First Orthodox liturgy conducted at North Pole
North Pole (Camp Barneo), April 6, Interfax - The first Orthodox Church service has been conducted at the North Pole, 90 degrees north of Greenwich.
The service was performed by Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, two priests and a deacon of the Kamchatka diocese in a tent, put up on an ice floe specially for the occasion for a few hours, an Interfax-Religion correspondent reported. The tent, large enough to accommodate 15 worshipers, was sanctified by Archbishop Ignaty in honor of the Twelve Apostles, "as a sign, that the teachings of Jesus Christ have reached the Earth's extreme boundaries."
"We chanted the prokimenon - a psalm dedicated to the Apostolic service," a priest said. The temperature dropped to 25 degrees below zero when the Orthodox expedition arrived at the North Pole. The church service lasted for about three hours, with priests wearing white robes over their polar outfit. The psalm was chanted in the ancient Russian tradition. Five Orthodox sacraments were performed during the service. Mayor of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Vladislav Skvortsov was baptized and anointed with chrism, becoming the first man ever to have been baptized at the North Pole. The sacrament was performed by Archbishop Ignaty.