His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia concluded his primatial visitation to the diocese of Lugansk and Alchevsk, Ukraine, in the afternoon of September 15, 2011.
He was seen off at the airport of Lugansk by Metropolitan Ioanniky of Lugansk and Alchevsk, Lugansk Regional Governor V. Pristiuk, and diocesan clergy.
The Primate of the Russian Church thanked Metropolitan Ioanniky and the regional governor for the organization of his visit.
EVENTS DURING THE VISIT
In Lugansk Patriarch Kirill honours memory of those who died in Great Patriotic War
On September 15, 2011, after the liturgy in Theatre Square, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia proceeded to the Square of Great Patriotic War Heroes.
He was accompanied by Metropolitan Ioanniky of Lugansk and Alchevsk, Lugansk Governor V. Pristiuk as well as members of the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church and local officials.
At the Square of Heroes the Primate of the Russian Church laid wreaths at the Pylon of Glory and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. ‘Eternal Memory’ to those who fell for the Motherland was sung at each memorial.
Then Patriarch Kirill addressed the Great Patriotic War veterans, saying, ‘It is not known now which struggle is more important, that which was waged with the enemy in those hard years or now when the memory of the war is being distorted while your heroism is presented as actions which have led to something bad. Therefore, nothing can be compared now to your word. You are the witnesses and thus the most vivid and convincing testimony to those events’.
Patriarch Kirill celebrates in Theatre Square in downtown Lugansk
On September 15, 2011, the commemoration day of Sts Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Theatre Square in downtown Lugansk. His was assisted by a great assembly of bishops and priests.
During the the Lesser Entrance, Patriarch Kirill granted Archpriest Basily Somik, secretary of the Lugansk diocesan administration, the right to wear a Patriarchal cross in recognition of his long-standing pastoral service.
After the Reading of the Gospel, the Primate of the Russian Church delivered a sermon.
Among those present at the service were V. Pristiuk, head of the Lugansk regional administration, V. Golenko, chairman of the Lugansk regional council. Lugansk Mayor S. Kravchenko, V. Filipp, Russian consul general in Kharkov, and A. Yefremov, Ukraine people’s deputy. The local law enforcement estimated the attendance at about 15 thousand.
After the liturgy, Patriarch Kirill was greeted by Metropolitan Ioanniky of Lugansk and Governor V. Pristiuk, who presented His Holiness with an icon of Our Lady the Adoration.
Patriarch Kirill addressed himself to the congregation with a primatial homily. He presented Metropolitan Ioanniky with a pectoral icon. Small icons of the Saviour Not-Made-With-Hands were distributed among the faithful.
The service was broadcast live by the Lugansk television. The liturgy was commented both in Russian and Ukrainian.
Patriarchal Press Service/DECR Communication Service
Photos by the Patriarchal Press Service