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DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: November 29, 2007
An Exhibition on the Reestablishment of the Fullness of Brotherly Communion Within the Russian Orthodox Church Opens in the Nation's Capital in December

Among the items in the exhibition devoted to the reestablishment of the fullness of brotherly communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate will be sacramental objects, vestments and the personal items of some of the New Martyrs of Russia and of some of the more eminent representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church both in Russia and abroad during the period of division. The Act of Canonical Communion, signed by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus will also be exhibited.

The exhibition will be held at the lower premises of the Roman Catholic National Basilica, 400 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC. from December 7-19, 2007.

The show will close on December 17. The main event of the closing ceremonies will be the world premier of "Christmas Oratorio," written by the Russian Orthodox prelate Bishop Hilarion (Alfeev) of Vienna and Austria. "The heart of the composition contains the Gospel's message of the birth and first days of Jesus Christ on earth," said Bishop Hilarion of his composition. "The libretto contains Orthodox liturgical texts from the Annunciation, Nativity and Entrance of Jesus into the Temple." "The dramatization is essentially one of movement from darkness to light, from the Old Testament to the New, from the painful expectation of the Messiah to the triumphant joy of mankind's salvation by God incarnate, he said. "The praise of angels in song of the Son of God born in Bethlehem merges with the glorification of mankind. This joint exaltation is symbolized by the singing of two choirs, one a boy's choir and the other mixed." The Christmas Oratorio will be sung by the Russian Defense Ministry Symphony Orchestra together with the Choir of the Tretyakov Gallery and the Youth Choir of the Musical College by the Moscow Conservatory under the direction of Valery Khalilov, one of the great choir directors of Russia.

The concert is free of charge and open to the public, though it is recommended to reserve seats by calling 1-800-789-9494.