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NEW YORK: December 13, 2011
The Primates and Synod Members of the Russian Church Abroad andthe Orthodox Church in America Concelebrate for the First Time

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, the feast day of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, concelebrated Divine Liturgy for the first time. The divine service was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, along with member hierarchs of the Holy Synods of both Churches.

After Liturgy, Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Hilarion exchanged warm greetings, noting the historical significance and importance of their concelebration.

At the end of his address to the Primate of the OCA and his bishops, Metropolitan Hilarion, reading aloud a gramata, awarded the Metropolitan of All America and Canada the First Synodal Order of the Sign, First Class. In return, His Beatitude, expressing his joy over their first prayerful and Eucharistic concelebration, gave the Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York the Order of St Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow, along with an icon of Righteous Jacob (Netsvetov). The hierarchs, clergymen and multitude of worshipers were then congratulated by Mr Andrei Yushmanov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in New York.

Representing the Church Abroad were His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield, and His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, along with a host of clergymen from the Eastern American, Canadian and Western American Dioceses.

From the Orthodox Church in America were His Grace Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and Western America; His Grace Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh; His Grace Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey; His Grace Bishop Matthias of Chicago and the Midwest and a host of their clergymen.

Also participating in Divine Liturgy was His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Adminstrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA.

During the trapeza that followed, organized by the Cathedrals sisterhood, the hierarchs, clergymen and laity continued their fraternal exchange.

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