Enthronement of the New Archbishop of Buzău and Vrancea

On Sunday, 10 March 2013, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea enthroned His Eminence Ciprian as Archbishop of Buzău and Vrancea.

After the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Archiepiscopal Cathedral of Buzău, assisted by a group of hierarchs, priests and deacons, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the enthronement ceremony of the new Archbishop of Buzău and Vrancea, His Eminence Ciprian.

First of all His Eminence Casian, Archbishop of Lower Danube read the Metropolitan Gramata and then His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered His Eminence Ciprian the insignia of the archiepiscopal rank: the cross and engolpion, kamelaykion, and the archiepiscopal cloak and handed him the archiepiscopal walking staff, and then took the new archbishop to the archiepiscopal throne.

In the speech entitled The Archbishop of an Eparchy is a servant of God for the salvation of the people, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke among other things about the importance and solemnity of the enthronement service: “The solemnity of the service, far from being a simple formal ceremony presenting the insignia of the rank of the new archbishop, is designed, in fact, to emphasise the role of spiritual father, teacher and servant of the right faith and of the unity of the Church that the new archbishop will have in the eparchy entrusted to him. The enthronement service includes a prayer said during the Divine Liturgy and a doxology said in the end of the Divine Liturgy because the strongest spiritual relationship of Christ with His Church is established through the Divine Liturgy, namely the richest communication and most intense communion between Christ, the head of the Church, and His Church, which is His mysterious or mystic Body. This fact shows us that the enthronement of the archbishops in eparchies is not a simple rite of formal tradition, but a holy event and moment. The prayer of doxology, thanksgiving and request addressed to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, the eternal High Priest, is to help the new hierarch to grow in the right faith, in his love for God and for his fellow beings and in every good deed”.

Just like Christ, His Beatitude also showed, a bishop must serve with love: “The Holy Fathers of the Church show us the main virtues of the hierarchic service: theological knowledge, practical wisdom, virtuous life, sense of justice, lowliness, courage, generosity, unconditioned fatherly love, spirit of sacrifice, kindness, patience, hospitality and respect for every human being, confessor and server of the Gospel of the merciful love of Christ, the spiritual shepherd and father of the eparchy must show solidarity with the sick, old, poor, orphans, mourning, single and helpless. The dignity of the hierarchic service in the eparchy is holy and great, and its tasks are many especially in a world in material and spiritual crisis.”

The Primate of our Church congratulated His Eminence Archbishop Casian, wishing him many years of service and power to work.
“The most precious treasure, namely the right faith and living in Christ in the eparchy of Buzău and Vrancea has been preserved from generation to generation through the endeavour, knowledge, and efforts of many worthy bishops before Your Eminence who guided our Romanian people living in this part of the world on the way of salvation and holiness. Following their example, we are sure that you will accomplish, first of all the great holy mission to defend the right faith of the hierarchs confessors and scholars, of the great sacrificial princes, of the pious monks and priests serving the holy altars and of the faithful firm in Orthodoxy. We are also confident that you will multiply the deeds of merciful love this Sunday’s Gospel speaks about, continuing and increasing the social-philanthropic work in the Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea. We also know that you want to intensify the spiritual life in monasteries and parishes, as well as the cultural activity of the eparchy. The special theological and administrative qualities that you proved in your service as assistant bishop to the patriarch for almost 11 years justify our expectation that the work you begin today will be blessed by God and useful to the Church. We convey you best fatherly and brotherly wishes of good health, peace and joy for many blessed years to come, praying Jesus Christ, our Lord, to give His saving grace to Your Eminence, for the prayers of Saint Martyr Ciprian of Corinth whom we celebrate today, as well as to all those who will support you in the holy activity you develop” His Beatitude also said.

Then, the Patriarch of Romania gave His Eminence Ciprian a Holy Gospel made in the workshops of the Romanian Patriarchate.

The new Archbishop received congratulatory messages both on behalf of the President of Romania and of the Prime Minister.

Presidential counsellor Cristian Diaconescu read the message of the President: “The Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea has a special significance for the Romanian Orthodoxy having been one of the oldest eparchies of Romania, historically attested in 1502, at the time of prince Radu the Great of Wallachia. In the course of time, the identity of this eparchy raised to the rank of archdiocese in 2009 by care of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel was formed by the presence of some holy fathers, hierarchs and scholars, who enriched the spiritual and cultural patrimony of this place. It was also in this eparchy that theological seminaries and schools prepared generations of worthy theologians. All this represents contributions to the common welfare that the Orthodox Church continues to cultivate in society through education, philanthropic activity and conveying the high values that she represents.  Today, the Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea is a modern eparchy aware of the challenges that modernity brings about both in the field of religious life and in the relationship with society”.

The message of the Romanian Government was read by Victor Opaschi, State Secretary for religious affairs: “It is a real joy for me to express on this holyday, when the faithful of Buzău and Vrancea receive a new shepherd, my precious feelings that I have for you as well as the conviction that the enthronement of Your Eminence in the archiepiscopal throne of Buzău, set up at the same time with that of Râmnic by the great Ecumenical Patriarch Nifon II, will continue a beautiful tradition. We hope that the hierarchic service you begin today will consolidate the spiritual unity of the nation given the fact that the Romanian Orthodox Church is one of the pillars of the national and social solidarity.”

Rev. Costică Panaite, counsellor for culture and education, welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Ciprian on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea.

“We welcome you, Your Eminence! The Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea, its clergy and faithful receive you with much joy, respect and appreciation due to the hierarchic dignity to which you were called by the will of God and decision of the Holy Synod. You certainly feel that you were much expected in this part of the country! You come, or better said, you come back to the places where you have spent the years of your adolescence, studying with much diligence and wisdom at the famous school of the great bishop Chesarie of Buzău, the Theological Seminary. You come from the Patriarchate, from the heart of the Romanian Orthodoxy, to the heart of the blessed territory of Buzău and Vrancea, full of bi-millennial Christian tradition, of deep national history and rich Orthodox spirituality”, Rev. Costică Panaite said, according to Lumina newspaper.

To end with, His Eminence Archbishop Ciprian delivered a speech on the occasion of his installation as Archbishop of Buzău and Vrancea.

“I glorify, first of all the Most Holy Trinity, the God of mercy and love for humans for having made me worthy of making a new beginning to my hierarchic service after ten years and half of administrative, cultural, social-philanthropic, pastoral-missionary and liturgical activity unfolded as assistant bishop to the patriarch at the Romanian Patriarchate and the Archdiocese of Bucharest under the supervision and guidance of two wise Patriarchs of our Church, the worthy remembering Patriarch Teoctist and His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel. I also wish to express my deep gratitude to all the hierarchs of our Church for the vote of confidence given to me on 28 February 2013, when they elected me as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea, a vacancy created after the passing away of the worthy bishop Epifanie Norocel on 7 January 2013.

Certainly, the emotions that a hierarch feels at such moments are overwhelming. Many different thoughts pass through his mind as the great responsibilities he assumes in the community of the faithful are formulated and entrusted for service beginning just with this blessed Sunday, when we all listened at the Divine Liturgy, to the frightening words of Jesus Christ, our Lord, concerning the Frightening Judgement that will take place at the end of time when the Son of Man will come in glory and power surrounded by His holy angels to reward everybody according to his deeds”, His Eminence Archbishop Ciprian said, according to Trinitas TV.

The new Archbishop of Buzău and Vrancea showed the main priorities of his new mission.

“I begin my archiepiscopal service with the natural emotion caused by the meeting with the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Buzău and Vrancea, which I want to put under the sign of continuity, renewal and dynamics of the church life, under all their aspects: spiritual, pastoral-missionary, liturgical, cultural, social-philanthropic, editorial, catechetical and administrative. Just on the day of my election in this church dignity I mentioned the fact that my priorities as archbishop will be focused especially on three main fields all of them at the same level: consolidation of the fatherly organic relationship between the archbishop and the parish priests; intensification of the spiritual life in over 30 monastic settlements within the eparchy, and qualitative improvement of the theological education in the two seminaries of Buzău city and Răteşti Monastery. This thing does not mean that the other activities typical for the church institution will enjoy less attention. On the contrary, they will focus on the three main purposes mentioned above and will make their basis of support. This is why I assure all the servants of the holy parishes and monasteries that I shall endeavour to be present in their life and in that of the faithful they serve, celebrating the Divine Liturgy, teaching them, being happy or sad at the events that mark the life of the community in general”, His Eminence said.

After the enthronement ceremony, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel introduced the new local hierarch to the crowd of faithful.

His Eminence Archbishop Ciprian blessed the faithful thanking them for the good reception: “I assure you all of all my love and devotion and I do confess that I have come here to serve Christ. I do want to serve you and I embrace you all in the love of Christ and I pray Him to give me power and good health to serve you well. I also ask you all to be with me, so that the things pleasant to God should be done with much joy. May you all you have many blessed years of life and the grace of the Holy Spirit and love of God-the-Father be with you all!

The enthronement of His Eminence Archbishop Ciprian was held on the day of Saint Ciprian of Corinth, whom the hierarch will venerate as his protector from now on.