2008-04-04 13:52:00

First Orthodox Liturgy to be celebrated at the North Pole

Moscow, April 4, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia blessed to celebrate the first Divine Liturgy at the North Pole on April 5, Saturday.

"Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka will head the Divine Liturgy. Two priests and a deacon will also participate in the expedition," representative of the Petropavlovsk Diocese in Moscow Fr. Alexander Terpulov told Interfax on Friday.

A 2-meter wooden cross and Russian flag will be set at the "zero point" of the North Pole.

Archbishop Ignaty will baptize one of the participants of the Polar expedition organized by aviation administration of the Federal Security Service, the interviewee of the agency said.

The Kamchatka archbishop celebrated the first Divine Liturgy under Arctic ice onboard of the submarine - the Tomsk atomic strategic cruiser.

The same year priest Viktor Smetannikov from the Novosibirsk Diocese made a parachute jump to the North Pole, set a cross and conducted a prayer service there. Later he carried out the similar expedition to the South Pole.