KYOTO , JAPAN : November 9, 2013
A Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad Celebrates Divine Liturgy at Annunciation Cathedral
On Saturday, November 9, 2013, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,” participated in Divine Liturgy in Annunciation Cathedral in the city of Kyoto, Japan. The service was led by the Senior Priest of the cathedral, Protopriest Pavel Oikawe, along with Protopriest Nikolai Katsyuban, rector of St Alexander Nevsky Church, podvorie of the Russian Orthodox Church in Tokyo, and the ROCOR delegation, including Protopriest Serafim Gan; Priest Nicholas Olhovsky, the caretaker of the Kursk-Root Icon, and Protodeacon Alexander Kotliaroff of SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. Before Holy Communion, Fr Nikolai read an archpastoral greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York. The numerous worshipers partook of the Holy Gifts from two chalices. After the ambo prayer, a moleben was performed before the Kursk-Root Icon.
His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America prayed in the altar during Liturgy, who then greeted the parish rector and all the Orthodox faithful who gathered and congratulated them on the visit of the Most-Blessed Virgin in the form of Her Kursk-Root Icon. His Eminence gave the church a painted copy of the icon and an icon of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, wishing all God’s help on their path towards eternal salvation. In his response, Fr Pavel expressed his profound gratitude to Archbishop Kyrill for their joint prayer before the great icon. After the veneration of the cross, a reception was held in the parish hall to honor the delegation.
That evening, the delegates prayed during all-night vigil in St Alexander Nevsky Church, podvorie of the Russian Orthodox Church in Tokyo. Protopriest Ioann Nagaya led the service. After the reading of the Sunday Gospel, Archbishop Kyrill congratulated the clergymen and parishioners of the church, then gave Fr Nikolai a decree of blessing from the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for his efforts in arranging this historic visit of the miracle-working icon. In return, the church’s rector asked Vladyka Kyrill to relay his gratitude to the Synod of Bishops on behalf of the Orthodox people of Japan for the opportunity to pray before the ancient holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church. .
Afterwards, His Eminence anointed all the worshipers as they venerated the Kursk-Root Icon.