Moscow, December 28, Interfax - The first common divine service of the Primates of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad will be celebrated untraditionally: the Royal Gates in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour will be open throughout the service, that being done only during the Bright Week, the first week after Easter.
The service was announced in the joint release of the secretaries of the commissions of the two Churches, archpriests Nikolay Balashov and Alexander Lebedev.
The document received by Interfax explained that the Royal Gates (to the sanctuary - IF) would be opened on the day when the Act on Canonical Communion is signed for ‘the people of God to fully share the joy of the first common communion of bishops and clergy of the One Russian Church.’
The document would be signed after a short prayer service in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour before the Divine Liturgy.
Two days later, on May 19, the commemoration day of St Job the Much-Suffered, St. Job of Pochaev and the birthday of the holy passion-bearer Emperor Nicholas II, Patriarch Alexy, Metropolitan Laurus, bishops and clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad would celebrate Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Moscow Kremlin.
On 20 May 2007, the seventh Sunday after Easter, Patriarch Alexy, Metropolitan Laurus, bishops and clergymen from Russia and abroad would consecrate the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo and celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated church which foundation was laid when Metropolitan Laurus was paying his first official visit to Russia in 2004.
‘By the prayers of the holy new martyrs and confessors of Russia the Lord has blessed the sacred cause of restoring the unity of the Russian Church that had suffered great pain in the twentieth century. We believe that through their heavenly intercession we would complete this cause to the glory of God and the joy of church people,’ the document reads.