2012-09-17 13:54:00

Patriarch Kirill compares way of Christian with way of Samurai in sermon to Japanese

Tokyo, September 17, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan on Sunday led the liturgy in Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo.

The service was attended by about 700 worshippers - Japanese and expatriate Russians. The attendees included the ambassadors of Russia, Ukraine and Romania and the naval attache of Greece. Two Japanese women in kimonos with flowers and a round loaf of bread welcomed the Patriarch at the entrance of the cathedral.

During the service Patriarch Kirill elected the cliric of St. Trinity and Sergius Laura Gerasim (Shevtsov) to the rank of Archimandrite for serving in the Tokyo cathedral.

In his sermon Patriarch Kirill recalled the code of Samurais - the way of Samurai is the way of death, the samurai should live so as if his body is dead "and then he frees himself, becomes strong, independent of death, his fear vanishes."

"Like Christ rose to the cross sacrificing himself for the sake of others, so we are opening our hearts to entering the way of heroic feat and sacrifice for others. It is through self-sacrifice that the secret of a man's love for God and for his neighbor opens up," the Patriarch said.

He said he prays for the prosperity of the Japanese people, for God to protect the Japanese "from horrible upheavals and to help everyone live in peace, harmony and unanimity."

The Patriarch wished the clergy and laity of the Japanese Orthodox Church to remain true to the behests of its founder - St. Nicholas of Japan and "to duly bear the testimony of Orthodox faith."

He decorated Metropolitan Daniel and other Japanese clergymen and laymen with the order of St. Nicholas of Japan recently instituted by the Russian Church.

The foundation of the cathedral on the hill at Kanda Surugadai was laid in March 1884 next to the Russian mission. The cathedral was built at the initiative of St. Nicholas (Kasatkin) of Japan, the founder of the Orthodox Church in Japan. Given the shortage of place for building the church the hill was artificially expanded.

In 1917 the cathedral like the rest of the mission in Japan lost its financial support from Russia. The seminary and school for women was closed. The original cathedral was seriously damaged in the Great Kanto earthquake of September 1923. Despite the sharp drop in the parish in October 1923 it was decided to restore the cathedral. The rebuilt cathedral was reconsecrated on December 15, 1929.

By 1946 it went into decay - the metal railing and copper from the roof were sold, services virtually stopped. The in 1949 services resumed.

The early 1950s saw the revival of parish life - a school and seminary were opened, the sisterhood launched it so operations.

The chapel of St. Nicholas of Japan built on the southern side of the cathedral was consecrated on March 19, 1978.

The repairs of the cathedral began in 1991. A leading artist of the Moscow Theological Academy Valentina Glazovskaya visited Japan several times in 1996-1998 and painted three icons in keeping with ancient Russian traditions. A monastery was founded with the Chapel of St. Nicholas in 2005.

The cathedral is built in the Russian byzantine style and is meant for 2,000 worshippers. Together with the dome and cross it is 35 meters tall. The belfry is 40 meters high.