Antiochian Delegation Receives Relics of St. Tikhon of Moscow from Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia


View a photo gallery, courtesy of Fr. Thomas Zain and the Photographer for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

View video of the Dormition Liturgy

From August 13-27, 2013, His Grace Bishop Nicholas and Vicar-General Fr. Thomas Zain led a group of 22 pilgrims from throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese (along with two from Damascus) on a two week pilgrimage of Russia. After the majority of the group returned home on August 27th, Bishop Nicholas, Fr. Thomas, Fr. Mousa Haddad from St. Mary Church in Palos Heights, IL and Bishop Nicholas' mother, Nadia Ozone, remained until August 30 to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 28 (old style) with His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

The Divine Liturgy took place in the main historical Cathedral for all Russia, the Dormition Cathedral inside the Kremlin walls. It was in this Cathedral that the Patriarchs and Metropolitans of Russia were enthroned and Czars were crowned prior to the dark years of Soviet rule. Thanks to the efforts of our Antiochian representative in Moscow, His Eminence Archbishop Niphon, the delegation was invited to participate in the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with His Holiness.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, before a packed cathedral, His Holiness presented a reliquary containing relics, a piece of the coffin and a portion of the vestment of St. Tikhon of Moscow as a gift to Metropolitan Philip for our mother Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn. It was St. Tikhon, during his tenure in the United States, that consecrated the first St. Nicholas Cathedral on Pacific Street in Brooklyn in 1902. It was also St. Tikhon who consecrated St. Raphael as a bishop before returning to Russia to become the first Patriarch since the time of Peter the Great.

The faithful wait for the arrival of the PatriarchThe faithful wait for the arrival of the Patriarch The Procession around the Cathedral at the end of the Divine LiturgyThe Procession around the Cathedral at the end of the Divine Liturgy
Patriarch Kirill presenting the reliquary to Bishop Nicholas as Archbishop Niphon translatesPatriarch Kirill presenting the reliquary to Bishop Nicholas as Archbishop Niphon translates L-R: Hieromonk Stephan (from the Dept. of External Relations), Archbp. Niphon, Fr. Thomas Zain, Bp. Nicholas, Fr. Mousa HaddadL-R: Hieromonk Stephan (from the Dept. of External Relations), Archbp. Niphon, Fr. Thomas Zain, Bp. Nicholas, Fr. Mousa Haddad
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus'His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus' St. Tikhon of Moscow with St. Raphael of Brooklyn: Holding the first St. Nicholas Cathedral as St. Nicholas holds the present Cathedral in his hands at the top of the icon.St. Tikhon of Moscow with St. Raphael of Brooklyn: Holding the first St. Nicholas Cathedral as St. Nicholas holds the present Cathedral in his hands at the top of the icon.

View more photos of the Dormition Liturgy and the Presentation of the relics of St. Tikhon