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Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The head of the Metropolitan District celebrated the Liturgy in the main church of Astana

April 7, 2024 – 3rd week of Lent – Worship of the Cross; the great twelfth holiday - the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.цы.

Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great in the main church of the country - the Assumption Cathedral in Astana.

Concelebrating with the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan were: Archbishop Amphilochius of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semipalatinsk, Archbishop Serapion of Kokshetau and Akmola; dean of the Astana church district Archimandrite Sergius (Karamyshev), rector of the church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in the city of Almaty, Archpriest Evgeniy Vorobyov, keymaster of the Assumption Cathedral in the city of Astana, Archpriest Dimitry Baidek, cleric of the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in the city of Astana, Hieromonk Siluan ( Sinegubov), head of the personal secretariat of the Head of the Metropolitan District, Hieromonk Prokhor (Endovitsky), head of the Orthodox youth movement of the Astana deanery, Priest Grigory Kulikov, Priest Sergiy Dianov, Priest Sergius Lubnevsky, head of the administrative secretariat of the Head of the Metropolitan District, Priest Georgy Sidorov; Protodeacon Nikolai Grinkevich, head of the Metropolitan Protocol Service, Protodeacon Roman Golovin, Protodeacon Vladimir Syrovatsky, Deacon Ilya Davydov, Deacon Mikhail Chumakov, Deacon Sergius Slesarchuk, Deacon Kirill Bondar.

On the lectern in the center of the temple lay the Cross worn out the day before - a gift from His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodorus with particles of the Life-Giving Tree of the Cross of the Lord. Next to the Cross of Christ, an ark containing part of the Belt of the Blessed Virgin Mary was installed.

The chants were performed by the cathedral choir under the direction of Olga Varentsova.

In accordance with the liturgical Rules, at the Liturgy, instead of the Trisagion, the hymn was sung: “We bow to Thy Cross, O Master, and glorify Thy holy resurrection.”

There was an apostolic reading from the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews (Chapter 2, verses 11 to 18), revealing the idea of the Incarnation - the Son of God became a true man for the salvation of the entire human race.

The Gospel beginning of the festive Liturgy told about the events of the Annunciation (Gospel of Luke chapter 1, verses 24 to 38) - the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the announcement to Her of the mystery of the Incarnation and the Birth from Her of the Savior of the world, Christ.

After the Cherubic Song, Metropolitan Alexander performed the priestly ordination of Deacon Kirill Bondar, a cleric of the Assumption Cathedral.

According to the Eucharistic canon, instead of the chant “It is worthy to eat,” the hymn of the holiday was sung - the irmos of the 9th song of the Matins canon with a chorus. Translated into Russian, the worthy of the Annunciation sounds like this: “Bear the good news, O earth, great joy; praise, O heavens, the glory of God. Let the animate Ark of God not be touched by the hand of the uninitiated, but the lips of the faithful, without ceasing, chanting the cry of the Angel, may cry out in joy to the Mother of God: “Truly you are above all, O pure Virgin!”

The sermon on the sacramental verse was delivered by Priest Georgy Sidorov.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy, glorification of the holiday and veneration of the Life-Giving Cross took place according to the rite of the Week of Cross Worship.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan congratulated the hierarchs, clergy and believers on the feast of the Annunciation and addressed those present with words of teaching.

After the completion of the service, in accordance with the ancient tradition of the Annunciation, Bishop Metropolitan, clergy, parishioners and children's Sunday school students released birds - white doves - on the porch of the cathedral.

“On today’s Lenten Sunday we venerate the Life-giving Cross of Christ and prayerfully honor the great twelfth feast - the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, which the Church of Christ calls the “principal”, the beginning of our salvation. On this day, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Most Pure Virgin Mary with the good news: “Rejoice, full of grace! The Lord is with You; Blessed are You among women. You have found favor with God; and behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son, and you will call His name Jesus. The Holy Spirit will come upon You, and the power of the Most High will overshadow You; therefore the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:28, 30-31, 35). The good news of the humble Virgin became a triumph for all people, a proclamation of the salvation of mankind - the Son of God, creator of Heaven and earth, becomes the Son of Man. Neither an intercessor nor an angel, but God Himself comes to earth to lead us to Heaven. The Lord cannot save a person without his own ardent desire, without his good will, therefore, in this Gospel event, the humble response of the Most Pure Virgin Mary to the Archangel, Her complete obedience to the Creator, is important. On behalf of herself and on behalf of the entire human race, she answers: “I am the Lord’s servant,; May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38). The answer of the Mother of God is an example to every believer in Her Divine Son, in the Lord and Savior. She dedicated Her life to God, gave up Her will, entrusted Her destiny to Him, accepting with full faith the news that She would be the Mother of the incarnate Messiah-Christ. The power of humility, which we see in the image of the Mother of God, is manifested in devotion to God, in firm trust in His wise Providence, in complete trust in Him as a loving Heavenly Father, who will arrange everything for good and benefit. With such a state of mind, everything that happens in life is left to Divine Providence. Inspired and strengthened by the example and gracious help of the Most Blessed Lady Theotokos, we must clearly hold in our minds and hearts the thought that the Lord will not abandon us with His mercy, will blot out our sins and forgive mistakes, and will grant us peace and prosperity. Like the youths of old thrown into the Babylonian furnace, we pray and believe that “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand” (Dan. 3:17). With all our hearts, let us ask the Mother of God that She lift up our prayers to the Throne of Her Son, for our sake who became incarnate, and suffered, and was buried, and rose again for three days. Invoking the name of the Queen of Heaven, let us make our efforts to become worthy of Her children. With faith and hope let us cry out to the Intercessor of peace: Rejoice, O Gracious One, the Lord is with You, and with You - with us!” From the sermon of Metropolitan Alexander.