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Патриарх выступил на благотворительном вечере

Moscow, 21 December 2011. In the Hall of Church Councils Christ the Saviour Cathedral hosted a charity evening in support of the program for the construction of Orthodox churches in Moscow. The event was attended His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

Москва, 21 декабря 2011 года. В Зале церковных соборов Храма Христа Спасителя состоялся благотворительный вечер в поддержку реализации программы строительства православных храмов в Москве. В мероприятии принял участие Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл.

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Патриарх совершил литургию в Николо-Угрешском

Москва, 19 декабря. В день памяти святителя Николая, архиепископа Мир Ликийских, чудотворца, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию в подмосковном Николо-Угрешском ставропигиальном мужском монастыре и возглавил хиротонию архимандрита Пахомия (Брускова) во епископа Покровского и Николаевского.

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THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – Why should I be an Orthodox Christian?

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – Why should I be an Orthodox Christian?

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

The word Gospel is used all the time in the media, by religious people, and even as a genre of music. But what is the Gospel?

The Gospel is the good news that:

I. Jesus is the Messiah.

II. Christ is risen!

III. We can be saved.

So what does this mean?
I. Jesus is the Messiah

It’s apparent to anyone who’s awake these days that there’s something wrong with the world. Of course, it’s not just the world that has something wrong with it, but as Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.” Every human being has evil in his heart, whether he sees it or not, and this evil separates him from God, his Creator (Rom. 3:23; 1 Jn. 1:10). This is what sin is.

The word sin means “to miss the mark.” Sin is therefore not only separation from God but also the failure to live up to the full potential of what God created us to be, created beings filled with the uncreated energy of God Himself, in intimate communion with our Creator, united with Him in both body and soul (Eph. 4:13).

Jesus, Who is the eternal Son of God Who became a human being, just like any of us, is therefore our Messiah (“Christ,” “anointed one”) because He came to Earth to save us from the separation of sin and from the power of death. Because He is both God and man, He bridges within Himself the gap that formed because of sin. His coming was foretold in the ancient Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament), and when He came about 2,000 years ago, history was forever changed.

II. Christ is risen!

The greatest moment in the history of the world was the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Leading up to that moment was His birth from the Virgin Mary by the will of God the Father and by the power of God the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:35). He grew up as one of us, lived, gathered His disciples around Himself, healed the sick, and taught about the Kingdom of God.

The defining moments of Jesus’ life on Earth were His suffering and death on the cross, followed by His miraculous bodily resurrection from the dead. Although people had been raised from the dead before in the history of God’s work with mankind, Jesus was the first to raise Himself from the dead, showing that He is God (Jn. 2:19).

Because Jesus is fully God, He has the power not only to forgive sins and restore mankind to sinlessness, but also to transform human persons to grow into the likeness of God Himself. And because Jesus is fully man, His deity filled His humanity and made possible the restoration and divinization (being filled up with and changed by God’s presence) of every aspect of what it means to be human.

To affirm that Christ is risen is to bear witness to and experience this reality, that sinful people can be united to Christ and healed of our spiritual wounds, given freedom from the power of death and separation from God (Heb. 2:14).

III. We can be saved.

Most of the time, when people talk about being “saved,” they only have in mind whether they will go to Heaven when they die. But salvation in Christ is much more. Because of Who Jesus Christ is, both God and man, He made possible the way for us to become like He is (Eph. 4:13; 1 Jn. 3:2). We can become by His grace what He Himself is by nature. That is, we can become human beings filled up with the divine presence. We who are made in God’s image can also take on His likeness, showing the presence of God to the whole world in our own presence.

This process requires participation in the life of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:18), repenting of sins (turning around and changing one’s life), being baptized into His death and resurrection (Col. 2:12), followed by being anointed with the gift of the Holy Spirit (chrismation/confirmation, Acts 2:38), and then partaking of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist (Jn. 6:53-56). This lifelong, sacramental, mystical experience of God Himself gradually changes flawed human beings into grace-filled, divinized sons and daughters of God.

The process of salvation involves a lifetime of struggle against our sinful tendencies, a serious dedication to put away the “old man” and to put on the “new” (2 Cor. 5:17). In doing so, sinners gradually transform into saints, the high calling of every man, woman and child on Earth.

So what about the Church?

When Jesus came to Earth, He founded a living community to be His Body of which He is the Head.          This     community ,    called   the      Church, began on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, soon spread throughout the Roman Empire, centered in the ancient cities of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem and then later beyond the imperial borders.

Over time, as heresies (false teachings) arose, various groups broke off from that first community of Christians. That original community remains, however, passing on the faith and experience given by Christ to His Apostles from one generation to another, without adding or subtracting anything.

That original Christian community is the Orthodox Christian Church (sometimes called “Eastern Orthodox” or “Greek Orthodox” or “Russian Orthodox). You are invited to come and see, to taste and experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your local Orthodox community. Come and spend a month of Sundays with us and experience how the God-man Jesus Christ wants to transform you.

Come and visit our Church

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Проповедь Патриарха в день памяти свт. Николая

Москва, 19 декабря 2011 года. В день памяти святителя Николая, архиепископа Мир Ликийских, чудотворца, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию в подмосковном Николо-Угрешском ставропигиальном мужском монастыре и возглавил хиротонию архимандрита Пахомия (Брускова) во епископа Покровского и Николаевского.

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Apostle Andrew the First-Called

Andrew, the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman by trade. At first he was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, but when St. John pointed to the Lord Jesus, saying, Behold the Lamb of God! (John 1:36), Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ. Then, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord. Following the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell by lot to the first apostle of Christ, St. Andrew, to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube and in Russia around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnese, where he suffered. In Byzantium, he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop; in Kiev, he planted a Cross on a high place and prophesied a bright Christian future for the Russian people; throughout Thrace, Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnese, he converted multitudes of people to the Faith and ordained bishops and priests for them. In the city of Patras, he performed many miracles in the name of Christ, and won many over to the Lord. Among the new faithful were the brother and wife of the Proconsul Aegeates. Angered at this, Aegeates subjected St. Andrew to torture and then crucified him. While the apostle of Christ was still alive on the cross, he gave beneficial instructions to the Christians who had gathered around. The people wanted to take him down from the cross but he refused to let them. Then the apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him. This brilliant illumination lasted for half an hour, and when it disappeared, the apostle gave up his holy soul to God. Thus, the First-called Apostle, the first of the Twelve Great Apostles to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. St. Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62. His relics were taken to Constantinople; his head was later taken to Rome, and one hand was taken to Moscow.

From the Prologue from Ohrid

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The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called

The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called (Pervozvyannii) was the first of the Apostles to follow Christ, and he afterwards brought to Christ his own brother the holy Apostle Peter (Jn. 1: 35-42). The future apostle was from Bethsaida, and from the time of his youth he turned with all his soul to God. He did not enter into marriage, and together with his brother he worked as a fisherman. When upon Israel thundered the voice of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John, Saint Andrew became his closest disciple. Saint John the Baptist himself sent off to Christ his own two disciples, the future Apostles Andrew and John the Theologian, declaring Christ to be the Lamb of God.

After the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Saint Andrew set off preaching the Word of God to the Eastern lands. He went through Asia Minor, Thrace, Macedonia, he reached along the River Dunaj (Danube), went along the coast of the Black Sea, through Crimea, the Black Sea Region and along the River Dniepr he climbed to the place, where now stands the city of Kiev. He stopped overnight on the hills of Kiev. Rising in the morning, he said to those disciples that were with him: “See ye these hills? Upon these hills will shine forth the beneficence of God, and there wilt be here a great city, and God shalt raise up many churches”. The apostle went up around the hills, blessed them and set up a cross. Having prayed, he went up even further along the Dniepr and reached a settlement of the Slavs, where Novgorod was built. From here the apostle went through the land of the Varangians towards Rome for preaching, and again he returned to Thrace, where in the small village of Byzantium — the future mighty Constantinople, he founded the Church of Christ. The name of the holy Apostle Andrew connects the mother — the Church of Constantinople, together with the daughter — the Russian Church.

On his journeys the First-Called Apostle endured many sufferings and torments from pagans: they cast him out from their cities and they beat him. In Sinope they pelted him with stones, but remaining unharmed, the persevering disciple of Christ continued to preaching about the Saviour to people. Through the prayers of the apostle, the Lord worked miracles. From the labours of the holy Apostle Andrew there emerged Christian Churches, for which he established bishops and clergy. The final city to which the First-Called Apostle came, and where it was allotted him to accept a martyr’s end, was the city of Patra.

The Lord manifest many a miracle through His disciple in Patra. The infirm were made whole, and the blind received their sight. Through the prayers of the apostle, the illustrious citizen Sosios recovered from serious illness; by the placing on of apostolic hands was healed Maximilla, wife of the governor of Patra, and his brother Stratokles. The miracles accomplished by the apostle and his fiery speech enlightened with the true faith almost all the citizens of the city of Patra. Few pagans that remained at Patra, but among them was the governor of the city, Aegeatos. The Apostle Andrew repeatedly turned to him with the words of Good-News [meaning of Euangelium, or Gospel]. But even the miracles of the apostle did not convince Aegeatos. The holy apostle with love and humility appealed to his soul, striving to reveal to him the Christian mystery of life eternal, through the wonderworking power of the Holy Cross of the Lord. The angry Aegeatos gave orders to crucify the apostle. The pagan thought to undo the preaching of Saint Andrew, if he were to give him over to death on the cross, which however the apostle glorified. Saint Andrew the First-Called accepted the decision of the governor with joy and with prayer to the Lord he himself went willingly to the place of execution. In order to prolong the suffering of the saint, Aegeatos gave orders not to nail down the hands and feet of the saint, but to tie them to the cross. From up on the cross for two days the apostle taught the citizens who gathered about. The people, in listening to him, with all their souls pitied him and tried to take the holy apostle down from the cross. Fearing a riot of the people, Aegeatos gave orders to stop the execution. But the holy apostle began to pray that the Lord would grant him death on the cross. Just as the soldiers tried to take hold of the Apostle Andrew, they lost control of their hands. The crucified apostle, having given glory to God, uttered: “Lord Jesus Christ, receive Thou my spirit”. Then a blazing ray of Divine light illumined the cross and the martyr crucified upon it. When the shining ceased, the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called had already given up his holy soul to the Lord (+ 62). Maximilla, wife of the governor, had the body of the Apostle taken down from the cross, and buried him with honour.

A few centuries later, under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles alongside the relics of the holy Evangelist Luke and Apostle Paul’s disciple — the Disciple Timothy.

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В день преставления апостола и евангелиста Иоанна

Кишинев, 9 октября 2011 года. В день преставления апостола и евангелиста Иоанна Богослова и день памяти святителя Тихона, Патриарха Московского и всея России, Святейший Патриарх Кирилл возглавил служение Божественной литургии на площади Большого национального собрания — центральной площади Кишинева.

Chisinau, October 9, 2011. On the day of repose, the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian and the feast day of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Holinessled the service of Divine Liturgy in the square Grand National Assembly – the central square of Chisinau.

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Проповедь в праздник Введения во храм Богородицы

Москва, 4 декабря 2011 года. В праздник Введения во храм Пресвятой Владычицы нашей Богородицы и Приснодевы Марии и годовщину интронизации святителя Тихона, Патриарха Всероссийского, Святейший Патриарх Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию в Большом соборе Донского ставропигиального монастыря. За Литургией Предстоятель возглавил хиротонию архимандрита Феодосия (Гажу) во епископа Бишкекского и Киргизского

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Freedom of religion: the issue of discrimination and persecution of Christians

Москва, 1 декабря 2011 года. В Храме Христа Спасителя состоялась встреча Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла с участниками международной конференции «Свобода вероисповедания: проблема дискриминации и преследования христиан», проходившей в Москве в эти дни

Moscow, December 1, 2011. In the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour met His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and participants of the international conference “Freedom of religion: the issue of discrimination and persecution of Christians”, held in Moscow.