(mospat.ru) - On 17 September 2013, a solemn ceremony of the consecration of the church complex belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church took place in Moscow, in Trifonovskaya Street.
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians officiated at the consecration. Attending the celebration was His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
At the main gate of the church complex, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill was met by Bishop Ezras (Nersisyan), head of the New Nakhichevan and Russia diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Among the honorary guests of the ceremony were Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, hierarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Russian and Armenian statesmen, representatives of Christian confessions and the Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist communities.
His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II addressed the participants and numerous guests of the celebrations. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill also greeted all those present, saying in particular:
“With a special feeling, I would like to greet the Armenian community in Russia on the occasion of this momentous historical event. We know that in hard times the Armenian community had endured as much suffering as other Christian communities in our country, and the churches erected by the Armenian people in the territory of Russia were often subjected to destruction. Such fate befell the Armenian churches in Moscow and when, much later, the Armenians got an opportunity to gather together for prayer, it was in a small chapel in the Armenian part of the Vagankovskoye Cemetery. We know that the size and appearance of the chapel could not meet the real needs of the Armenian community. And I would like to express my gratitude to You, Your Holiness, and to His Grace Bishop Ezras for the efforts you have made to build a church in Moscow which by its size and splendor would satisfy the needs of the large Armenian community living in the territory of the Russian Federation and in Moscow in particular…
“Our Churches – the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church – have been maintaining fraternal cooperation for centuries. This Christian foundation forms a common platform which helps the Armenian and Russian people to develop their spiritual life… I am deeply convinced that the further development of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, our joint work and projects will foster the spiritual growth of our people and, therefore, contribute to strengthening bonds between our nations – the bonds which are stronger than any political and economic relationships. For we know that there were times when no political or economic relations existed but people lived in peace and respect, treating each other as brothers and sisters. God willing, the spiritual growth of the Russian and Armenian people will contribute, among other things, to strengthening brotherly relations between our nations and countries. I would like to wholeheartedly greet You, Your Holiness, and all those present on the occasion of such remarkable celebration.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Patriarch Kirill, Catholicos Karekin and President Serzh Sargsyan opened a monument symbolizing fraternal relationships between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.