TOKYO: November 10, 2013
Divine Liturgy is Celebrated in the Presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" in Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo
On Sunday, November 10, 2013, the feast day of St Dimitry of Rostov and St Job of Pochaev, His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan headed Divine Liturgy in Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo, Japan, known locally as “Nikolai-do.” At the beginning of the service, the main holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,” was brought into the magnificent temple. Metropolitan Daniel was joined in the service by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad; members of the ROCOR delegation; Protopriest Nikolai Katsyuban, Rector of St Alexander Nevsky Church, podvorie of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the cathedral’s own clergymen, with an enormous gathering of Orthodox believers and to the singing of the cathedral choir. Services were conducted in both Japanese and Church Slavonic.
After the ambo prayer, prayers were sung before the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon. Metropolitan Daniel then welcomed Archbishop Kyrill and his delegation, expressing joy at the jointly celebrated Divine Eucharist, calling the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the territory of the Japanese Autonomous Church a miracle, transforming souls and bringing consolation to the hearts of all who appeal for the heavenly intercession of the Most-Blessed Virgin Mother of God. In his response, Archbishop Kyrill expressed thanks to Metropolitan Daniel for his service in the cathedral, which was built by a great predecessor of his, St Nicholas (Kasatkin, +1912) of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles. “In this cathedral,” noted Archbishop Kyrill, “St Nicholas raised his fervent archpastoral prayers, making the Bloodless Sacrifice, heading and directing the Councils of the Orthodox Church in Japan, edifying the people of God, drawing those who lacked life in God to be adherents to the light of holy Orthodoxy through his good example and powerful words.”
Expressing his heartfelt greeting to Metropolitan Daniel and wishing His Eminence Divine aid in his difficult archpastoral service, Archbishop Kyrill joyously reported to all in attendance that the Head of the Japanese Autonomous Church, with the blessing of the President of the Synod of Bishops, was being awarded the Synodal Order of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, First Degree. Bestowing the medal upon Metropolitan Daniel, Archbishop Kyrill gave him two gifts for the cathedral, a copy of the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon and an icon of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, expressing the wish that faith and staunchness in the truth of the martyrs of the 20 th century would forever inspire all those who pray before the icon. All those in attendance were given small paper icons of the miracle-working icon blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
During tea that followed, prepared by the cathedral sisterhood, the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad were able to engage with the local clergymen, members of the cathedral’s parish council and representatives of the old Russian emigration living in Tokyo.
Afterwards, the delegation, led by Archbishop Kyrill, headed for the public cemetery in Yanaki, where St Nicholas of Japan is buried. A moleben to the saint was performed, after which the delegation visited the graves of his successors on the Japanese cathedra.
That evening, Metropolitan Daniel hosted a reception in honor of the delegation. A warm atmosphere reigned as questions of church life in Japan and in countries in which there are parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were discussed by the archpastors and clergymen.