From the Sermon of Metropolitan Laurus of Blessed Memory After Liturgy on the Day of Consecration of the Church in Butovo Square
(May 19, 2007)
Beloved in the Lord Archpastors, Pastors and Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church:
Today is both a sorrowful and a joyous day. Sorrowful, for this place was the site of the suffering and death of a multitude of faithful children of the Church; yet joyous, for the Holy Church today lifts their names in posterity through the consecration of this memorial church. Their podvigi provide strong spiritual bonds between them and us.
It bring us from the Russian diaspora great joy to hear that one of the altars will be dedicated to St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. Vladyka John held holy the memory of the Holy New Martyrs, and with his support, the Memorial Church to the Royal Passion-bearers and the Holy New Martyrs of Russia was built in the city of Brussels. I also wish to remember the labors of Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, who in the 1950’s published two tomes of materials on the New Martyrs.
As we know, whenever a church is consecrated, a portion of the relics of a martyr is installed in the altar table. The very earth under our feet was abundantly infused with the blood of the martyrs, and is sown with their bones, thus let it serve as the very altar table for Christ our God. A prophet said long ago on the persecutors of the Church of Christ and the People of God: “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found” (Psalms 37:35-36). May the memory of the wicked be smoothed away from our hearts, and let the Church of Christ on the Russian lands confirmed for eternity! Amen!