On Passion Tuesday, the 15th of April, 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, who had come to Barcelona the day before with a blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at the Russian Orthodox church of the Annunciation. He was assisted Hegumen Seraphim (Pavlov), rector of the church, Hieromonk Stephan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations, and the parish clergy.
In his sermon after the service, Metropolitan Hilarion spoke in particular about Passion Week as a special period in the life of the Church and in the spiritual life of each of us “because during each service we hear that which is the most important and essential thing for us. We hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ addressed to each of us, thus becoming witnesses to the last days and hours of His life on earth”. Taking the faithful through the whole history of the Passions of Christ, hour after hour, minute after minute, “Passion week will lead us to the feast of the Radiant Resurrection of Christ and we will carry away from this bright feast the paschal joy and our experience of standing before the Cross of Christ. Let us try to bear it through our further life so that it may be filled with the feeling of standing before Christ Who is not far away but here, next to us, and that the joy of the Resurrection of Christ may always light up our life journey leading us to the Heavenly Kingdom”.