Moscow, December 7, 2021
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia laments that the circumstances surrounding the pandemic have led to lower church attendance.
While it’s understandable, given that people are worried about getting sick, “the last thing to be afraid of is getting sick in church,” the Patriarch said following the Divine Liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral yesterday on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Grand Prince and warrior St. Alexander Nevsky, reports Patriarchia.ru.
The Russian Church has been holding events throughout 2021 in honor of the great saint, including processions with his relics across Russia. The Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky was consecrated in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, on the feast yesterday.
A particle of the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky were carried into the altar at Christ the Savior before the start of the service celebrated by His Holiness together with seven other hierarchs and a host of local and visiting clergy. Following the Liturgy, a moleben was served before the relics in the center of the church.
And thanking the members of the combined choir that sang the festal service, the Patriarch turned to the topic of church attendance:
I would like to thank the choirs that sang so beautifully today… I only regret that the circumstances of the pandemic are reducing the number of faithful who come to church. It’s understandable: Some are afraid of getting sick, although, of course, the last thing to be afraid of is getting sick in church.
And the Russian primate offered two reasons not to be afraid:
First, the grace of God is here. Second, a certain order is followed, so people don’t come into very close contact and so the church isn’t a place of infection. But even though the number of people is limited today, beautiful Church music was performed by the choirs.