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Pentecost – Kneeling Prayers in English

The First Prayer

Lord, pure and undefiled, existing before all eternity, invisible, incomprehensible, unsearchable, unchanging, surpassed by none, not to be calculated, long-suffering, the only immortal One, You abide in the unapproachable light. You created heaven and earth, and all the creatures that inhabit them, supplying all their needs even before they ask. To You we pray and You we entreat, loving Master, the Father of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven to be incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, the glorious Theotokos. At first You taught in words, but then showed us by deeds, when in enduring the saving Passion You gave to us Your humble, sinful and unworthy servants an example of how to offer our prayers in the bending of our heads and knees for our own transgressions and for the failings of the people.

All-merciful and loving Lord, hear us whenever we call upon You, but especially on this day of Pentecost, on which, after our Lord Jesus Christ had ascended into the heavens, to be seated at Your right hand, God and Father, He sent the Holy Spirit on His holy disciples and Apostles. As He came to rest upon each of them, and all were filled with His overflowing grace, they spoke in strange tongues of Your mighty works and prophesied.

As we now pray to You, hear us, and be mindful that we are lowly and deserving of judgment; recall our souls from the bondage of sin. Your own compassion interceding for us. Accept us as we kneel before You crying the familiar, “I have sinned!” We have been dependent on You from our mother’s womb; You are our God. But because our days have been vainly squandered, we are stripped of Your help, without any defense. Even so, encouraged by Your mercies, we cry: Remember not our sins committed in youth and ignorance, and purge our secret thoughts. Do not spurn us in old age; when our strength fails us, do not forsake us; before we are returned to the earth, make us worthy to return to You, and treat us with Your favor and grace. Measure out Your mercies against our transgressions; contrast the depths of Your pity to the multitude of our offenses.

From Your holy dwelling place look down upon the people present here in expectation of Your rich mercy; visit us in Your goodness; free us from the oppression of the Evil One; make our lives secure within Your holy and sacred laws. Entrust Your people to a faithful guardian angel; gather us all into Your kingdom; grant forgiveness to those who hope in You; remit them and us our sins; cleanse us through the work of Your Holy Spirit; put an end to the wiles of the enemy.

And also:

Blessed are You, Master, Almighty Lord, for You light the day with the light of the sun and brighten the night with the rays of fire. You enabled us to pass the span of the day and so come to the beginnings of the night. Hear our prayer and that of all Your people, and forgive us all our deliberate and unwitting sins; receive our evening petitions and send upon Your inheritance the abundance of Your mercy and compassion.

Encompass us with Your holy Angels; arm us with the weapons of Your righteousness; fortify us within Your truth; make Your strength our garrison, spare us all adverse circumstances and all assaults of the adversary. Finally, vouchsafe to us this evening, and the impending night, perfect, holy, peaceful, sinless, free of disturbing visions, and all the days of our lives, through the prayers of the Holy Theotokos and of all the Saints who have pleased You through the ages.

The Second Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ our God, You have bestowed Your peace on humankind, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, to be with us even in thus life as a perpetual inheritance to believers never to be taken away. On this day You have sent this grace upon Your disciples and Apostles in a way more manifest, giving utterance to their lips by means of fiery tongues, so that every human race, hearing in our own language received the knowledge of God, and, illumined by the light of the Spirit, emerged from error as from darkness, and in the distribution of visible tongues of fire, and by extraordinary power, were taught faith in You, and were enlightened to speak of You, as of the Father and the Holy Spirit, as one Godhead, one power, one sovereignty.

As the reflection of the Father, the perfect and immutable likeness of His essence and nature, the source of salvation and grace, open the lips of this sinner and teach me how and for what I should pray. For You know the great number of my sins, yet Your compassion will overcome their enormity. For in fear I stand before You, casting my soul’s despair into the sea of Your mercy. Govern my life, as You govern all creation by the unspoken word and the power of wisdom, calm haven of the storm-tossed, and make known to me the way in which I should walk.

Grant me the Spirit of wisdom in my thoughts, the Spirit of prudence in my ignorance. Let the Spirit of the awe of You, overshadow my deeds. Renew a steadfast Spirit in my breast, and let Your guiding Spirit make firm my errant mind, so that each day, led by Your good Spirit towards that which is profitable, I may be worthy to keep Your commandments, ever mindful of Your glorious and soul­searching presence. Do not allow me to be beguiled by the world’s corrupting delights, but rather to desire the enjoyment of future treasures. For You, Master, have said, that whatever we ask in Your name, we shall without fail receive from Your co-eternal God and Father. Thus I, too, the sinner, at the descent of Your Holy Spirit, beseech Your goodness. All that I have asked, grant me for salvation. Yes, Lord, You are the lavish giver of everything good, giving far in excess of what we ask. You are the compassionate and merciful One Who, though sinless, became sharer in our flesh, and bending in love towards those who bend the knee to You, You became the propitiation for our sins.

Now then, Lord, grant Your people Your mercies; hear us from Your heavenly dwelling place; sanctify them by the power of Your saving right hand; shelter them in the shadow of Your wings; do not spurn the work of Your hands. It is against You alone that we sin, but it is You alone we worship; we know no alien god to adore, not to stretch out our hands to any other deity, O Master. Remit our offenses, and as You receive our petitions on bended knee, extend to us all a helping hand. Accept our common prayer as a pleasing fragrance, rising up to Your blessed kingdom.

And also:

Lord, Lord, as You save us from every arrow that flies by day, protect us from everything that lurks in darkness. Accept the lifting up of our hands as an evening sacrifice. And enable us to pass the course of the night blamelessly, untempted by evil, and rid us of all disturbance and fear induced by the Evil One. Grant contrition to our soul, and to our thoughts due concern for our trial on the day of Your awesome and just judgment.

Transfix our bodies with awe of You, and deaden our earthly members, so that in the quiet of sleep we may be cheered by the contemplation of Your judgments. Distance from us every improper imagining and harmful desire. Instead raise us up at the hour of prayer strengthened in faith and growing in Your commandments.

The Third Prayer:

The never-failing spring, bursting with life and light, creative power co-eternal with the Father, You fulfilled surpassingly the plan for the salvation of humankind, shattering the unbreakable bonds of death and the bolts of Hades and trampling the throngs of evil spirits. You presented Yourself as a blameless victim for us, offering Your pure body, chaste and untouched by sin, in sacrifice, and by that terrible and indescribable oblation granted us everlasting life. You descended into Hades and broke down its gates, and sojourning among those below, You showed them the way of ascent. As for the Prince of Evil, that dragon of the deep, You snared him in an inspired lure, binding him in circles of darkness, in Your infinite power made him fast in the nether world, in the eternal fire and the outer darkness.

The glorious wisdom of the Father, You are the great help of those in peril, giving light to those in darkness and the shadow of death. Lord of everlasting glory, beloved Son of the Most High, eternal light of eternal light, Sun of righteousness, hear our supplications and give rest to the souls of Your servants, our fathers and brothers and other kin by blood, and all of the household of faith who have since fallen asleep and whose memorial we keep this day. For in You is the strength of all and in Your hand You hold the far reaches of the earth. Almighty Master, God of our Fathers and Lord merciful Lord of the living and the dead, Creator of all mortal nature, composed and again dissolved, of life and of death, of earthly existence and of the departure hence, You measure out the years for the living and set times of death, bringing down to Hades and raising up, fettering in weakness and liberating in power; You provide aptly for the present and fittingly dispose what is to come, restoring those who are wounded by the sting of death with the hope of resurrection.

Master, Lord of all, our God and Redeemer, the hope of all, at the ends of the earth and far away at sea, on this latter great and saving day of Pentecost You disclosed to us the mystery of the holy, consubstantial, co-eternal and life-giving Trinity, indivisible yet distinct, and in the descent and presence of Your holy and life-giving Spirit poured out its grace upon Your holy Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, making them proclaimers and confessors of our holy Faith, of true knowledge of God. On this universal and salutary feast, deign to accept petitions for those imprisoned in Hades, thus giving us great hope, and relief to the departed from their grievous distress and Your comfort.

Hear us, humble and pitiable, as we pray to You, and give rest to the souls of Your Servants who have departed this life, in a place of light, a place of renewed life, a joyous place, shunned alike by pain and sorrow and sighing. And place their spirits where the Righteous dwell, counting them worthy of peace and repose; for the dead do not praise You, Lord, nor do those in Hades dare to offer You glory, but it is we the living who bless and entreat You and offer You propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls.

And Also:

O God, great and eternal, holy and loving, having deemed us worthy to stand at this hour in the presence of Your unapproachable glory, to sing in praise of Your wondrous acts, be gracious to Your unworthy servants and grant us grace to offer You in contrition of heart the thrice-holy doxology and thanksgiving for the great gifts You have bestowed on us and continue always. Lord, be mindful of our weakness, and do not let us be lost in our wrongdoing, but show mercy as we humble ourselves, so that, escaping the darkness of sin, we may walk in the day of justice, and girded with the armor of light, we may live free of the assaults of the Evil One, and so with courage glorify You the only true and loving God in all things.

Truly great is Your mystery, Master and Maker of all, of the temporary separation of Your creatures, to be united again in everlasting rest. We confess Your grace in all things, for our entrances into this world and our departures, of which our hope of resurrection and a life of bliss, according to Your certain promise, are the guarantee. May we enjoy it in Your future second coming. For You are both the pioneer of our resurrection and the just but compassionate judge of our lives and Master and Lord of our reward. In ultimate condescension You shared in our flesh and blood and in our passions, willingly assuming them in the depth of Your compassion so that having Yourself been tempted, You offered Yourself freely as helper to us who are tempted. Thus You united us all to You in Your freedom from passion.

Will You, then, Master, accept our prayers and entreaties, and give rest to everyone’s fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and children, or of the same family or people, and all the souls that have gone before to their rest in the hope of the resurrection to everlasting life. And place their spirits and their names in the book of life, the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the land of the living, in the kingdom of the heavens, in the bliss of Paradise, Your angels of light leading all into Your holy mansions. And on the day You have ordained, raise up our bodies as well according to Your unfailing promises. In departing our bodies to dwell in You our God, there is no death for Your servants Lord, but rather a change from the more sorrowful to the better and more pleasing, to rest, to joy.

And if we have in any way sinned against You, be merciful to them and to us; for no man is free of stain in Your sight though he live but a day. Only You, Who came sinless to earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we all hope to find mercy and remission of sins.

Thus as good and loving God, remit and forgive them and us our failings, whether witting or unwitting, committed in knowledge or ignorance, intentionally or unaware, in deed or in thought, in word, in all goings about. Both to those who have gone before and to us who await, give release and repose, granting us and all Your people a good and peaceful end, opening up to us Your heart of love and mercy at Your terrible and awesome Coming and judging us worthy of Your kingdom.

And Also:

Great and most high God, You alone are immortal, abiding in unapproachable light. In wisdom You created the world; You separated the light from the darkness, and set the sun, the greater light, to rule the day, and the lesser light, the moon, and the stars, to rule the night. You have judged us, though sinners, at this present hour to come into Your presence, giving thanks and offering You our evening praise. Loving Lord, let our prayer rise as incense before You, and accept it as a fragrant offering. Make this evening and the coming night peaceful for us. Gird us with the armor of light. Deliver us from the terror of the night and from everything that lurks about in the darkness. And let our sleep, which You have given us for rest, given our weakness, be free of all demonic images. Yes, Master of all, source of all blessings, so that, even as we slumber in our beds, we may speak Your Name in the night, and so, enlightened by the contemplation of Your statutes, we may rise, our souls rejoicing, to glorify Your goodness, offering prayers and supplications to Your compassion, for our own sins and for those of all Your people, asking that, at the intercession of the holy Theotokos, You will show them mercy.

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Проповедь Патриарха в неделю 7-ю по Пасхе

27 мая 2012 года, в неделю 7-ю по Пасхе, святых отцов I Вселенского Собора, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл возглавил служение Божественной литургии в храме Воскресения Словущего на Успенском Вражке в Москве. За Литургией была совершена хиротония архимандрита Никиты (Ананьева) во епископа Людиновского, викария Калужской епархии.

May 27, 2012, in the 7th week of Easter, the holy fathers, I Ecumenical Council, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill headed the ministry of the Divine Liturgy in the church of the Resurrection in Uspensky Vrazhek in Moscow. During the Liturgy was performed consecration of Archimandrite Nikita (Ananiev) Lyudinovskogo Bishop, Vicar of the Diocese of Kaluga.


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Запись трансляции молебна на Красной площади

24 мая 2012 года в День славянской письменности и культуры Святейший Патриарх Кирилл и Блаженнейший Архиепископ Иероним совершили праздничный молебен на Красной площади. С молебна на Красной площади перед чудотворной Иверской иконой Божией Матери, который совершили Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл и Блаженнейший Архиепископ Афинский и всей Эллады Иероним, началась официальная церемония открытия Дня славянской письменности и культуры в Москве.

May 24, 2012 in the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture His Holiness and Beatitude Archbishop Jerome made a thanksgiving celebration in Red Square. Withprayer in Red Square before the miraculous icon of the Iberian Mother of God, whomade Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Jerome, began the official opening ceremony of the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture in Moscow.

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THE UNITY OF THE FAITHFUL (2012)

15 мая 2012 года на телеканале «Россия 1» состоялся премьерный показ фильма митрополита Волоколамского Илариона «Единство верных», приуроченный к 5-летию важнейшего исторического события – восстановления канонического общения между Московским Патриархатом и Русской Зарубежной Церковью. Подписание Акта о церковном воссоединении 17 мая 2007 года, по словам Святейшего Патриарха Алексия II, поставило точку в истории гражданской войны в России. Оно положило конец болезненному и драматическому разделению в церковной среде русского зарубежья, которое продолжалось в течение многих десятилетий.

Фильм рассказывает о том, как иерархи Церкви в Отечестве и в зарубежье шли к этому эпохальному событию, как преодолевались разногласия и противоречия, какими усилиями достигалось единство. Он построен на уникальных воспоминаниях и впечатлениях непосредственных участников переговорного процесса – Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла, архиепископа Берлинско-Германского и Великобританского Марка, секретарей обеих комиссий по восстановлению канонического общения – двух митрофорных протоиереев – Николая Балашова и Александра Лебедева и многих других.

May 15, 2012 on television channel “Russia A” film premiere of Metropolitan Hilarion “The unity of the faithful”, dated to the 5th anniversary of a milestone – the restoration of canonical communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church. The signing of the Act of church reunion May 17, 2007, in the words of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, has put an end to the history of the civil war in Russia. It put an end to the painful and dramatic division in the church community the Russian diaspora, which lasted for decades.

The film tells of how the hierarchy of the Church in the homeland and abroad came to this momentous event, how to overcome differences and contradictions, what efforts achieved unity. It is built on the unique memories and experiences of direct participants in the negotiation process – the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Archbishop of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain Mark, secretaries of the two commissions for the restoration of canonical communion – two Mitred Archpriest – Nikolai Balashov and Alexander Lebedev, and many others.

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Act of Canonical Communion – 5 Year Anniversary (Some Video Footage)

20 мая 2012 года, в неделю 6-ю по Пасхе, о слепом, Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл возглавил служение Божественной литургии в кафедральном соборном Храме Христа Спасителя в Москве. В праздничном богослужении, приуроченном к торжествам по случаю пятилетия воссоединения Русской Православной Церкви в Отечестве и за рубежом, приняла участие делегация РПЦЗ во главе с митрополитом Восточно-Американским и Нью-Йоркским Иларионом.

May 20, 2012, in the 6th week of Easter, the blind, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyrill led the service of Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. In a festive celebration, timed to coincide with celebrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church in the homeland and abroad, attended by a delegation of the ROCOR, headed by Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York Hilarion.

20 мая в Зале церковных соборов кафедрального соборного Храма Христа Спасителя в Москве состоялся торжественный акт, посвященный пятилетию восстановления канонического единства Русской Православной Церкви. Мероприятие возглавил Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл.

May 20 at the Hall of Church Councils Cathedral of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow held a solemn act, on the fifth anniversary of the restoration of canonical unity of the Russian Orthodox Church. The event was headed by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyrill.

21 мая 2012 года в Богоявленском кафедральном соборе в Елохове Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл возглавил служение панихиды по приснопамятным Святейшему Патриарху Московскому и всея Руси Алексию II и митрополиту Восточно-Американскому и Нью-Йоркскому Лавру. В числе сослуживших Его Святейшеству были члены делегации Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей, прибывшие в Москву для участия в торжествах по случаю пятилетия подписания Акта о каноническом общении между Московским Патриархатом и РПЦЗ.

May 21, 2012 at Epiphany Cathedral in Yelokhovo Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill led the memorial service service for the late Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II and Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York Laura. Among concelebrated by His Holiness were members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, who arrived in Moscow to take part in celebrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the ROCOR.

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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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Patriarchal Paschal liturgy in 2012

Москва, 15 апреля 2012 года. В ночь с 14 на 15 апреля в кафедральном соборном Храме Христа Спасителя Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл совершил череду Пасхальных богослужений — полунощницу, крестный ход, Пасхальную заутреню и Божественную литургию свт. Иоанна Златоуста.

Moscow, April 15, 2012. On the night of 14 to 15 April in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill series of Easterworship – midnight, a procession, Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy of St. St. John Chrysostom.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3