MOSCOW: November 5, 2009
The Day of National Unity Remembers the Victims of the
1917 Revolution and Civil War With a Pannikhida
On November 4, 2009, the Day of National Unity, Protopriest Vsevolod Chaplin, President of the Synodal Church and Society Department, performed a pannikhida in memory of the victims of the 1917 Revolution and Civil War in the Church of the Icon of the “Sign” of the Mother of God in Sheremetievo Court.
“We can and must be unified by one thing—the memory of those people who suffered for their Fatherland. Our gratitude to them must always rise above all disputes and differences,” said Fr Vsevolod before the beginning of the pannikhida. Addressing the descendants of the “Reds” and “Whites,” among whom were representatives of the Imperial Family; members of the Council of Russian Compatriots; Vladimir Lukin, Human Rights Ombudsman of Russia; Hieromonk Nikon (Belavenets), head of the monarchist movement “For the Faith and Fatherland”; as well as the organizers of the exhibition “Orthodox Rus’: the Day of National Unity,” Fr Vsevolod noted: “If we are divided, it is easy to then force us on our knees and destroy us. We know this from the history of 1917, the 1920’s, and our recent history. But if we support each other, if we are united, then we are stronger than anyone and can face the boldest of challenges.”
Protopriest Vsevolod called upon everyone on this Day of National Unity to remember that “Rising above national, cultural, social and economic, and generational differences, we are united by our common roots and memories of those who laid down their lives in those terrible days so that our society today could be wiser.”
Sergei Chapnin, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, expressed hope that with time, the pannikhida for the victims of the Revolution and Civil War would be one of the most meaningful focal points of the Day of National Unity. He also noted that this memorial service became an important symbolic culmination of the first day of the 8th Annual Eccleso-Social Exbhition and Forum “Orthodox Rus’,” which gathered Orthodox participants from various regions of Russia, and also both the “near and far Abroad.”
On November 4, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia officially opened the “Orthodox Rus’” exhibition at Manezh Hall in Moscow.