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Проповедь в праздник вмч. Георгия Победоносца

6 мая 2012 года, в день памяти святого великомученика Георгия Победоносца, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию в Свято-Георгиевском храме-памятнике в честь Победы в Великой Отечественной войне на Поклонной горе Москвы.

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Запись трансляции молебного пения в защиту веры

22 апреля2012 года, в неделю 2-ю по Пасхе, апостола Фомы, перед Храмом Христа Спасителя в Москве было совершено молебное пение в защиту веры, поруганных святынь, Церкви и ее доброго имени. Богослужение возглавил Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл в сослужении сонма архипастырей и духовенства Русской Православной Церкви.

22 April 2012, in the 2nd week of Easter, St. Thomas, in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was committed moleben in thedefense of the faith, desecrated shrines, the Church and its good name.Service was led by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirillalong with the host of bishops and clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarchs Homily

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!

We have just heard words from the Gospel according to John that conclude with the account of the assurance of Thomas, that same Thomas who, not having believed in the Resurrection of Christ, required that he be given the opportunity to touch the crucified and Risen Savior with his own hands and to feel His wounds. This Thomas met His Savior, Who said: reach hither thy hand, and thrust it in My side, and be not faithless, but believing (20:27). The conclusion of this Gospel text is remarkable: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His name (20:31).

These are perhaps the most essential, the most important, and the most concentrated words of the Gospel, in which everything is opened up – heaven and earth; the past, present, and future – and in which pulsates the nerve of world history. If someone believes that Jesus is the Son of God, then eternal life opens up to him. We are accustomed to the usual outlook on life: education, upbringing, career, salary, success, aging, retirement and, in the best case, a good old age; or, in the worst case, an unhappy old age and the end. How much effort and energy we expend for the sake of revolving around within this temporal compass without seeing what is essential, without seeing the true perspective!

But belief in eternal life is given to one who believes in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Eternal life is not simply life after death; it begins here on earth. Eternal life is the ability to see oneself, the surrounding world, history, one’s society, one’s nation, and the entire human race through the prism of Divine revelation. One can look at the world quite simply, with one’s own eyes, but how many factors get in the way of this vision! Either bright sun, or darkness, or else strong wind – all this, in both the literal and the figurative senses, influence a person’s worldview, escaping his mind’s eye and goal-setting on one side or another. But if we gaze upon God’s world, ourselves, our nation, and humanity through the prism of Divine revelation, then we are given a vision that others do not possess.

The battle with Christ, with His preaching of the Kingdom of God, and with His truth, began immediately after He had pronounced the first words of his preaching. His words were so powerful that they could not be ignored. But there were also those who said: “This is all completely wrong; He is a liar. He is passing Himself off as something He is not. He imagines Himself to be one thing, while in fact He is something completely different. Yes, miracles. Yes, He did perform something there. But who said that these miracles are from God? Perhaps He performs miracles by the power of Beelzebub, the king of demons? He denounces, He casts merchants from the temple – by what power does He do this? Who gave Him this power? Who permitted Him to disturb the people? No, something needs to be done with Him without fail. Despite the fact that we say that this is a lie, the people are following Him. Despite the fact that we say that this is all completely wrong and that He is a liar, the people do not believe it.”

And what took place on that Sunday before the last week of the Savior’s life, when He had suddenly raised the dead? At that point no one asked any questions about how this had been accomplished. Thousands upon thousands of people went out to meet the Conqueror of death. And then what? A decision was made: “No words will persuade anyone, no lie will work, no slander is enough – He needs to be killed.” And they killed Him, sowing new confusion into people’s minds by convincing them that He had been killed justly: “Better that one person should die for the people than for everyone to perish, because otherwise the Romans would make their regime of occupation even more severe.”

Then suddenly it became known that the tomb is empty, that He is not there, even though there was a guard of Romans there, bound by iron discipline, prepared to die rather than abandon their post! Despite the guard and soldiers, the tomb was open and the stone rolled away. “He is not risen – His disciples have stolen Him by night and said that He is risen.” These are the same disciples who had fled in terror?! Who sat at home, trembling? These very same were prepared to go against the custodia, against the Roman guard, against the soldiers clad in armor, who would not allow them access to the tomb? But this lie was spread among the people: “The disciples have stolen Him.”

From that time forward, the great words of John the Theologian have been the primary nerve of all human history: “All this has been written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God; and that believing, you might have eternal life” [cf. John 20:31]. Nothing new has taken place over the course of these two thousand years: the same lies and slander; the same mobilization of political powers; and the same mobilization, if necessary, of means of intimidation and oppression. The entire history of the Church is one of martyrdom and confession.

Yet this history was reflected in an entirely unique way in our nation’s life during the twentieth century, surpassing all other instances of the bloody annihilation of Christ’s legacy. Nowhere, never, and in no other country has there been done that which was done here. In order to expel memory itself, priests, monks, nuns, and faithful people were killed and churches were blown up – we know what transpired on this very place. Who can prove that this entire grandiose battle, requiring enormous forces – intellectual, administrative, military, and financial – has been waged against a myth? This is no myth: this is the main nerve of history.

How gratefully our nation responded to the freedom to believe! How they began to raise up churches of God to heaven throughout the entire expanse of historical Rus’? In regards to the very church of God before which we are now standing, the very same people who had cried out “The disciples stole Him by night!” now, in a moment of dire economic crises, said: “Why restore the Cathedral of Christ the Savior? This money could be used to buy or do such-and-such or such-and-such.” There were traitors in priestly robes then, just as there are today those among us who say: “Why gather for prayer? Let us forget about it! Let us make it look as if nothing is happening in our life today.” But something is happening in our life, and something most remarkable! Then we rebuilt the Cathedral of Christ the Savior as a symbol of the rebirth of Holy Russia, as a symbol of our hope, as a symbol of our fidelity to the words we heard today from the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.

When the perspective of God’s Kingdom is opened up to someone, signs of the presence of this Kingdom begin to appear in his life: a joyful beating of the heart when one comes into contact with holy things, when one Communes of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, when one does good deeds, or when one venerates a holy thing. A holy thing is the material image of the presence of the Kingdom of God in human history – thus has it has always been perceived by people with a religious consciousness. Therefore Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Suvorov, Kutuzov, Nakhimov, and Marshall Zhukov all venerated holy things during the most difficult moments in history. They all bowed down before holy things during fateful moments of history as before signs of the presence of heaven on earth, of the Kingdom of God. And the Lord heard the prayer of both the great and the unknown, and sent down His mercy upon our Fatherland.

Much has been accomplished during the last years of Russia’s spiritual rebirth. Perhaps one of the most important achievements is that people, including those belonging to different religious traditions, have come to feel closer to one another in recognition of the fact that they have something in common that gives them a foothold in this turbulent and fast-flowing historical process. In this regard Russia is an amazing example of cooperation among people traditionally belonging to religious groups that have always existed on the territory of our country.

We have other accomplishments as well, the most important of which are the millions upon millions of people who have recognized that the Orthodox faith is the fulcrum of their lives, who are not prepared to change this faith, and are not prepared to reject it or to think of the future of their country without the support of the Orthodox faith. And when today we come under attack from persecutors, this cannot be compared to what took place in the past; but the danger lies in the very fact that we are being asked to consider the blasphemy, sacrilege, and mockery of holy things as a lawful expression of human freedom, as something that should be protected in contemporary society. This approach, even in microscopic phenomena, has turned into a phenomenon of enormous scale that affects every believing person.

What are we, my dear ones, doing here today, by gathering in such multitude? We have not come here for a rally; the Church does not hold rallies. We have no posters, only church banners and icons. We have come here to pray to God for our country and our nation, that never again, and under no circumstances, will the Cathedral of Christ the Savior be blown up; that our holy things not be desecrated; that our history not be distorted; and that our spirit and our moral energy not be perverted. We are not threatening anyone, and we are not demonstrating our strength, for the Lord’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). No one can forbid us during fateful moments of history – and today we are experiencing such a moment – from gathering together for a prayerful standing.

The word “standing” [stoianie] shares a common root with another word, “standing before” [predstoianie]. Thus, we have gathered here to stand before God, to pray for our Fatherland, our nation, and our youth, that the Lord might protect it from the demonic temptations, allurements, and suggestions to which our nation was once so susceptible, destroying both our country and ourselves. We will pray for the wellbeing of our great country, historical Rus’, that common spiritual expanse from the Black Sea to the White Sea, from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. But today our special prayer is for Russia, that the Lord might send down His mercy upon us, granting us the opportunity to go out to meet the future with peace in our souls and joy in our hearts, remembering that the Lord is with us.

I call upon all of you now to concentrate, standing before the Lord in simplicity of soul and purity of heart, as we send up prayer for our country, our nation, and our Church, that the Lord might send down His mercy, granting us all the ability to see the coming Kingdom of God, which begins here on earth yet does not end with earthly life, but continues into eternity. Amen.

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Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.
Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, “Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.” It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!
“O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?”
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

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В неделю 6-ю Вел.поста, ваий, Патриарх совершил литургию

April 8, 2012, in the 6th week of Lent, Palm Sunday, the feast of the Lord’s Entranceinto Jerusalem, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy of St. St. John Chrysostom in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. During the Liturgy was performed consecration of Archimandrite Augustine (Anisimov) Bishop Gorodetsky and Vetluzhsky.

8 апреля 2012 года, в неделю 6-ю Великого поста, ваий, праздник Входа Господня в Иерусалим, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл совершил Божественную литургию св. Иоанна Златоуста в кафедральном соборном Храме Христа Спасителя. За Литургией была совершена хиротония архимандрита Августина (Анисимова) во епископа Городецкого и Ветлужского.

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Annunciation Homily – St. John of Kronstadt

The mystery that transpired upon this day awes not only the human mind; it likewise astonishes all angelic, exalted minds. They, too, are amazed at how God, Who is without beginning — Who is unencompassable, unapproachable — how He could lower Himself to the status of a servant and become a man, without ceasing to be God — and without in any way diminishing His Divine glory.

How could the Virgin contain within Her most-pure womb the unbearable fire of Divinity and remain unscathed — and, throughout all ages to come, be the Mother of God-incarnate?

So great, so marvelous, fraught with such Divine Providence, is this mystery of the annunciation to the Most Holy Virgin by the Archangel [Gabriel] — and the incarnation of the Son of God from Her!

Rejoice, O ye who are earth-born; rejoice, especially, ye faithful Christian souls — but rejoice with trepidation in the face of the magnitude of this mystery, being encompassed by the filthiness of sin.

With pure hearts and lips, magnify the Mother of God, Who is magnified and exalted above all creatures, Angels and men; Who is magnified by God Himself, the Creator of all — and remember that the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, and of His becoming man, was accomplished for our salvation from sin, from the curse that was rightfully pronounced upon us by God, in the beginning, by reason of our sins, and from temporal and eternal death.

With peace and joy, receive ye the Lord, Who comes to us in order to establish upon earth, in our hearts and in ours souls, the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 4, 17) — and come to hate divinely-detested sin, impurity, incontinence, pride, hardness of heart, lack of mercy, self-love, satisfaction of [the cravings of] the flesh, and all unrighteousness.

Christ descended to the earth in order to raise us up to heaven (Akathist to the Mother of God, kondak 8). Let us, therefore, being nailed down to the earth by the passions of life, incline our heads towards heaven, whither it is that the Lord Jesus Christ desires to raise us all up, and lift up the eyes of our heart.

Lift up the heart! Long enough have we crept along the ground, like worms, in our thoughts and in our hearts. It is true that we are insignificant worms, according to our sins, although our souls have been created in the image of God, which we have disfigured by our sins, and which we must invariably re-instate through sincere penitence while we yet live.

If is necessary that this image of God, like the sun, shine forth within us as it did in the beginning, when Adam and Eve alone had been created. It is for this purpose that we have been given life; it is for this reason that our life continues on, that we are joined to God’s Church and participate in her divine services, mysteries and fasts.

Behold: how the image of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God gleams! Yet, She is also human…. What exalted Her to such incomparable heights? What made Her so glorious and so great — loftier than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim?

It was the three supreme virtues: humility, purity and a fiery love for God — a love that is alien to earthly, to external, love.

She Herself confesses that the Lord has looked upon the humility of His hand-maiden (Luke 1, 48).

Do thou also, O Christian, begin to love, and implant deep within thine heart that humility which is divinely-pleasing; acquire also, though exerted labors lasting thine entire life, a purity of heart — do this by [means of] fasting, prayer, meditation upon God, tears, and especially by a frequent and worthy communion of the holy Mysteries of Christ.

Begin, also, to love God, thy Creator and thy Saviour, with all thine heart, and prefer nothing that is in the world to His holy love.

Meditate ever upon Him and upon His wondrous works; live Him and breathe Him; nourish thy soul with Him,; attire thyself in Him; purify thyself, enlighten thyself, sanctify thyself, establish thyself, adorn thyself, praise thyself, console thyself, through Him. By means of Him, vanquish the temptations and impositions of foes, visible and invisible.

Whatsoever ye do, do all with thought of Him, and for His sake. Wheresoever ye might be, be everywhere with Him, as He is always with us, being everywhere, and filling all things (Tropar’ to the Holy Spirit).

If thou comest to love the Lord in such a way, then in thee also shall the Lord be magnified — and the Lord shall magnify thee, as the holy Church says on His behalf: those who glorify Me, I shall likewise glorify (“The Epistle of Tarasios, the Patriarch of Constantinople, to Pope Adrian of Rome.” Kormchaya [kniga (The Rudder)], Part 1, Chapter 36, 1787 edition).

Learn, O Christian, to hate, to humiliate, to annihilate every sin within thyself — and the Lord of Glory shall be magnified in thee, and thou shalt be great before God and men; begin to love humility — and the Lord will exalt thee.

Amen.

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Annunciation Homily – St Ambrose of Milan

Sermon by St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

The mysteries of God are unsearchable, as is especially declared in the prophetical words: What man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is?

Nevertheless, some things have been revealed to us. And hence we may gather, from the words and works of our Lord and Saviour, that there was a special purpose of God in the fact that she who was chosen to bring forth the Lord was espoused to a man.

Why did not the power of the Highest overshadow her before she was so espoused? Perhaps it was lest any might blasphemously say that the Holy One was conceived in fornication.

AND the Angel came in unto her. Let us learn from this Virgin how to bear ourselves : let us learn by her devout utterance ; above all let us learn by the holy mystery to be timid, to avoid the advances of men, and to shrink from men’s addresses. Would that our women would learn from the example of modesty here set before us. She upon whom the stare of men had never been fixed was alone in her chamber, and was found only by an Angel. There was neither companion nor witness there, that what passed might not be debased in gossip ; and the Angel saluted her.

THE message of God to the Virgin was a mystery so great that it must needs not be uttered by the mouth of man, but only by an Angel. For the first time on earth the words are spoken : The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. The holy maiden heareth, and believeth.

At length she saith : Behold the handmaiden of the Lord ; be it unto me according to thy word. Here is an example of lowliness, here is a pattern of true devotion. At the very moment she is chosen to be the Mother of the Lord she declareth herself to be his handmaid. The knowledge that she was chosen to this high vocation wrought in Mary only an act of humility.