The word of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the 15th anniversary of the enthronement after the Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Global Ortodox
Read More

On February 1, 2024, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. This day marks the 15th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness. At the end of the service, the Primate of the Russian Church addressed the worshippers in the temple with a word.

Your Eminences and Eminences! Dear Dmitry Nikolaevich, Dear distinguished guests and our fellow believers! Dear fathers, brothers and sisters!
I always gratefully listen to kind words addressed to me. This is a tradition that has developed, and not only in Russia, but in all countries: when a person is congratulated on a personal holiday or a memorable date, kind words are addressed to him. This is a good tradition, because even for a self-critical person who understands what he actually managed to do and what he did not, it is very important to hear words of support.
I am one of those people. I am not blind and I see what has happened during this time in Russia and other countries of the canonical responsibility of the Russian Orthodox Church. I see the place that our Church occupies today in the family of all Christian nations. But from the Patriarchal Bell Tower it is also clear that we could have done a lot more, but to this day we have not done it. You are well aware of these observations, which are often formulated in the form of Patriarchal speeches and instructions, my dear bishops. And I thank you for carrying out these instructions — of course, relying on the clergy, on our faithful people. Because the work that has changed the face of the Russian Church is really being done in parishes, deaneries, monasteries, dioceses, and vertically all this goes to the Patriarch, so I have the opportunity to see, observe and, when necessary, correct.
Maybe my strongest feeling is gratitude. If that episode of church history in which you and I are participants is ever objectively described, then perhaps someone will write: they coped with the tasks they faced. And if it is said that way, it will be the greatest praise, without any politeness and other words that people exchange for the sake of decency. I affirm that the current generation of the episcopate, clergy, and monastics has coped with what we had to do and is coping with the problems that are on the agenda today.
Every holiday is, on the one hand, a thanksgiving to God for what we managed to do, but at the same time a prayer to the Lord that He would not leave us, that He would continue to help us go the same way, not sparing, as I often and sincerely say, his belly. Indeed, our work, especially the work of the archpastors, does not tolerate any gap between "I can" and "I do" — I can do more, but I do less. I have already talked about this many times and gave an example that is understandable for everyone who drives a car. You can press down on the gas pedal a little, the car is driving, but what else is the distance from the pedal to the floor! But if you can't push the car to failure, you can get into an accident, then you and I must push to the floor. Because too much has been lost over the long decades of persecution. We are a great multinational people, truly Orthodox, and it is difficult to imagine what our Church would be like if not for all these terrible cataclysms: the destruction of the clergy, monastics, the violent atheization of the people, the education of people in a sense of hatred for so-called religious prejudices. We went through all this, of course, wasting time, but it was during that difficult time that the current generation of the episcopate and clergy was formed, which successfully copes with the problems and challenges facing our Church today.
Therefore, my word, first of all, is a word of gratitude. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, an Orthodox man who selflessly carries out his ministry, and, indeed, our country, in very unfavorable external conditions, achieves significant results in the economy, politics, and social life, I will not list everything.
The positive attention of the state to the needs of the Russian Orthodox Church is also reflected in the fact that you and I have built dozens, or rather hundreds, of new churches. But in order to build a new temple, you need to get land, coordinate and resolve many issues. In the unfavorable context of church-state relations, this would be impossible. Therefore, the incredible events that are taking place in the Russian Orthodox Church, shocking observers from abroad, take place precisely because everyone is involved in these changes — our episcopate, our clergy, the believing people, with the support of both central and local authorities. This is really a kind of conciliar work — that's how one could characterize the unprecedented revival of religious life in history. Nowhere and never has anything like this happened, as nowhere and never has there been such terrible persecution as took place on our land, because no nation, no Church has gone through what our fathers and grandfathers went through. And this means that the power of God, the Holy Spirit, is with our Church, and we pray and ask the Lord that He will continue to stay with our people and our Fatherland, especially now, in very difficult and dangerous conditions.
Returning to our inner church life, I would like to thank our lay activists, youth leaders, and parish workers once again, because educational, social work, and many other areas are now organized in each parish, I will not list them all. When I receive reports on the activities of parishes, I am glad that the orders of the Bishops' Councils, the decisions of the Synod and the wishes of the Patriarch are being implemented not on paper, but in real life.
For all this, I sincerely thank you, my dear bishops, fathers, brothers and sisters, and this is the most wonderful gift that each of you, having invested a part of your labors, presented to me today, on this important day for me. We believe that the Lord will be with us, with our Church and people. We are required to strengthen our faith and fidelity to the Lord and the Church, in the ability not to spare our lives, since we have embarked on the path of serving the Lord. And I also wish our pious laity God's help and blessings in their personal, family, and work lives, so that when they come to the temple, they will be strengthened by the power of the Spirit and this will help them to adequately fulfill their life vocation outside the temple and rejoice in the presence of God's grace in their hearts. May today's wonderful day help us once again to realize our community, our unity and the fact that we, united by a single faith and prayer, continue the great work done by our heroic holy ancestors.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you all once again, my dear ones, for all that you are doing, each in his place, and for the way you share his labors with the Patriarch. Many happy and happy summers to all!
The Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia