statement by the Secretaries of the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate and of the Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate on talks with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on December 8, 2006, and the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate on December 26, 2006, approved the proposals of the Commissions of the Moscow Patriarchate on dialog with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate regarding the place, time and rite of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, and also the order of divine services connected thereto. These proposals were prepared at a joint session of the two Commissions in Cologne on October 26, 2006.

According to the plan, the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion is scheduled to take place on May 17, 2007. It is expected that on this day, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and the members of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, along with the members of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, will gather at Christ the Savior Cathedral. After a short moleben, the decrees of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the confirmation of the Act of Canonical Communion will be read aloud, after which the Act itself will be read.

His Holiness the Patriarch and His Eminence the First Hierarch will sign the Act, greetings will be exchanged and Many Years then sung.

Immediately following the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and the other bishops will conduct Divine Liturgy. During the service, the Royal Doors will be open in the Paschal tradition, and the people of God can fully participate in the joy of the first joint partaking of the Eucharist by the hierarchs and clergymen of the then-united Russian Church.

On May 19, on the feast day of St Job of the Much-suffering and of St Job of Pochaev, which is also the birthday of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the bishops and clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad will perform Divine Liturgy at Uspensky Cathedral in Moscow's Kremlin.

On May 20, 2007, on the seventh week of Pascha, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, along with the bishops and clergymen of Russia and from Abroad will perform the consecration of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo, and then Divine Liturgy in the newly-consecrated church.

On May 15, 2004, Metropolitan Laurus, during his first official visit to Russia, and the members of His Eminence's delegation, prayed during divine services performed by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II on Butovo Field, the place where an untold number of martyrs died at the hands of the godless regime, many of whom have been canonized as saints. On that day, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church performed the ceremony of the laying of the foundation of this new church, which is now being prepared for consecration. The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia also participated in the laying of this foundation.

By the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, the Lord has blessed our path to achieving the holy task of restoring the unity of the Russian Church, which had endured great sorrows in the 20 th century. We believe that through their heavenly intercession, this will be accomplished to the Glory of God and the joy of the people of the Church.

Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff,
Los Angeles
Protopriest Nikolai Balashov
Moscow