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Orthodox Christian Missions

40th Anniversary of Autonomy for Orthodox Church of Japan

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There are five relevant press releases from the Russian Orthodox Church’s DECR website, of which I will post two, with links to the others. There are also a lot more pictures if you click the links.

40th anniversary of autonomous status of the Orthodox Church of Japan is celebrated in Osaka

On 10 October 2010, the 40th anniversary of canonization of St. Nicholas of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles, and the granting of the autonomous status to the Orthodox Church of Japan by the Russian Orthodox Church were celebrated at the Church of the Intercession in Osaka, Japan.

His Eminence Daniel, Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan, officiated at the celebration. Taking part bin the celebration, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, was a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR). The delegation consisted of Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, abbot of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius; the DECR deputy chairman archpriest Nikolai Balashov; DECR staff members hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin), L. Sevastianov and S. Petrovsky; and clerics and laymen of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, Bishop Seraphim of Sendai, and many clergymen celebrated the Divine Liturgy, after which Metropolitan Daniel warmly greeted Metropolitan Hilarion and his suite. Metropolitan Hilarion read out the message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the canonization of St. Nicholas of Japan and the autonomous status of the Orthodox Church of Japan and presented an icon of the Mother of God to the Church of the Intercession, and a panagia to the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Japan. A festive reception followed.

That same day Metropolitan Daniel gave dinner in honour of the DECR chairman and members of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation.

Thanksgiving to St Nicholas of Japan celebrated in Kyoto to mark 40th anniversary of his canonization


On October 11, 2010, a solemn thanksgiving to St Nicholas of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles, was held at the Church of the Annunciation in Kyoto, Japan. It was led by Metropolitan Daniel of All Japan.

Among the worshippers was an official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, who came to Japan with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for the celebrations devoted to the 40th anniversary of St Nicholas’s canonization and the 40th of the autonomy of the Japanese Orthodox Church. The delegation is led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations. It includes Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posav, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, and others. Taking part in the common prayer were also Bishop Seraphim of Sendai and Archpriest Ioann Nagaya of the Russian Orthodox Church Representation in Tokyo.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation was built during St Nicholas’s lifetime. It is the only church in Japan to preserve an altar consecrated by the saint himself. To this day, there is the Holy Gospel lying on the altar, which was given to the parish by St John of Kronstadt and inscribed by St. Nicholas.

After the service, the Primate of the Japanese Orthodox Church greeted the high delegation. He reminded the congregation that 11 years ago, the late Patriarch Alexy II, during his visit to Japan, visited Kyoto and celebrated a thanksgiving at the Church of the Annunciation, which has been the center of the Western Diocese of the Japanese Orthodox Church for many years.

Metropolitan Hilarion, in his response, stressed that Orthodox faith was not a product of some foreign influence. On the contrary, this faith became the flesh and blood of today’s Orthodox Japanese. ‘You have adopted the Orthodox faith from your ancestors, who received witness to the Christian truth from St. Nicholas, have preserved it and handed over to you’, he said.

‘The Orthodox liturgy is celebrated throughout Japan today in the mother tongue of the faithful, and thousands of people come to salvation thanks to the Orthodox faith’, he added. His Eminence also called the congregation to continue preserving and multiplying the fruits of the gospel’s preaching of St Nicholas Equal-to-the-Apostles, saying, ‘Preserve the Orthodox faith, hand it over to your children and grandchildren because it is the faith which opens to people the true meaning of life’.

Metropolitan Hilarion begins his visit to Japan
Metropolitan Hilarion officiates at Divine Liturgy celebrated at Metochion of the Russian Orthodox Church in Tokyo
Festive reception in honour of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation is held at the Russian Federation Embassy in Tokyo

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Written by Stephen

October 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Asia, Japan

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