SYNOD OF BISHOPS: May 13, 2007
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Officiates at Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign as the Unified Choir of the Russian Church Abroad Sings
On May 13, 2007, the Sunday of the Blind Man, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officiated at Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign along with its clergymen. At the end of service, His Eminence addressed the unified choir of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, under the direction of Peter A Fekula, with an archpastoral sermon:
Christ is Risen!
The Holy church has many festive Paschal songs. She calls upon all of us to gather in the temple and praise the Three-Day Resurrected Christ. “ All the earth shall worship thee; and shall sing to thee, they shall sing to thy name” (Ps. 66:4)! The Holy Church summons us to sing, to praise the Resurrected Savior together with the whole world, to praise Him for the blessings we received through His Resurrection. “ Sing praises to God, sing praises!” exclaims the Church of Christ, “ Sing praises unto to our King, sing praises!” (Ps. 47:6); and adds “ Sing ye praises with understanding” (Ps. 47:7). It is precisely in this way that we must sing, and hearken to the songs, that our minds and our hearts participate in the praise of the Pascha of Christ.
Today I wish to remind those of you who will accompany us to Moscow of one edifying passage from the life of St Ignatius (Brianchaninov). Bishop Ignatius was not only a great man of prayer, a teacher of patience and humility, but a writer as well. He wrote five tomes of spiritually-beneficial works in which he tells us about how to establish our inner life to achieve salvation.
There is the following incident from his life. He was at a reception once and with him was a great friend, Schemamonk Mikhail (Chikhaev), who always accompanied him everywhere. A famous Italian singer attended this reception as well. When the singer asked who this monk was, they told him, and he asked if he could sing something for him. Then Schemamonk Mikhail, with his magnificent bass, sang a church song. He profoundly impressed the Italian singer, who asked him: “How long do you plan on singing in Church, how long will you sing praises to the Savior?” Fr Mikhail responded: “I sing to my God as long as I am,” that is, for as long as he exists. This response speaks of the love and piety with which Father Mikhail sang church prayers. I wish the same satisfaction and spiritual consolation to our singers in their labors.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, let us bow down before the Resurrected God, sing praises to His Name, that the Lord would always be your pillar, that He would always grant blessings for all good, that He always remain the fortress and foundation for us all. Amen.
Christ is Risen!
At the end of Divine Liturgy, the Senior Priest of the Cathedral, Protopriest Andrei Sommer, greeted His Eminence, wishing him heavenly assistance in his trip to Russia. In his response, His Eminence Vladyka thanked Fr Andrei for his kind words and asked for everyone's holy prayers.