Русский | DECR Communication Service | June 19, 2012
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski

A working visit of Metropolitan Hilarion in China began with Divine Liturgy at the Dormition church in Beijing

On June 18, 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate, arrived in Beijing to attend the second consultation of the Russian-Chinese group of contacts and cooperation in the religious sphere.

On the trip Metropolitan Hilarion was escorted by a member of DECR D.I Petrovsky, subdeacon A.A. Ershov and L.M. Sevastianov, executive director of St. Gregory the Theologian, with the help of whom the trip happened.

At the Beijing airport, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations was met by E.Y. Tomihin, minister-counsellor of the Embassy of Russia in China, A.P. Povalyaev, first secretary of the embassy, Ms. Xiao Hong, deputy director of the Department of International Relations of the State administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) of the P.R.C. and Mr. Hao Zhuyang, deputy head of the first division of the Fourth Department of SARA.

On June 19, 2012, on the feast day of St. Hilarion the New, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Church on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Beijing, where formerly was situated the Russian Spiritual Mission in China.

DECR Chairman was joined by Rev. Alexey Kiselevich rector of the Orthodox community in Shanghai and Rev. Sergiy Voronin, rector of Dormition Church.

The service was attended by members of the international Orthodox community in Beijing. Many of the parishioners partook of Holy Communion.

After the Divine Liturgy, Vladika Hilarion was warmly welcomed by Rev. Sergiy Voronin. He congratulated the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate on this 25th anniversary of taking the monastic vows, expressing the general joy of the audience due to the fact that in this momentous day for himself, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk shared the joy of praying with the Orthodox compatriots in Beijing.

His Eminence Hilarion expressed gratitude for the words of congratulations and addressed the Faithful with brief parting words, noting in particular:

"The fate of people is formed in a mysterious way, but in the life journey of each is visible the Providence of God. When at the end of the XVII century a group of prisoners, Cossacks from Albazin was brought to Beijing, it is unlikely that at the moment they thought of themselves as apostles. But precisely it was their coming here that was the beginning of the Chinese Church, which is alive to this day, even if it is now in straitened circumstances. One feels special connection of times, communication with those who rest in this land having been here as fugitives, but not forgotten their Orthodox Faith. Their descendants, the citizens of China, keep the Faith of their fathers.

And you also keep the Orthodox Faith and remember that the Eucharist is helping people to bear their life crosses. All of you came to Beijing in different ways, and carry the memory of your native land, and hope for return. Prayer in church allows us to keep the memory of the Heavenly Homeland, the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is always the same - in Moscow and in Beijing. Precisely communion connects us in Christ and makes us the citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. We are exiles on earth, but we see ourselves as citizens of the Heavenly City. For the sacrament of Communion unites us with Christ not only spiritually, but in all nature. His Body becomes our body and His Blood becomes our blood. This sacrament perpetrated continuously in human history from the Last Supper, unites us into the Church.

Preserve firmly and strongly the Orthodox Faith, and always partake of the Holy Communion. Remember that the most important thing in life - a relationship with God, Who hears our prayers, helps us in sorrow, connects us to each other and our departed kinsmen. Let us ask the Lord to help us keep the Faith and pass it on to children; let us pray that in Russia and in China the Orthodox Faith would flourish. May God protect you all! "