On July 24, 2013, the feast day of St Olga, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Grand Duchess of Rus, primates and hierarch of Local Orthodox Churches celebrated Divine Liturgy at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The service followed the same order as that used on the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
The service was celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa; His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine; His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia; His Holiness and Beatitude Katolokos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia; His Holiness Patriarch Irenej of Serbia; His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria; His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of New Justiniana and All Cyprus; His Beatitude Metropolitan Savva of Warsaw and All Poland, and His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, who all came to the territory of the Russian Orthodox Church to participate in the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.
Joining the primates were: His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, the head of the delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Venezuela, heading the delegation of the Antiochian Patriarchate; His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif, leading the Romanian Orthodox Church’s delegation; His Eminence Metropolitan Prokopios of Philippi, Neapolis and Thasos, head of the Secretariat for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Greek Orthodox Church and leading the Greek Orthodox delegation; His Eminence Metropolitan Joani, head of the delegation of the Albanian Orthodox Church; His Eminence Archbishop Rostislaw of Preshov, head of the delegation of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; members of the Holy Synod and the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church; delegates of the Local Orthodox Churches; heads of Synodal departments, monastery priors and clergymen of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Attending the service were Alexander Beglov, Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Central Region; Konastantin Grishchenko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine; Andrey Vorobiev, Acting Governor of Moscow oblast; Igor Shchegolev, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railroads and President of the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called; Vladimir Legoida, President of the Synodal Information Department; Yevgeniy Parkhaev, Director of Sofrino Decorative Arts Production Enterprise; Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich, Apostolic Nuncio in the Russian Federation, and ambassadors of Slavic nations to Russia.
Choirs of the cathedral (under Ilya Tolkachev) and of Sretensky Stavropighial Men’s Monastery (under Nikon Zhila) sang.
During the augmented litany, supplications were intoned in gratitude for God’s mercy poured out upon the Russian land since its baptism, and for the intercession of Holy Prince Vladimir, and for deliverance from schisms and division, among others.
After Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill performed a moleben for St Vladimir and in memory of the Baptism of Rus, during which the primates and representatives of other Orthodox Church stood on the ambo.
His Holiness then read an epistle from the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed to the archpastors, clergymen, monastics and laity on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
Mr Beglov congratulated those in attendance on behalf of President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Patriarch Theodore then read a sermon on behalf of the delegations of the Local Orthodox Churches.
The participants of the service then venerated the Cross of Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. After the service, an official reception was held to honor the important attendees.
Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.