His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, officiated at Divine Liturgy on 06 September 2015, on the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, on the scene placed next to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cluj-Napoca, during the European Orthodox Youth Meeting. Even though the weather conditions weren’t suitable, the thousands of Orthodox young people from all over the world prayed together in Cluj-Napoca for the future of Europe.
Concelebrants at the Divine Liturgy together with His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel were:
– His Eminence Andrei, Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureș and Sălaj;
– His Eminence Iosif, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Western and Southern Europe;
– His Eminence Justinian, Archbishop of Kalmykia and Elista (Patriarchate of Moscow);
– His Grace Qais, Bishop of Erzurum (Patriarchate of Antioch);
– His Grace Jonah, Bishop of Obuhovo (Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate);
– His Grace Petroniu, Bishop of Sălaj;
– His Grace Macarie, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe;
– His Grace Justin Sigheteanul, assistant hierarch to the Bishopric of Maramureș and Sătmar.
After reading the evangelical text of Matthew 22: 2-14, the Patriarch of Romania delivered a sermon entitled THE CELESTIAL WEDDING GARMENT – THE LIGHT OF THE PURE SOUL (the full text of the sermon can be found here), highlighting the teachings that result from the biblical text:
When the Gospel speaks about the wedding garment it does not refer only to the outer clothing that cover the body of the transitory human being, but it especially refers to the garment of the human’s soul, who presents himself in front of the Righteous Judge in a vestment of light or of darkness, in the light of faith and of good deeds, or in the darkness of unbelief and of bad deeds or of sins.
Actually, this garment is the grace of Christ received by Baptism, as St Paul the Apostle tells us saying: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). We have put on Christ meaning that by Baptism we put on the garment of His grace, with the garment of His luminous and sanctifying presence, within and around us. Therefore, we ask during the Sacrament of Baptism: Grant me a tunic of light, O most merciful, Who gives light. The robe of divine light received in Baptism is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13). When we were baptized in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, we received the grace of the Most Holy Trinity, namely the robe of divine light for the soul. Yet, when we forget about the Most Holy Trinity, when we cease to pray, when we stop listening to the word of Christ’s Gospel, when we sin by thought, word and deed, then our robe of divine light received in Baptism becomes dark and ugly.
In order to regain this wedding robe of divine light given to us in Baptism, and in order to participate in the Eucharistic banquet, we must repent of our sins and chase away the darkness in our thoughts, words and deeds, replacing them with good thoughts, words and deeds of faith full of the grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ, full of the merciful love of God the Father, full of the light of the Holy Spirit. All these can be accomplished especially through prayer and confession, which is considered to be a Baptism of the tears. Thatis why the faces of people who pray constantly become illuminated, while some of those who pray ardently have become worthy even in this world to see or even to be seen shrouded in the uncreated light of the grace, in the glory manifested on Mount Tabor, when Christ our Lord transfigured was revealing His glory to His disciples as far as they could bear it”.
The Litanies of the Divine Liturgy were said in Romanian, Greek and Russian, while the answers were given by the Psalmodia Transylvanica Choir, conducted by Fr. Vasile Stanciu, Dean of the Orthodox Theology Faculty in Cluj-Napoca.
At the end of the divine service, His Eminence Metropolitan Andrei addressed thanks to all partner institutions, which have been involving in organizing this meeting, but especially to the young people for the faith and patience that they manifested.
All hierarchs arrived from abroad were invited to deliver a speech. They addressed their warm greetings to the youth and conveyed congratulations to the organizers.
Also, on this event, the Patriarch of Romania granted diplomas and awards: His Eminence Justinian and Their Graces Qais and Jonah were granted the anniversary Diploma St John Chrysostom. The same diploma was awarded to Mr. Gheorghe Vușcan, prefect of Cluj County, Mr. Mihai Seplecan, president of Cluj County Council, and Mr. Emil Boc, mayor of Cluj-Napoca.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered different gifts to the clergy of the Metropolitan Cathedral, namely a blessing cross, a Gospel, as well as other worship books.