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ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA: September 28, 2006
A Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Headed by Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Participates in the Transfer of the Remains of Empress Maria Feodorovna

A delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia arrived in St Petersburg on September 27 to participate in the re-interment of the remains of Empress Maria Feodorovna. The delegation was headed by His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany.

Protopriest Michael Protopopov, Dean of Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, also arrived for the celebrations on the Neva River, as did Priest Sergei Plekhov, Rector of St Alexander Nevsky Church in Copenhagen. He brought a gift from the Russian emigration: a copy of the Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God, which was especially venerated by Empress Maria Feodorovna. Representatives of the Russian diaspora proposed that this icon be place in the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, where on Thursday, September 28, the remains of Empress Maria Feodorovna were re-interred. On this day, Vladyka Mark and other members of the Russian Church Abroad prayed at the funerary services conducted by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia in St Isaac's Cathedral and at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral. This was yet another event that served towards the coming together of the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After one of the funeral services in Denmark, Archbishop Mark noted: “We cannot forget the difficulties endured by Orthodox Christians everywhere: in Russia and in the diaspora. It is important that lessons be learned by future generations.” This event, His Eminence feels, will serve bring the two Churches closer together. He also expressed the hope that “the time is not far off when we can pray together at one altar, and we prayerfully await this moment.”