Moscow, May 23, 2017
On May 25, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the great consecration of the new Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church in Moscow’s ancient Sretensky Monastery will be celebrated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
The All-Night Vigil will be celebrated in the new church the night before, beginning at 5:00 PM. The meeting of the patriarch and the rite of consecration will take place at 9:00 AM on Thursday morning, followed by the Divine Liturgy for the great feast of the Ascension at 10:00.
By tradition, the first to enter the new church will be those who took part in its creation: builders, architects, engineers, iconographers, stone masons, metalworkers, and other laborers who worked on the erection of the new cathedral for more than three years. All will be given the opportunity to explore the new cathedral following the service.
In an open letter to parishioners of Sretensky Monastery in 2013, abbot Bishop (then Archimandrite) Tikhon (Shevkunov) wrote of the construction project:
The need for a new and spacious church in our monastery is long overdue. No one knows as well as you that frequently the multitude of parishioners does not fit within the one surviving Cathedral of the Meeting [Sretenie] of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God and is forced to listen to a broadcast of the service while standing outside.
Having asked the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, for the design and construction of the church, the Brotherhood of the Sretensky Monastery asked that it be called the Cathedral of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia on the Blood, on Lubyanka, timing its consecration for February 2017. In terms of goals and objectives, the following requirements for the future project were given particular emphasis:
“The church should reflect the idea of the House of God, traditional in Russian ecclesiastical architecture, as well as the struggle and triumph of the Russian New Martyrs’ spiritual victory.” This task was of the greatest importance for the planners.
Speaking of the winning design, Archimandrite Tikhon continued,
The image of the church it presented is unusually luminous and majestic. That the author placed the church on a stylobate (continuous base) visually emphasizes the idea of a memorial.
We were truly pleased that the author of the design was able to find an eschatological image of the Church’s victory, an image of the Heavenly City – the New Jerusalem – at the center of which is the Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the triumph of His victory.
A Presanctified Liturgy was served on the porch outside the cathedral on March 15, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the forced abdication of the Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II from the Russian throne, and the miraculous appearance of the “Reigning” Icon of the Mother of God, which was received by the faithful as a sign that the Mother of God was mystically upon the throne, protecting the Russian people during the many decades of communist atheism which adorned the Church with the New Martyrs and Confessors who are honored with this glorious new church.