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On 27 January 2015, the Apodosis of the Theophany, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (CMI), celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist of the Patriarchal Metochion of the Wonder-workers of Chernigov. 

The archpastor was assisted by Archpriest Vladimir Shmaliy and Hieromonk Ioann (Kopeikin), CMI pro-rectors, Rev Mikhail Zheltov, CMI Chair of Church Practices, Rev. Dimitry Safonov, deputy head of the CMI Chair of External Church Relations, Archimandrite Isaac (Boyadzhiysky), Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Rev. George Zavershinsky, dean of the Diocese of Sourozh parishes in Scotland and North Ireland, and clergy of the church. 

Among the worshippers were staff members of the CMI, Ms Ye. Genieva, general director of the Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature, Mr. L. Sevastyanov, executive director of the St. Gregory the Theologian Foundation, as well as professors and students of the CMI.

The liturgical music was performed by the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Russia’s Honoured Artist A. Puzakov. 

The sermon was delivered by the Rev. Mikhail Zheltov. 

After the liturgy, Metropolitan addressed the congregation, pointing out that the service was celebrated in the part of the church opened after many years of restoration and painting by wonderful iconographers. He spoke about the meaning of the feast of Theophany and the spiritual renewal that was brought to the earth by our Lord Jesus Christ. 

He also described the service as a significant event in the life of the CMI, saying, ‘Much has been done in these years. It is difficult today to recognize Chernigovsky Lane compared to what it was only a couple years ago. The external restoration of the both churches – the church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist and the church of the Holy Martyrs Michael and Theodore of Chernigov – is nearly completed. Still there is much work ahead for the interior decoration of the two churches… But today’s event is special because today our theological institute finds a place for prayer, its own church, the place where the Divine Liturgy has been and will be celebrated, while the very appearance of the church will remind us of the way that Christianity has covered for two thousand years of its existence’. 

Metropolitan Hilarion thanked the iconographers’ team who painted the quadrangle, all the benefactors who contributed to the restoration work, in the first place the Lukoil charity and all the faculty and students of the Institute, expressing the wish that they all may feel members of one team fulfilling together a God’s task. 

CMI Press Service