On November 20, 2019, His Grace Bishop Mathew of Sourozh concelebrated at the Divine Liturgy with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. On this day, His Holiness turned 73 years old.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church's monastic tonsure and ordination to the holy order. On April 3, 1969, Vladimir Gundyaev, student of the Leningrad Theological Academy, was tonsured a monk with the name of Kirill by Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad and Novgorod. On April 7 he was ordained a hierodeacon, and on June 1 of the same year, he was ordained a hieromonk.
His Holiness was co-served by permanent members of the Holy Synod, the synaxis of Bishops and clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Local Orthodox Churches.
High ranking State officials were present at the service.
Liturgical chants were sung by the Patriarchal choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (Choirmaster I.B. Tolkachev) and the choir of the Sretensky Stavropegial monastery (Choirmaster N.S. Zhila).
TV channels “Soyuz” and “Spas” broadcast live the Patriarchal service.
At the small entrance, by decree of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and based on the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church of October 29, 2019 (journal No. 132), Bishop Dionisiy of Voskresenk, in connection with his appointment as Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
A sermon before the Holy Communion was delivered by Archbishop Amvrosiy of Vereya, abbot of the Sretensky Stavropegial monastery.
At the end of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomna announced the congratulatory address of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and handed to the Holy Vladyka a paraman and a bouquet of white roses. His Holiness the Patriarch was also congratulated by the representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Central Federal District, I.O. Schegolev. Following the after communion verse, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh warmly welcomed the Holy Patriarch and, on behalf of the clergy and lay people of the Sourozh Diocese, presented to him an image of the Smolensk Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God.
Then the Primate of the Russian Church addressed those gathered in the church with a sermon.
After the divine service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, a reception was held in honor of His Holiness’ birthday.
During his visit, His Grace Vladyka Matthew was accompanied by Priest Dimitry Nedostupenko, Secretary of the Sourozh Diocese, and N.V. Trubnikov, his personal Secretary .