WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: February 13, 2017
On the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Led Divine Liturgy at Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva
On February 12, 2017, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the feast day of the Three Hierarchs, St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St John Chrysostom, the President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrated Divine Liturgy at Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, along with His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Protopriest Michael Gundyaev, and Prorector of the Church History Department, Hieromonk Ioann (Kopeikin) of the cathedral.
After the augmented litany, Metropolitan Hilarion read the Prayer for Peace in Ukraine. After the service, Archbishop Michael welcomed Metropolitan Hilarion and gave him an icon of Christ the Savior “Not-Made-by-Hands,”
In his response, Metropolitan Hilarion said:
“Dear Vladyka, dear reverend fathers, brothers and sisters! I wish to pass along to you the blessing of his His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. It is with his blessing also that I am now in Switzerland, and I rejoice at the opportunity once again to visit this magnificent historic church, one of the holy sites of the Russian diaspora, to lift my prayers jointly with you, dear Vladyka, and I am glad that the cathedral is undergoing restoration, dark soot of many years are being removed so that the original bright layer of frescoes will soon be revealed to all Orthodox Christians.
For almost ten years now, since the Russian Church Abroad has come into full communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, we have had many opportunities to pray together, to serve together, to commune of the Holy Gifts together, and rejoice at our unity. Today we once again lifted our prayers for the unity of our Church, for all of our faithful, both those who live in their Homeland, and those scattered throughout the world, and those who suffer today in the Ukrainian land.
Each time that we celebrate Divine Liturgy, we lift our prayers for Ukraine, remembering the millions of our faithful who are enduring various forms of tribulation, including direct persecution. We beseech the Lord to pacify internecine strife, so that once again the land of Ukraine would be peaceful, and everyone would “with one mouth and one hard glorify the Lord, as revealed in the Holy Trinity.”
Press Service of the DECR