Patriarch Kirill serves with Bulgarian hierarch on feast of Theophany

On January 19, the holy feast of Theophany, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and the rite of the great blessing of the waters at the Theophany Cathedral in Moscow.

The Patriarch was concelebrated by a number of Russian hierarchs and clergy as well as a delegation from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, led by His Eminence Metropolitan Cyprian of Stara Zagora.

Archpriest Dmitry Dmitrov and Archpriest Zhivko Zhelev of the Bulgarian Church also served in the Liturgy, and the service was attended by other members of the Bulgarian delegation, which is visiting Moscow in connection with the participation of the Episcopal Choir of the Cathedral of the Stara Zagora Metropolis of the Bulgarianj Church in the 10th Moscow Nativity Festival of Sacred Music.

The Liturgy was sung by the choir of the Theophany Cathedral the choir of the Stara Zagora Bulgarian Cathedral. Special prayers were read for the unity of the Orthodox Church and the preservation of the Church from divisions and schisms.

“I would like to cordially greet Vladyka Metropolitan Cyprian from the fraternal Bulgarian Church, who concelebrated with me together with the clergy,” Pat. Kirill said after the Liturgy.

“I am glad to have the chance to serve the Divine service with him and reassure him that the Russian Orthodox people always preserve faith and brotherly feelings for the Bulgarian Orthodox people in their hearts. May Slavic brotherhood, may special relations between Bulgarians and Russians be preserved for the strengthening of all of Orthodoxy and especially for the strengthening of faith among the Orthodox peoples,” the Russian primate concluded.

Met. Cyprian is the chairman of the Bulgarian Synod’s commission for investigating the Ukrainian issue, which was created in October 2018. The Bulgarian Synod has not made any official statements on the Ukrainian issue and has not publicly responded the invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem for the primates of the Local Churches to gather in Jordan next month.

Met. Cyprian also visited Moscow in February for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of Pat. Kirill as primate of the Russian Church. At that time, he expressed hope that the Ukrainian crisis would be resolved in a canonical way and his conviction that the Church will remain united with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine as its primate.