January 25, 2016
On the evening of January 23, 2016, the eve of the 34th Sunday after Pentecost and the first Saturday after the Epiphany of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia performed all-night vigil at Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, the main church of the Western European Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
His Holiness was joined in the service by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine; His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; His Grace Bishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, Head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate; Protopriest Pavel Tsvetkov, Senior Priest of Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedra; Protopriest Nikolai Balashov, Vice President of the DECR; Protopriest Mikhail Gundyaev, Delegate of the Moscow Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches and International Organizations in Geneva; Priest Alexander Volkov, Head of the Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and other clergymen of the cathedral.
During matins, His Holiness anointed the worshipers.
Archbishop Michael welcomed His Holiness Patriarch Kirill after the service, noting that this was the first divine service by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the cathedral. In memory of the event, Archbishop Michael gave His Holiness an icon of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker.
His Holiness then delivered a sermon to the worshipers in attendance.
His Holiness then gave Archbishop Michael a panaghia made to mark the 1,000-th anniversary of the repose of Holy Prince Vladimir, Enlightener of Rus. Fr Pavel was also given a cross marking the jubilee.
The Patriarch of Russia then gave an icon of St Sergius of Radonezh to the cathedral as a gift. The worshipers present at the service were all given small icons of the “Savior Not Made By Hands” blessed by His Holiness.
Patriarch Kirill then participated in a trapeza organized by the cathedral’s parishioners.