His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America who had traveled to Moscow to participate in celebrations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Election and Enthronement of Saint Tikhon as Patriarch of Moscow and the Restoration of the Patriarchate returned to the US on Friday, December 9, 2017.
As reported earlier, His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow had extended invitations to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches to participate in the celebrations and services marking the historic occasion.
Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation, which included His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Rector of Saint Tikhon of Moscow Church, Anchorage, AK; Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer; Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak; and Subdeacon Roman Ostash, arrived in Moscow on Friday, December 1. Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Daniel and Father Daniel paid a introductory visit to the US Ambassador, His Excellency Jon M. Huntsman.
The following afternoon, Metropolitan Tikhon and delegation members attended a session of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. During the session, each of the Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches in attendance addressed the assembly. [See related story and the text of Metropolitan Tikhon’s address.]
On Sunday morning, December 3, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the Divine Liturgy at the Valaam Monastery Representation Church in Moscow, at which Bishop Daniel and the clergy members of the OCA delegation served. Also concelebrating were His Eminence, Metropolitan Paul of Khanty-Mansyisk and Surgut and His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Kalmykia and Elista. Following the Divine Liturgy, Igumen Joseph [Kryukov], a graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA, hosted Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation for a festive lunch with members and friends of the monastic community. In the evening, Metropolitan Tikhon attended a dinner honoring the Primates, hosted by Patriarch Kirill.
The highlight of the visit was the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Cathedral on Monday, December 4, at which His Beatitude, Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, presided as senior hierarch. The Primates and their representatives concelebrated. The relics of Saint Tikhon had been brought from the Donskoy Monastery, where they are enshrined, to the cathedral for the Divine Liturgy. Later that evening, Metropolitan Tikhon and the other Primates attended an anniversary concert in the State Kremlin Palace and a dinner hosted by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, December 5, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation visited the Savvino-Starozhevsky Monastery in Zvenigorod and the recently restored New Jerusalem Monastery in Istra.
The following morning, December 6, Metropolitan Tikhon and delegation members had the rare opportunity to visit the room in which Saint Tikhon fell asleep in the Lord in 1925. At the time of his repose, the site was a medical clinic, although today it contains offices. They also visited the 14th century Monastery of the Conception of Saint Anna. In the afternoon, they met with Patriarch Kirill at the Patriarchal Residence in the Danilov Monastery. [See related story, gallery and video.] In the evening, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of the Vigil for the patronal Feast of the OCA’s Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine in Moscow.
On Thursday morning, December 7, the Feast of Saint Catherine, Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Daniel and the OCA delegation celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint Catherine Church. Among the concelebrants were His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; Archpriest Nicholas Kretchikov, District Dean; Archpriest Nicholas Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Feoktist [Dimitrov], Representative of the Church of Bulgaria to the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Seraphim [Shemiatovsky], Representative of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia to the Moscow Patriarchate; and the clergy of Saint Catherine Church and other local clergy. Established in 1992 with the appointment of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak as the OCA’s first Representative to the Moscow Patriarchate, the OCA Representation has been based at Saint Catherine Church since the mid-1990s. Also in attendance at the Divine Liturgy were His Excellency, John Kur, Ambassador of Canada and Her Excellency, Ms. Norma Pensado, Mexican Ambassador. Representing the US Embassy was Political Minister Counselor Christopher Robinson. A press release and photo gallery of the celebrations at Saint Catherine Church will be forthcoming.