“It was a great honor that the Orthodox Church in America was able to be present for this feast and a personal honor for me to concelebrate the feast with His All-Holiness,” said Father Alexander, who served at the festal Divine Liturgy with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople, the Grand Archimandrite Bessarion, the patriarchal deacons and others. “Representatives of other churches were in attendance, as was a delegation from the Roman Catholic Church headed by His Eminence, Kurt Cardinal Koch and His Eminence, Reinhard Cardinal Marx.”
Father Alexander conveyed to His All-Holiness the personal greetings of Metropolitan Tikhon and expressed gratitude for his gracious invitation, the text of which appears below.
Greeting of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
The Feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called
November 29, 2015 No. 11/013
His All Holiness Bartholomew
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
Your All-Holiness, Esteemed and Beloved Concelebrant in the Holy Mysteries:
We greet Your All-Holiness with much joy on the Feast of All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First-Called, whose heart was enlightened with the perfect brightness of the divinity of Christ. As the thronal celebration of the See of Constantinople, this feast brings us to mindfulness of the service of Your All-Holiness as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. The same light of Christ that enlightened the Holy Apostle Andrew illumines Your All-Holiness in Your apostolic mission and patriarchal ministry.
As the Apostle Andrew caught men with the net of his preaching and delivered all nations from the depths of error, so we pray that the See of Constantinople under Your guidance will continue his great and laudable apostolic work for the benefit of all the Holy Orthodox churches and for the well-being of all humanity.
We are grateful for the invitation to have Archpriest Alexander Rentel represent us for the liturgical services on this great feast and to share with Your All-Holiness our sincere best wishes for a grace-filled celebration.
With heartfelt brotherly love and care, I remain,
† Metropolitan Tikhon
Orthodox Church in America