Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

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The Academy officed divine services in honour of Saint Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian and St. Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia

On October 9, the Holy Church commemorates two great Orthodox saints – St. Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian and St. Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia.

On October 8, the Bishop of Skopinsk and Shatsk Pitirim and the Bishop of Zvenigorod Kirill, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, officed the All-night Vigil at the Intercession Academic Church co-served by the academic clergy.

During the service, the Rector performed a festive Litiya and blessed the bread.

Before reading the Kathismas, Priest Nikita Sedelnikov, a first-year Master's student, delivered a sermon.

On Sunday, the Bishop of Zvenigorod Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Intercession Church of the Moscow Theological Academy, co-served by the academic clergy.

During the service, Bishop Kirill ordained subdeacon Dmitry Kuzmin, a second-year Master’s student, into a deacon.

After the Sacrament verse, Sergei Tsyba, a first-year Master's student, delivered a sermon. In his speech, he summoned to follow the words written the Gospel of St. John the Theologian: “Children, love each other” in our lives.

After the dismissal, the clergy sang a festive glorification before the images of St. Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian and St. Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia.

At the end of the service, Bishop Kirill, addressed an assembly with his archpastoral word:

Dear brothers and sisters, today we honor St. John the Theologian, who was the closest disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

This year marks 105 years since the election of St. Tikhon as the Patriarch in November 1917. That was difficult revolutionary time for Russia. St. Tikhon was one of three candidates for the Patriarchal throne. His contemporaries called them the strictest, the most intelligent and the kindest. The last characteristic described Metropolitan Tikhon (Belavin), who was chosen by a secret vote as the Patriarch of All Russia.

Shortly before his death St. Tikhon uttered “Long dark night”. He prophesied the dark future awaited the country. Most of all, St. Tikhon feared that hearts of the Christians would be infected by malice and hatred to communists and revolutionaries. That they would fight for injustice and seek the revenge. In this sense he can be compared to St. Apostle John the Theologian, who is known as the “Apostle of Love.”

Not everyone was able to understand how they can be tolerant and forgive people, who destroyed churches or assassinated the clergy? However, it was Christ’s words “If you love only those who love you, how are you different from the pagans?” The testament to love enemies is beyond general human understanding. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit, which only sons of God have acquired. 

The original Greek text uses the verb ἀγαπάω (Matt. 5:44; Lk. 6:35), and when apostles say that God is love, they use a single-root noun - ἀγάπη (1 John 4:8, 16; 2 Cor. 13:11). This love is beyond our strength, because it is divine. How can we get this love that Christ spoke about? First of all, it is self-reproach: “Forgive us, Lord, that we have not even bothered to come closer to this commandment of Yours.”. 

Remembering St. Tikhon and St. Apostle John the Theologian, let us ask their prayers and help in our personal lives. This is especially important for future priests. St. John of Kronstadt once said: "Priests must be the most experienced people in the art of fighting evil through good." It is really dangerous to be imperceptibly defeated by evil. Sometimes it might be even the hostility towards people hidden in the depths of a soul, which leads to hatred and unwillingness to see people.

This is a big challenge for all of us. It's easy to love an average passerby. But what if he complains or displeases you? This is a practical top for future priests. You will inevitably face up with such cases, and you need to be ready in advance.

Finally, we note that in our everyday life it is quite difficult to follow this advice. St. Philaret of Moscow said that it was impossible to follow Leo Tolstoy's ideas about forgiveness in life. This will lead to anarchy, to chaos, to the triumph of mean, treacherous and evil people. But in our spiritual let us keep in mind Christ’s words: “Do not be afraid, little flock”. Let the Lord grant us the mysterious grace of forgiveness. Amen..

Background information:

Clergy served at the All-night vigil: the Bishop of Skopinsk and Shatsk Pitirim and the Bishop of Zvenigorod Kirill, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, co-served by Archimandrite Venedikt (Knyazev), Archimandrite Platon (Igumnov), Archimandrite Hilarion (Forkavets), Archimandrite Luke (Golovkov), Archimandrite Simeon (Tomachinsky), Abbot Meletius (Sokolov), Abbot Adrian (Pashin), Hieromonk Barnabas (Losev), Hieromonk Cassian (Plosky), Hieromonk Damian (Voronov), Hieromonk Boris (Zelyuchenko), Hieromonk Athanasius (Italo), Hieromonk Serapion (Zalesny), Hieromonk Micah (Kopytov) ), Hieromonk Methodius (Agus), Deacon Dimitry Maslov, Deacon Nikolai Goyuk, Hierodeacon Ioanniky (Pajan), Hierodeacon Job (Urum).

Clergy served at the Divine Liturgy: Bishop Kirill co-served by Archimandrite Venedikt (Knyazev), Archimandrite Platon (Igumnov), Archimandrite Hilarion (Forkavets), Archimandrite Luke (Golovkov), Archimandrite Simeon (Tomachinsky), Abbot Melety (Sokolov), Abbot Adrian (Pashin), Hieromonk Barnabas (Losev), Hieromonk Cassian (Plosky), Hieromonk Damian (Voronov), Hieromonk Boris (Zelyuchenko), Hieromonk Athanasius (Italo), Hieromonk Serapion (Zalesny), Hieromonk Mikhey (Kopytov), ​​Hieromonk Methodius (Agus), Deacon Dimitri Maslov , Deacon Nikolai Goyuk, Deacon Gregory Malyuta, Hierodeacon Ioanniky (Pajan), Hierodeacon Job (Urum).

Chanting performed by two choirs under the conduct of E.V. Borovinsky and S.P. Borovinskaya.

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