Primates of Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Russian Orthodox Church celebrate Divine Liturgy at Church of Holy Sepulchre

On the night of 11 November 2012, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

In the evening of 11 November, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill led a prayerful procession from the Jaffa Gate of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos, accompanied by bishops and clergymen, joined the procession at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Concelebrating with the Primates of the two Churches were hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem: Metropolitan Isyhios of Capitoliad, Metropolitan Timotheos of Vostra, Archbishop Dorotheos of Avila, Archbishop Aristarchus of Constantine, Archbishop Theophylactos of Jordan, and Archbishop Theophanis of Gerash; and members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Bishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s administrative secretariat; Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, first deputy President of the ROCOR’s Synod of Bishops; and also Archbishop Alexander of Pereyaslavl-Khmelnitsky and Vishnevoye.

A Litany was said for the repose of the soul of the recently deceased Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria.

After the Liturgy, Patriarch Theophilos addressed all those present, saying in particular: This common celebration of the Divine Liturgy by the two Patriarchs gives us perfect joy in this world. This celebration is a confirmation and pledge of our hope for drinking the new vine “in My Father’s kingdom” (Mt 26:29).

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos and said:

“…The Russian Orthodox Church owes much to the Holy City. From the earliest times numerous Russian pilgrims have been coming here, to the Holy Sepulchre, to the Holy Jerusalem. It was from you that we have received our liturgical order, and liturgical life of the Russian Church has been carried out according to the rules of St Sabbas the Sanctified and of other holy zealots the of ancient Palestinian monasteries. This Church of the Holy Resurrection, in which we have celebrated the Divine Liturgy today, has always been one of the most venerated Churches in Russia…

As the Primate of the Russian Church, I am grateful for this opportunity to venerate the shrines of Jerusalem. I thank you, Your Beatitude, for the invitation, for our joint brotherly prayer, and for your warm hospitality…

I prayerfully wish Your Beatitude that God may strengthen you in your primatial ministry, and I wish that God may grant His abundant grace and His spiritual gifts to the flock of the Church of Jerusalem.”

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill concluded his address with the Paschal greeting “Christ is Risen!”

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