On Wednesday March 15, in the second week of Great Lent, on the day of the appearance of the “Reigning” Icon of the Mother of God, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was served on the portico of the new church of the Resurrection of Christ and the New Martyrs of the Russian Church at Sretensky Monastery. The Divine service was celebrated under the open sky, on the place of the suffering of thousands of Christians, at the foot of the magnificent cathedral.
The decorative work inside the cathedral, the consecration of which is yet to come, is nearing completion.
The date of the first Divine service was not coincidental. When construction of the church began, it was planned to celebrate the first service in it on precisely this day, the centenary of the tragic events of Russian unrest. On March 2, 1917 (March 15, new style) the conspirators forced the Tsar-Passion Bearer Nicholas II into abdication. One hundred years later we met this day with reflection upon our history, reflection upon the path we have traversed, and with glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Christ the Savior.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has blessed the consecration of the new church to take place on the feast of the Ascension, May 25, 2017. This day will mark the tenth anniversary of the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It was precisely on Ascension ten years ago that the document of canonical communion was signed. His Holiness the Patriarch also blessed us to celebrate the first Liturgy on March 15 as scheduled, on the portico of the new cathedral, on a spot specially constructed for the Divine service.
Two thousand Orthodox Christians gathered this evening at the Lord’s Mystical Supper. The priests barely had time to confess all those preparing for Communion. The service was celebrated by the deputy abbot of Sretensky Monastery Bishop Tikhon of Egorievsk and concelebrated by the monastery clergy. The service was sung by the Sretensky Seminary choir.
This joyous event was accompanied by weather warm for March. After the service, the brethren of the monastery invited all present to a meal, and none declined. After all, the majority who came to the evening Liturgy had been fasting since midnight.
Photo: Anatoly Goryainov / Pravoslavie.ru
Translated by Jesse Dominick