“It is customary for Primates of autocephalous Churches to accept invitations to make irenic visits to Sister Churches,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, a member of the delegation that will accompany Metropolitan Tikhon. Other delegation members include His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese and Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Chairman and Director respectively of the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations; Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor; Melanie Ringa, Treasurer; Archpriest Nazari Polataiko, Secretary of the Archdiocese of Canada; and support staff. Joining the delegation will be His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the US; Archimandrite Alexander [Pihach], OCA Representative to the Moscow Patriarchate and Dean of the OCA’s Saint Catherine the Great Martyr Representation Church, Moscow; and others.
Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the OCA delegation will arrive in Moscow on Tuesday, December 2, at which time they will be met by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Alexander; representatives of the Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; and Moscow area clergy.
Patriarch Kirill will concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Alexander and hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple in the Kremlin’s historic 16th century Dormition Cathedral on December 4. Metropolitan Tikhon also will meet with Patriarch Kirill. The itinerary also includes a visit to the Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, where the relics of Saint Sergius of Radonezh and Saint Innocent Veniaminov will be venerated; the celebration of the Vigil and Divine Liturgy on Saturday and Sunday, December 6-7 at Saint Catherine Church; and a dinner hosted by the US Ambassador to Russia, John F. Tefft at Spaso House. A visit to the Canadian Embassy also will be made.
In Saint Petersburg, Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation will be hosted by and meet with His Eminence, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga. They will visit the city’s Saint Isaac and Kazansky Cathedrals, Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra, and the Novodevichy Monastery.
Additional details and photos will be posted as they become available.