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SAN FRANCISCO : May 6, 2006

The Cathedral is Preparing for the IV All-Diaspora Council

On Saturday, May 6, on the eve of the opening of the IV All-Diaspora Council, to be held in the God-preserved city of San Francisco, the honorary member of the Council, His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands, representing the Serbian Orthodox Church, arrived, along with the archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and numerous delegates representing all the dioceses and ecclesio-social organizations of the Russian Church Abroad.

Divine Liturgy was headed by Mitred Protopriest George Larin, who served along with Protodeacon Leonid Mickle, Deacon Dimitri Temidis and Deacon Eugene Kallaur. Breakfast was then served in the small hall at the Cathedral, after which the Bishops' Assembly met, during which decisions regarding the Secretariat and other committees of the Council were made.

At the end of Divine Liturgy, registration for the Council began. A press conference was held in the afternoon in the meeting hall hosted by Protopriest Victor Potapov and Priest Serafim Gan.

At four o'clock, the Protectress of the Russian diaspora, the Kursk-Root Icon, was ceremoniously greeted at the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow." Archbishop Hilarion of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand brought the miracle-working icon of the Theotokos into the Cathedral as the faithful sang the troparion to the Icon.

Archbishop Hilarion then officiated at a solemn pannikhida for the reposed First Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: Blessed Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy, Metropolitan Philaret of blessed memory and Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) of San Francisco and Western America . His Eminence Vladyka was joined by a host of clergymen, with the Cathedral Choir singing under the direction of Vladimir V Krassovsky.

All-night vigil was performed that evening, headed by the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus along with Metropolitan Amphilohije and all the bishops and clergymen. The litiya was performed with a procession of the cross around the Cathedral, with the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God and two other icons painted especially for the IV All-Diaspora Council, those of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, blessed at the Tabernacle of the Lord, the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, which also depicts Holy New Martyrs Patriarch Tikhon, Metropolitans Peter and Kyrill and St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

On May 7, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus will lead Divine Liturgy along with His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohij, the bishops and clerymen participating in the Council, and then will serve a moleben to open the Council.