Alma-Ata, May 1, 2014
On April 30, 2014, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, a reliquary with a portion of the Holy Cincture (Belt) of the Mother of God was brought to Kazakhstan from the Moscow Church of Holy Prophet Elijah in Obydensky lane, reports Patriarchia.ru.
Rector of St. Elijah Church in Moscow Archpriest Maxim Shevtsov is accompanying the relic.
On the square before the Transfiguration Cathedral of Alma-Ata the shrine was met by head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan Metropolitan Alexander of Kazakhstan and Astana, Bishop Nektary of Dubno, chancellor of the Metropolitan district Bishop Gennady of Kaskelen, Bishop Sebastian of Karaganda and Shakhtinsk, Bishop Serapion of Kokshetau and Akmolinsk as well as clergy of the Metropolitan district.
Accompanied by singing of Easter hymns and ringing of church bells, the reliquary with the Holy Cincture was carried into the cathedral and placed in the center of the church. Metropolitan Alexander headed celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the cathedral with hierarchs and clergy of the Metropolitan district concelebrating.
Abbess of the Iveron-St. Seraphim Convent in Alma-Ata Mother Lyubov (Yakushkina) with her sisters, staff members of the Alma-Ata diocesan administration, teachers and students of the Alma-Ata theological seminary as well as numerous believers were present at the service.
The Metropolitan district choir conducted by the distinguished artist of Russia O.N. Ovchinnikov along with the choir of the Ascension Cathedral conducted by N. Zubrevich sang at the service.
After the Liturgy the cross procession with the shrine was arranged.