On May 14, 2013, the second Tuesday of Pascha, known as Radonitsa (“Day of Rejoicing”), the Paschal day of the commemoration of the dead, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Divine Liturgy in Protection Church in the Chinese city of Harbin.
Many Orthodox Chinese Christians and Russians were in attendance, overfilling the church. Upon arriving at the church, His Holiness paused to speak with the congregation and giving them his patriarchal blessing.
His Holiness was joined in the service by His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; His Grace Bishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, Head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate; Protopriest Nikolai Balashov, Vice President of the DECR; Protopriest Dionisy Pozdnyaev, Rector of the Church of SS Peter and Paul in Hong Kong; Protopriest Sergy Yakutov, Dean of the Second Deanery of the Diocese of Vladivostok, and Priest Sergy Voronin, Rector of Dormition Church at the Russian Embassy to the People’s Republic of China.
The Vladivostok Diocese had prepared the church for the service, and had done some renovation work, and on this day, its priests helped take the confession of all the believers who wished to partake of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.
Liturgy was celebrated upon an antimension which had at one time been in the Church of the Tabyn Icon of the Mother of God in Peking. It bears the signature of Archbishop Viktor (Svyatin) of China and Peking, Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in China in the 20th century.
The choir of Novospassky Monastery in Moscow sang at the service. The Holy Gospel was read in Church Slavonic and Chinese.
Praying at the service were Andrei Denisov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China, Vladimir Legoyda, President of the Synodal Information Department, and Sergey Pal’tov, Russian Consul General in Shenyang.
During the augmented litany, a special supplication was made for those who suffered from the flooding in China: “And we pray for all the victims of the floodwaters.”
Commemorated also during the service were the archpastors, pastors and laity of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission and the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church. Commemorative prayers were read for Metropolitan Flavian of Kiev and Galitsia; Metropolitan Innokenty of Peking and China; Metropolitan Viktor of Krasnodarsk and Kuban; Metropolitan Mefody of Harbin and Manchuria; Metropolitan Melety of Harbin and Manchuria; Metropolitan Nestor of Kirovograd and Nikolaevsk; as well as Archbishop Simon of Peking and China; Archbishop Dimitry of Hailar; Archbishop Nikander of Rostov and Novocherkassk; Archbishop Yuvenaly of Izhevsk and Udmurt (Schema-Archbishop Ioann); Archbishop Kliment of Sverdlovsk and Kurgansk; Bishop Simeon of Shanghai; Bishop Vasily of Peking and China; Bishop Leonty of Enotaevsk; Schema-Archimandrite Seraphim; Archimandrite Ilarion; Archimandrite Antony; Archimandrite Ilarion, Archimandrite Gervasy; Archimandrite Amvrosy; Archimandrite Nikolai; Archimandrite Ioakim; Archimandrite Sofrony; Archimandrite Peter; Archimandrite Veniamin; Archimandrite Polikarp; Protopresbyter Elias Wen; Schema-Hegumen Ignaty; Hegmen Sofrony; Hegumen Innokenty; murdered Protopriest Stefan Wu; Protopriest Dimitry; Protopriest Alexander; Protopriest Pavel; Protopriest Mikhail; Protopriest Innokenty; Protopriest Ilya; Protopriest Dimitry, Protopriest Valentin; Protopriest Rostislav; Protopriest Alexander; Protopriest Dimitry; Protopriest Peter; Protopriest Nikolai; Protopriest Dimitry; Protopriest Ioan Du; Protopriest Vasily Du; Protopriest Nikolai Li; Protopriest Leonid Liu; Protopriest Mikhail Lo; Protopriest Daniil Hei; Protopriest Vladimir Du; Hieromonk Varsonofy; Hieromonk Simon Bai; Priest Grigory Chzhou (the last rector of Protection Church), Priest Ioann; Priest Maksim; Priest Pinne Du; Preist Anikita Van; Priest Vasiliy Lo; Priest Feofan Du; Priest Fotiy Hei; Priest Antony Yao; Priest Nikita Du; Protodeacon Falalea Mao; Protodeacon Evmeny Ine; Deacon Nikolai Chzhane; Schema-Abbess Rufina; Abbess Ariadna; Monk Iakinf; and all the fathers, brothers and sisters “who labored for the Church of Christ in the land of China.”
At the end of Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the clergymen and multitude of worshipers, noting in his sermon that Paschal commemoration is made on this very day, Radonitsa. In addition, considering that this year, Russia’s Day of Victory, May 9, fell on Bright Week, the annual commemoration of fallen warriors who died for the faith, the Fatherland and the people, and all those who suffered and died during the Great War for the Fatherland.
Referring to the divine services performed in Protection Church, His Holiness noted:
In memory of this Patriarchal service in Harbin, His Holiness gave Protection Church an altar-table Gospel and a copy of the Epistles, as well as an icon of the Mother of God.
The parishioners welcomed His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
“We eagerly awaited you, and express our earnest welcome to you, with assurances that we will eternally preserve this church,” said Ekaterina Yui Shun, the Parish Warden.
The members of the community then brought His Holiness traditional Chinese textiles with the images of Protection Church in Harbin and roses, as well as a quotation from the Gospel of Matthew.
Also greeting the Patriarch was Sergei Yeremin, director of the Historical Department of the Russian Club in Harbin.
After divine services, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill spent some time with the congregants. At their request, His Holiness posed for a photograph with them for posterity’s sake.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church then encouraged the children who came to Harbin for medical treatment, spoke to their parents and blessed them all.
The Chinese faithful expressed their heartfelt thanks to His Holiness Vladyka for the possibility of praying at Divine Liturgy and partake of the Holy Gifts of Christ. Everyone was then given small icons of the Resurrection of Christ.
Press Office of the DECR/Patriarchia.ru