He was assisted by Bishop Anthony of Moravici, representative of the Patriarch of Serbia to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Archimandrite Seraphim (Shemyatovsky), representative of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovaki to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, a DECR vice-chairman, and other clergy.
After the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine.
After the liturgy, Bishop Anthony greeted Metropolitan Hilarion and thanked him for the joint prayer and his work and contribution to the strengthening of inter-church relations. “I would also like to thank the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian people for the love and care they have shown for the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church”, he said.
In his response, Metropolitan Hilarion greeted the congregation on the occasion of the commemoration day of their parish’s heavenly patrons, Ss Peter and Paul, and conveyed to them a blessing from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. “The age-old relationships between our Churches continue today in our close cooperation in the inter-Orthodox field including the preparations of a Pan-Orthodox Council and other events. All this testifies to unanimity, love and mutual understanding which define the nature of relations between our two sister Churches”, he said.
Speaking about the memory of Ss Peter and Paul as two great pillars of the Christian Church, Metropolitan Hilarion stressed the different ways in which the Lord brought them to Himself. While St Peter became the head of the apostolic community and suffered martyrdom, St Paul became in essence the creator of Christian theology. As witnesses to the words and deeds of the Saviour, these two apostles not only related and handed them down, but also comprehended them theologically. “They created the foundation on which the entire Christian theology was developed and is developing to this day”.