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DIOCESE OF GENEVA AND WESTERN EUROPE: October 2, 2007
The Official Delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate and Sretensky Choir Participate in the Feast-day Celebrations of Elevation of the Cross Cathedral

On its feast day, the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross was honored to welcome the miracle-working "Reigning" Icon of the Mother of God. This icon, one of the great miraculous icons of Russia, was revealed in 1917 in the tragic dark days of the beginning of the times of trouble, its appearance being a visible symbol of the intercession of the Most-Holy Mother of God for the much-suffering Russian land.

The icon arrived with much fanfare at the Cathedral on September 25, and right after its arrival, His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe, together with the Cathedral clergy, performed a moleben and akathist to the Mother of God before it.

The icon stayed in the Cathedral for two days, during which clergymen from all the Local Orthodox Churches in Switzerland were invited, as a symbol of brotherly love between all Orthodox Christians, to serve molebens and akathists before her, and to join in the services on the Elevation of the Cross.

The icon was accompanied by the official delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate, which, as an example of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, is traveling throughout the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Leading the delegation are His Eminence Metropolitan Onoufry of Chernovitsa and Bukovino and His Eminence Archbishop Evgeny of Verey, as well as Archimandrite Tikhon and Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin.

On the evening of September 26, Vladyka Onoufry, Vladyka Evgeny and Vladyka Michael and the clergy, both of the delegation and the local Swiss clergy, performed all-night vigil on the Elevation of the Cross. Bishop Michael emerged for the litiya, and Archbishop Evgeny came out for the polyeleos, while Metropolitan Onoufry performed the rite of the Elevation of the Cross. His Grace Bishop Ambroise, who is in retirement, also attended the service.

The following day, three bishops, Bishop Michael, Metropolitan Onoufry and Archbishop Evgeny, officiated at the solemn Divine Liturgy. They were joined by Fr Tikhon; Protopriest Pavel Tsvetkov; Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff; Fr Vladislav; Protopriest Mikhail Gundyaev; Priest Peter Sturm; Priest Adrian Echevarria; along with Protodeacon Peter Figurek; Protodeacon George Jenneret; Protodeacon Michel Vernaz and Hierodeacon Seraphim.

The services concluded with a procession of the cross and a moleben to the Honorable and Life-giving Cross. An exchange of greetings followed; then everyone venerated the "Reigning" Icon of the Mother of God and the Life-giving Cross.

The services were beautified by the singing of the renowned Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery Choir of Moscow, which performed at a concert to a large audience on the evening of September 27.