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On the eve of the Week of Worship of the Cross and the Feast of the Annunciation, Metropolitan Alexander performed an all-night vigil with the rite of removing the Cross in the main church of the capital of the Republic

On April 6, 2024, on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross Sunday of Great Lent, Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan performed an all-night vigil with the rite of removing the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord in the Assumption Cathedral of Astana.

The Head of the Metropolitan District was co-served by: the dean of the parishes of the capital, Archimandrite Sergius (Karamyshev), the rector of the church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in the city of Alma-Ata, Archpriest Evgeny Vorobyov, the head of the personal secretariat of the Metropolitan, Hieromonk Prokhor (Endovitsky), the head of the administrative secretariat of the Head of the Metropolitan District Priest Georgy Sidorov, clergy of the churches of the capital's deanery; The diaconal rank was headed by Protodeacon Nikolai Grinkevich.

Archbishop Amphilochius of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semipalatinsk prayed at the all-night vigil.

At the beginning of the service, the great shrines of Orthodoxy were brought to the main church of the capital of the Republic - the Cross - a gift from His Beatitude Patriarch Diodorus of Jerusalem with particles of the Life-Giving Tree of the Cross of the Lord and an ark with part of the Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The chants were performed by the choir of the main temple of Astana under the direction of Olga Varentsova.

This year, the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary coincides with the week of the Worship of the Cross, so the service has a number of features.

At Great Vespers, according to the Church Charter, a lithiya (intensified prayer) was performed with the consecration of bread, wine, wheat and oil.

At Matins, according to the polyeleos, a special magnification was sung to the Queen of Heaven: “The Archangel’s voice cries out to You, O Pure One: Rejoice, O Gracious One, the Lord is with Thee.” Instead of the repentant chants of the Triodion (“Open the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life...”), the stichera of the holiday was sung.

After reading the Gospel Conception, Metropolitan Alexander addressed the parishioners with an archpastoral sermon about the essence of the Feast of the Annunciation, which became the “chief of salvation” - the beginning of the deliverance of the human race from sin, curse and death.

At Matins, after the great doxology during the singing of the Trisagion, Metropolitan Alexander carried the Cross of the Lord from the altar, after which the clergy and believers, while singing the verse “We bow to Thy Cross, O Master,” bowed to the Life-Giving Tree.

During the performance of the cross veneration stichera, the Head of the Metropolitan District anointed the believers venerating the Life-Giving Cross and the icon of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with blessed oil.

The canon of the holiday, compiled in the 8th century by Saint Theophan, Metropolitan of Nicea, is dedicated to explaining the Archangel's greeting to the Ever-Virgin and Her response to the gospel; it is composed in the form of a dialogue between the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel and has special refrains: “The angel cried” - “The Virgin Mary spoke.”

On the very feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, April 7, Metropolitan Alexander will lead the Divine Liturgy in the Assumption Cathedral in Astana. Starts at 9:30.

At the end of the service, according to ancient custom, the archpastor and believers will release doves into the sky.