MOSCOW: November 4, 2016
Bishop Theodosius of Seattle Participates in a Patriarch Service on the Feast Day of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
On the feast day of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, November 4, 2016, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated Divine Liturgy at Uspensky Cathedral in Moscow’s Kremlin, and led the consecration of Archimandrite Siluan (Shalarya) as Bishop of Orkheisk. This day is also Russia’s “Day of the Unity of the People.”
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was joined by a host of hierarchs, including His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle, Vicar of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The service was performed in Church Slavonic, though some of the intonations were in Moldavian and Greek. Danilov Stavropeghial Monastery Choir sang under the direction of GL Safonov. After the augmented litany, His Holiness read the Prayer for Peace in Ukraine.
Soyuz TV broadcast the Liturgy live on its station.
After a moleben to the Most-Holy Mother of God, His Holiness delivered a sermon:
Your Eminences, Your Graces!
Dear Reverend Father Abbots and Mother Abbesses!
Brothers and Sisters!
I express my heartfelt congratulations to you all on this feast day of the great Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, a day that has become, by the will of the Most-Pure Queen of Heaven, a state holiday in Russia.
It would be difficult to imagine even a few years ago that this could ever happen. But only for those who do not have a religious world view of history, who does not analyze through a spiritual lens what happens in the life of a nation, the life of a people, in the life of mankind. But we know as witnessed by many pious people, by the faith of the Church, that the Queen of Heaven spreads Her Veil over our country. We call Holy Mount Athos the Abode of the Most-Holy Mother of God. The Georgians consider Her abode to be Iberia, Georgia. Meanwhile, from the depth of ages we have drank of the profound belief that the Queen of Heaven takes special care of our nation and our people.
It is likely that this conviction is based on our very difficult, tragic historical experience. The nation stood on the precipice of destruction many times, both by fault of external forces as well as a result of the loss of spiritual strength and national identity. We know of the tragedies in our history, let us not delve into them now. But it is utterly apparent that without Divine presence in the history of our Fatherland, without the Veil of the Queen of Heaven over us, all that had happened could not have taken place. Because everything that happened over the centuries of our existence exceeds human logic and political prognosis. We should not have existed for a very long time, but we are still here, and that is why we preserve the belief that the Queen of Heaven selected our nation, too, all of historical Rus’, and the Russian Sovereignty, as Her abode. If this is so, then we believe that the dark clouds gathering over our people and our Fatherland will be swept away by a powerful wind. We believe that the Divine wind of Grace will protect our Fatherland, and so today we celebrate the National Day of Unity. The very fact that this was designated as a state holiday demonstrates the presence of the Queen of Heaven in our lives. Therefore, today, we lift up special prayers for our historical Rus’, for our Orthodox people, the Russian State, for our Church.
May the Queen of Heaven preserve us all, all the peoples of historic Rus’, all the people ministered to by the Russian Orthodox Church, for peace, unity, mutual love and the Orthodox Faith! Amen!
After Liturgy, the Patriarch gave awards to various individuals in recognition of their service.
Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.