Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and seven heads of the Orthodox churches of other countries will visit Belarus to attend the celebrations timed to the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus.
The Belarusian Orthodox Church said that the dignitaries will include Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa Theodore, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, Metropolitan of Warsaw Sawa and Metropolitan of All America and Canada Tikhon, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Minsk Eparchy of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
Attending the celebrations will be members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and members of the Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. All in all, over 80 archbishops are expected to attend the celebrations in Belarus. “We are expecting about 50,000 pilgrims from all eparchies of our Exarchate and from neighboring states,” the Belarusian Orthodox Church noted.
On 29 July a Divine Liturgy will be held in the historic center of Minsk. It will be led by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and the heads of the Orthodox churches of other countries. Thousands of believers are expected to attend the liturgy. A religious procession will walk from the Church of the Patronage of the Mother of God in Kruptsy to the place of the liturgy. After the liturgy the patriarchs will lay a commemorative letter into the foundation of the oldest Orthodox church of the 11th century in Minsk. This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Fire Memorial in Victory Square. Patriarch Kirill is also expected to address believers with a speech at All Saints’ Church in Minsk. The event will conclude with a concert.
The cross on which the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called was crucified will be delivered to Minsk. The relic will be on display in Belarus’ capital from 28 July to 2 August.