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Met. Hilarion/ROCOR: "..we have no need of a "renovationist," modernized "Orthodoxy," but ..true, Apostolic Orthodoxy..."

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
      http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2013/20130619_enmhappeal1025.html YORK: June 19, 2013 Appeal by Metropolitan Hilarion on the celebration of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2013

      YORK: June 19, 2013
      Appeal by Metropolitan
      Hilarion on the celebration of the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of
      archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics, and all of the faithful children of
      Eastern American Diocese on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the
      Baptism of Rus’
      in the Lord Right Reverend archpastors, reverend presbyters and deacons,
      God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
      The feast day of the
      enlightener of the Russian people, the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles, Great Prince
      Vladimir (July 15/28), a day dear to the heart of every true son and daughter of
      the Russian Orthodox Church, draws near. The name of St. Vladimir is connected
      to the greatest event in the history of our homeland – the Baptism of Rus’, as a
      result of which our people resurrected unto new life. Thanks to St. Vladimir,
      our ancestors, having thrown off the darkness of paganism and base idolatry,
      adopted the Light of the Christian Faith , and became an Orthodox Christian
      nation. Once more, by the grace of God, We call upon all of you to gather at the
      foot of the Memorial Church to the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus’ for the
      annual St. Vladimir’s Day celebrations. This year’s celebration is very special,
      because we will mark the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ and 75th
      anniversary of the founding of St. Vladimir Memorial Church.
      But why is this needed? It is
      needed so that, at least for a short while, we might tear ourselves away from
      our hectic everyday lives and spend several days in a spiritually enriching
      environment – so that, united in common prayer in church, in instructive
      discussions, and in brotherly interaction, we might feel and acknowledge
      ourselves to be sons and daughters of the great Russian Orthodox people. As
      history attests, a pure and unadulterated Orthodoxy has always been the primary
      and most fundamental treasure of the Russian people, for which they were willing
      to lay down their lives.
      Many of our clergy and
      faithful come from various non-Russian backgrounds, and have whole-heartedly
      embraced the sacred customs and traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church. Let
      us not fall into the temptation of segregating our Diocese into cultural groups,
      because as sons and daughters of the Russian Orthodox Church, we are all
      citizens of Holy Russia. When we speak of Holy Russia, we are not talking about
      the Russian Federation or any civil society on earth; rather, it is a way of
      life that has been passed down to us through the centuries by such great saints
      of the Russian Land as the Holy Great Prince Vladimir and Great Princess Olga,
      Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, Job of Pochaev, Seraphim of Sarov, and more
      recently, the countless New Martyrs and Confessors of the 20th century. These
      saints are our ancestors, and we must look to them for instruction on how to
      bravely confess the Faith, even when facing persecution. There is no achievement
      in simply calling oneself "Russian:" in order to be a genuine Russian, one must
      first become Orthodox and live a life in the Church, as did our forebears, the
      founders of Holy Russia!
      The Russian Church was the
      first to send missionaries to America, and today we must continue their salvific
      work, so that the Light of Christ may continue to shine ever brighter in this
      great American land. The only way that we can become worthy heirs of the Holy
      Hierarchs Tikhon and Innocent of Moscow, Venerable Herman of Alaska, the Holy
      Hierarch John of San Francisco, and other American saints, is to return to our
      roots and draw inspiration from the past. Living in the 21st century, we may
      think that progress only happens when we look forward, consigning the past to
      irrelevance. In the Orthodox Church, this is absolutely and unequivocally false!
      If we truly wish to spread the Orthodox Faith in America, we must look to our
      roots and drink of the pure fountain of Sacred Tradition that is Holy
      Today, America has need not
      just of Russia, but of " Holy Russia ," for it is only this Russia that
      represents true spiritual wealth; we have no need of a "renovationist,"
      modernized "Orthodoxy," but of the true, Apostolic Orthodoxy, the Faith of the
      Fathers: the Orthodoxy lived by the Holy Church for almost two thousand years,
      and which that great cloud of witnesses, "All the Saints who Shone Forth in the
      Russian Land," connects to the ancient Christian martyrs, monastics, hierarchs,
      and other God-pleasers. This pure, unadulterated, incorrupt Orthodoxy is dear to
      us as the one true and salvific Faith, which guides us to eternal life; and
      Russia is necessary to us and dear to our hearts as a firm bulwark of the true
      Faith on earth.
      The annual St. Vladimir’s Day
      celebrations in Jackson are a time for our Diocese to come together and proclaim
      to America and the rest of the world that we are Orthodox Christians and that,
      indeed, "God is with us!" In the past, the faithful were united in their prayers
      for the salvation of Holy Russia, and monuments, such as St. Vladimir Memorial
      Church, bear witness to the testament and resolve of our ancestors. Now that
      communism has collapsed and Holy Russia is rising from the ashes, we must
      reanalyze the role of the Russian Church Abroad and the purpose of our
      traditional pilgrimages and celebrations. Today, when the Orthodox jurisdictions
      in America have restored canonical ties with one another, we must thank God for
      this newfound unity, while at the same time being mindful of the fact that many
      people are looking toward the Russian Church for an example of spirituality,
      piety, and unity. The purpose of this year’s St. Vladimir’s Day celebrations is
      to provide that example to America!
      We appeal to all of our
      clergy and faithful to make every effort to participate in the festive services
      at St. Vladimir Memorial Church on July 27-28. We are expecting the arrival of
      three miraculous icons of the Mother of God – the Kursk Root Icon, Protectress
      of the Russian Diaspora; the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon; and the
      Pochaev Icon from Jordanville. The services will be bilingual, with the
      participation of five hierarchs and many clergy. His Eminence, Metropolitan
      Onouphry of Chernovtsy & Bukovina, will participate in the divine services
      as a representative of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, while His
      Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, will represent His Holiness,
      Patriarch Kyrill. Upon completion of the Divine Liturgy, a grand procession will
      be held around the church property, followed by the blessing of the waters and a
      new monument to Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky), and
      Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla). Several days prior to the celebration, on the
      feast of St. Olga (July 23-24), we will perform the Great Consecration of the
      lower church at St. Vladimir’s in honor of the Great Princess Olga. On Friday,
      July 26th, the celebrations will begin with St. Vladimir’s Ball, which will be
      held in the Rodina Russian House in Howell, NJ.
      Years ago, parishes in the
      New York and New Jersey area would cancel services on St. Vladimir’s Day and
      meet in Jackson. Each parish would bring their choir, banners, and parish icon
      to use in the grand procession. We understand that it is difficult today for us
      to make this kind of commitment, but we nonetheless appeal to all of you in the
      hope that you will be able to attend. This feast is not just for the parishes in
      New York and New Jersey; rather, it is an all-diocesan celebration , and all of
      our clergy and faithful are invited to attend. Let us make haste to Jackson and
      mark the monumental 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus and the 75th
      Anniversary of the Founding of our Memorial Church, in a manner worthy of the
      historic millennial path that has led our ancestors to the shores of this nation
      with a sincere desire to spread the Orthodox Faith!
      May our All-Merciful Lord,
      through the prayers of His saint, the Great Prince Vladimir, help fortify us in
      His salvific commandments!
      With love in Christ,
      Metropolitan of Eastern America
      & New York
      First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of

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