In honor of today's celebration of the centenary of the enthronement of St. Tikhon (Bellavin) as the first occupant of the renewed Russian patriarchal throne, we offer here the speech of Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitksy), given October 23, 1917 at the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, in which he passionately argued for the restoration of the patriarchate to the Russian Orthodox Church, detailing the history and development of Church administration to make his case.
Pascha of incorruption… The ancient inheritance is returned… Our seminary theology talks about some legal accounts between God and man. Sin is called for the most part a crime against God, an offense against God, for which God’s justice must take revenge against the despicable offender. But the Church first of all calls sin corruption, the loss of our ancient inheritance: incorruption.
These hymns are given full voice beneath the monastic church domes and fill all present with their content. Hearing them, the Faithfull’s consciousness breaks away from the earth; not for one day or for a few hours, as in the parish churches—no, it breaks away from the earth long before the feast and remains in the heights of spiritual upliftment, spiritual rapture, for nearly an entire week.
The following article was written in 1914, when St. Hilarion was an archimandrite and a professor of the Imperial Moscow Spiritual Academy. Its message is especially pertinent for our times, when there is widespread confusion and ignorance about the true nature of Christ’s Church and about the right approach to Holy Scripture. It can provide invaluable help to Orthodox Christians in understanding their Faith more deeply, and in defending and giving an account of it when confronted with heterodox — especially Protestant — claims.