With blessing from His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, just before the Orthodox Easter, on April 15 2017 the delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called will deliver the Holy Fire from the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem to Moscow for the Patriarchal Easter Service held at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The delegation will be headed by Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, and the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church Bishop Hirenarchus of Krasnogorsk, curate of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
As usual, the delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called will include public and state figures, the clergy, artists, journalists and businessmen. It’s 100 people altogether. The delegation includes the following people: Olga Yepifanova, Deputy Chairperson of State Duma; deputies of State Duma of the RF Anatoly Aksakov and Oleg Nikolayev; Maria Zakharova, Director of Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Vladimir Uyba, Head of the Russian Federal Medical and Biological Agency; Rector of the Moscow Conservatory Alexander Sokolov; Sergey Shumakov, editor-in-chief of “Culture” channel; Alexey Baindurashvilly, Director of the Federal State Institution “The Turner Scientific and Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics”; actor Andrey Merzlikin and a lot more.
The delivery of the Holy Fire to the Russian Orthodox Church is carried out as part of the programme of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called “Pray for Peace for Jerusalem”. This annual peace-making programme has been implemented since 2003. The prayer about peace in the Holy Land is an essential element of the initiative. The delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called together with Patriarch of Jerusalem are praying about peace in the Holy Land. The prayer about peace in the Holy Land is also being said in churches of the Russian Orthodox Church.
For almost a thousand years pilgrims from Russia, those of different origin and social background, have been aspiring to visit the sacred places. The Holy Land preserves the vivid signs of events which are very significant for Christianity and other confessions. People try to visit it as no other place on the planet. But today the Land is desecrated by violence and terror. Russian pilgrims from the Foundation’s delegation go on the pilgrim tour in order to pray about peace in the Holy Land and to bring the Holy Fire to Russia.
On April 15, on Holy Saturday, members of the delegation will take part in the litany of the Holy Fire held at the Church of the Resurrection. Millions of viewers of “NTV” channel and the audience of “Radio of Russia” in Russia and near and far-abroad countries will also have a chance to see and hear the unique service held in the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem. The Holy Fire will be delivered by the dedicated flight to Moscow just before the Easter Patriarchal Service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and will be handed to His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.
As usual, hundreds of believers are waiting for the delegation at Vnukovo airport. Later they will bring the Holy Fire to churches of Moscow, the Moscow region and other regions of Russia. The meeting with the delegation will take place on April 15 at 22.30 at Vnukovo airport, terminal A.
During the Holy Week people can get a piece of the Fire at the office of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called: 42, Pokrovka St., b.5-5a (from 9.00 to 18.00). People who wish to obtain the Holy Fire should bring their own lamps.
Every year the Holy Fire is delivered to thousands of churches of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and near and far-abroad countries. In 2017 the Holy Fire is expected to be delivered to Arkhangelsk, Baku, Barnaul, Belgorod, to Vallam, Verona, Volgograd, Voronezh, Vladivostok, Grozny, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Kostroma, Krasnoyarsk, Kurgan, Kursk, London, Makhachkala, Munich, Lipetsk, Magadan, Magas, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Orel, Orenburg, Perm, Prague, Pskov, Riga, Rostov-on-Don, Ryazan, Samara, Saint-Petersburg, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Saratov, Smolensk, Syktyvkar, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Stavropol, Tallinn, Tambov, Tula, Ulyanovsk, Chita, Cheboksary, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Yaroslavl and other towns.
The programme is implemented with support from Endowment Fund “ISTOKI”.