CRIMEAN DIOCESE: November 16, 2010
With The Blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Sevastopol Hosts Events Marking the 90th Anniversary of the Exodus of the Russian Army, Attended by a Representative of the Russian Church Abroad
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, ceremonies were held on November 13-14, 2010, in memory of the tragic events in the history of our Fatherland. Participating in the festivities in Crimea were Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Prior of Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery in Moscow and Secretary of the Patriarchal Cultural Council, along with Sretensky Men’s Choir. Representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was Mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Rector of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA.
On November 13, a pannikhida for the Russian soldiers was performed at the tomb of Major General PG Drozdovsky.
On Sunday, November 14, His Eminence Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Vladimir Cathedral in Kherson. Joining the clerics of Sevastopol at the service were Fr Tikhon, Nikita Mikhalkov, President of the Russian Cultural Foundation and ZM Chavchavadze, President of the Supreme Monarchist Council of Russia. “The Orthodox Church lives in the past and in the present, in the pains and the triumphs of our nation. That is why it could not pass by the 90th anniversary of such tragic events. It was the Russian Orthodox Church itself that initiated today’s events in Sevastopol. We must remember those terrible days, so that they would never be repeated,” noted Archimandrite Tikhon at the end of the service.
The participants of the celebrations then headed for the admiral’s tombs at St Vladimir Cathedral, located on Central Hill in Sevastopol. From the walls of the church, a procession of the cross headed for Grafsky Port, which contains a memorial plaque “In Memory of our Compatriots Forced to Leave their Homeland in 1920.” At the pier, Metropolitan Lazar performed a pannikhida for the White Army. “Why was there such violence and division among our brethren? One answer is that spirituality had been lost, which had always united us around the Church. Brother rose up against brother, sister bore ill will against sister, and many families lived with this burden of sin,” said the archpastor in the sermon that followed.
From Gravsky Port, the honorable guests and municipal leaders, along with naval commanders, proceeded on a cutter to the Memorial to Sunken Ships, where in memory of drowning victims, a wreath was laid upon the water, as reported by the website of the Simferopol and Crimean Diocese.