The reunion of the Russian Orthodox Church divided by tragic events of the 20th century, has taken place today. The ceremony was held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Patriarch Alexy II signed the Canonical Communion Act with Metropolitan Laurus, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The admission to the cathedral was free. The ceremony was broadcast live on television.
Today’s event will symbolize the reunion of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian nation. It also means that the nation has finally managed to overcome the consequences of 1917 Russian Revolution that separated people for many decades. It is worthy of note that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin who originally contributed for the dialogue between the churches. In 2003 he met with Metropolitan Laurus in New York and invited him to visit Russia.
Before the ceremony Patriarch Alexy II offered up a prayer about the reunion of the Russian Orthodox Church. Afterwards, the resolutions of both Synods on the Canonical Communion Act were announced. To conclude the procedure, Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus signed the document that ratified the brotherly union.
During the whole ceremony the Holy Gates were open. This usually happens only on Easter. Such a departure from the rules was made at the instance of Russian people who were eager to see the ceremony with their own eyes. About 600 Russians arrived in Moscow from the USA, Europe and Australia to witness the ceremony.
An exhibition devoted to life of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will be launched at the museum of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is not well-known although it has been giving spiritual support to several generations of Russian emigrants.
Translated by Alexander Timoshik
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