Moscow, January 27, 2022
Priests of the Russian Church’s African Exarchate will soon receive the antimens that they need to serve the Divine Liturgy as clerics of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The African Exarchate, consisting of two dioceses covering the whole of Africa, was announced on December 29 by the Russian Holy Synod, beginning with 102 African priests who had petitioned to be received into the Moscow Patriarchate.
In an interview given earlier this week, Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, the Russian Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, announced that the number of priests has grown to 150.
And in a Telegram post today, Met. Leonid announces that he has signed 115 antimens for the African priests. “This is history!” he exclaims.
A priest cannot celebrate the Divine Liturgy without an antimens signed by his ruling hierarch. This liturgical necessity is a rectangular piece of cloth, placed on the holy altar table, typically with an icon of the Descent of Christ from the Cross and inscriptions related to the Passion. A small relic of a martyr is usually sewn into it.