On 27 April 2013, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Vesper service united with the Litany on the platform of the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation. Besides the Patriarch of Romania, His Grace Varsanufie Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, also celebrated, assisted by a group of 12 priests and 7 deacons in the presence of the priests of the three deaneries of the Capital city, of the priests of the Deaneries Ilfov North and Ilfov South, of the charity priests of Bucharest, and of the military priests of Bucharest.
The Vesper service united with the Litany was broadcast live by Trinitas television and radio stations, as it was for the first time that such a service was celebrated at the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation.
To end with the Vesper service the Patriarch of Romania addressed a sermon to those present explaining that this year the pilgrimage set off from the future Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation to thank God for the work done so far: “We glorify God for this beautiful blessed day when we celebrated here, on the place where the faithful will go into the new cathedral, the Vesper and Litany and consecrated the fig branches for the pilgrimage to follow and thanked God for the two years and a half of work to the new cathedral named the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation. From November 2010 till April 2013, in two years and a half 20 meters were built, 16 underground and 4 above the ground to finish the infra-structure of the construction. From this platform the church of the future Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation begins, a hard work to do because much was built underground, an expensive work and we hope that from now on the work to be easier and less expensive, although we still have to build 40 or 50 meters to come close to the roof of the future cathedral. We glorify God because we could meet here and leave for the pilgrimage, as we usually set off from Radu Voda Monastery of Bucharest, but this year the pilgrimage starts from here just to thank God for the work done so far.”
His Beatitude has also spoken about the resurrection of Lasarus showing that this wonder foretells the Resurrection of Christ from the dead and the universal resurrection too.
“Certainly, Lasarus’ Saturday is full of spiritual meaning. Lasarus’ resurrection from the grave was done by Jesus Christ, our Saviour, when He said before resurrecting Lasarus I am the Resurrection and Life. Whoever believes in Me even if he dies he will live, and if he dies with the body he will live with the soul. Thus, Lasarus’ resurrection foretells the Resurrection of Christ from the dead and the universal resurrection too, namely our resurrection, everybody’s resurrection. Death is not a natural state, although we got used to it. It is an accident, a consequence of the sin. But as Saint Paul the Apostle says, the last enemy of man to be done away with is death. So, man created in the image of the eternal God is called to eternal life. Today’s pilgrimage already foretells the Entrance of the Lord in Jerusalem in a spiritual way as remembrance of His entrance into the Jerusalem of the world and then the passions, the cross and passage from death to life. Therefore, from now on, the climb to the Resurrection is intensified”, His Beatitude said.
To end with his speech, His Beatitude showed that the new cathedral would be like a Resurrection candle and like the Church coming out of the humiliation to which she was sentenced in many ways during the communist atheist regime.
“The first stop during the pilgrimage will be at the chapel of the Resurrection of the Lord, which is the chapel of the Patriarchal Cathedral. It is dedicated to the Resurrection of the Lord because the crucified Christ was resurrected before ascending to Heaven. Close to this place where the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation is being built three churches were demolished and two moved. The chapel of the Resurrection and the Cathedral of the Ascension show that the Church humiliated through the five places of worship demolished and moved bears the Mystery of the Resurrection in her. Therefore, the new Cathedral will be like a Resurrection candle and like the coming out of the Church from humiliation because she was crucified in many ways during the atheist communism. Thus, this work has the value of a symbol besides the strictly liturgical need and we hope it will also be a symbolic work for our raising in dignity for the welfare of the Romanian people”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.