Monday, December 31, 2012
Holy Synod approves documents regulating liturgical, administrative and
social activity and establishes new dioceses
On 26 December 2012, the Holy Synod continued its sessions at the
Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow
under the chairmanship of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Approved for reading at the services and for prayers at home were the
texts of the Akathistos hymn to the “Queen of All” icon of the Mother
God and of the Akathistos hymns to St Thomas the Apostle, St Mercurius
of Caesarea the Great Martyr, St Gregory Palamas, St John of Shanghai
and San Francisco, St Geracimus of Jordan, St Simeon the New Theologian,
and St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.
Also approved was the document “On the Russian Orthodox Church’s
Participation in Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts”, recommended to be used
at the parishes and monasteries, as well as at other church
institutions, which take part in the rehabilitation of drug addicts. The
document was drafted by the Inter-Council Presence; church-wide
discussion in dioceses and in the Internet followed. Then the plenary of
the Inter-Council Presence held in Moscow on 22-23 November 2012
submitted the document to the Holy Synod for consideration.
The members of the Holy Synod heard the report presented by the members
of the working group for drafting the provision regulating the award
system of the Russian Orthodox Church and submitted the results of their
work to the Bishops’ Council for consideration at the meeting due to be
held on 2-5 February 2013, and thanked the members of the working group.
The Synod approved the list of the dioceses where retired bishops may
reside (live). The list includes the Kemerovo, Kursk, Moscow region,
Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Saint-Petersburg dioceses.
The Synod established one more day for the commemoration of the Holy and
Right-Believing Prince Peter (David after taking monastic vows) and
Princess Fevronia (Euphrosyne after taking the veil). It will be Sunday
before September 19 (September 6 according to old style) in remembrance
of the transfer of their holy relics in 1992.
The new Makhachkala diocese detached from the Vladikavkaz diocese was
established in the territory of the Republic of Dagestan, Republic of
Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Hegumen Varlaam
(Ponomarev), father superior of the Monastery of the Holy
Transfiguration in Murom, was elected Bishop of Makhachkala and Grozny.
A diocesan bishop of the Vladikavkaz diocese was given the title of
Bishop of Vladikavkaz and Alania.
In the Tambov region, the Tambov metropolia was established which
includes the Michurinsk, Tambov and Uvarovo dioceses. Bishop Feodosy of
Tambov and Rasskazovo was nominated head of the Tambov metropolia.
The Holy Synod took a number of decisions regarding the Russian Orthodox
Church’s institutions abroad. The new parish of the Icon of the Mother
of God “The Life-Bearing Spring” was established in the town of Hévíz,
Budapest and Hungary diocese. The newly established parish of St Michael
the Archangel in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was placed under jurisdiction
of the Russian Orthodox Church.