Athonite monks celebrate Divine Liturgy in Antarctica for first time, erect memorial cross

Athonite monks celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the eastern side of the continent of Antarctica for the first time ever on January 30, reports The Union of Orthodox Journalists. Footage of the monks’ visit was shot, and a video has been posted on the YouTube channel of the Information Portal of Holy Mt. Athos.

The monks celebrated the Divine Liturgy on January 30, the commemoration day of St. Anthony the Great, the father of Orthodox monasticism. Along with several polar researchers, the monks also erected a memorial cross on the southern-most inhabited point on the planet—on the rocky base of the Antarctic Schirmacher Oasis. The video includes footage of the blessing of the cross.

The Church of the Holy Trinity, a podvoriye of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, has stood on the western side of the continent for 10 years already, but this was the first time the Divine Liturgy was celebrated on the eastern side, the video notes. The members of the local polar expedition hope to see an Orthodox church on that spot one day.

The Liturgy was celebrated and the cross was erected with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and of the Most Reverend Archbishop Kallistrat of Gorno-Altaysk and Chemalsky.

The film, “Antarctica,” features monastic chanting and footage of the vast expanses of the “mysterious sixth continent,” telling about its parallels with the Holy Mountain—that the huge, largely unpopulated territory allows for striking silence, conducive to spiritual contemplation, and that women rarely stay on Antarctica in the winter.Светогорски монаси су одслужили Божанску Литургију на источној страни континента Антарктика први пут 30. јануара 2016. године, јавља The Union of Orthodox Journalists.