Holy Trinity church at Bellingshausen Station on St George Island in Antarctica. It is a podvorie of the St Sergius-Holy Trinity Lavra of Sergeyev Posad.
Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral of New York and Eastern America, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), will serve Christmas liturgy in Antarctica. “On Christmas Eve, a joint delegation of the MP and the ROCOR will make a special trip to the South Pole”, organisers of the expedition told Interfax-Religion on Friday. On 7 January 2009, Metropolitan Hilarion, together with Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, will serve Christmas liturgy service at Patriots’ Hills (the central inland part of Antarctica). This trip was blessed by Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias and the First Hierarch of the ROCOR. A mobile Orthodox chapel is being erected for this purpose. Members of the Russian Antarctic Expedition, specialists of Tsentrospas (central air-mobile rescue team) of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Agency on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring took part in the organisation and execution of the mission. “The participants are sure that this mission will strengthen the ties between the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church, reinforce the international standing of Russia, and draw the attention of the world community to spiritual values”, a spokesman told Interfax.
Earlier this year, on 7 April, Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka served the liturgy at the North Pole. The clergy used a temporary tent-chapel that was established on top on an ice floe for a few hours. The chapel was blessed in honour of the 12 Holy Apostles to symbolise that the Words of Christ had reached the most extreme boundaries of the earth. The liturgy served at the zero point of the North Pole, at the convergence point of all the meridians, lasted some three hours. The clergy serving wore the usual vestments over their winter jackets and overalls. Five sacraments of the Church were performed during the liturgy on the ice floe. The sacrament of baptism, which also includes the sacrament of chrismation, was performed for one of the participants in the expedition just prior to the beginning of the liturgy proper. Five laymen who were participants in the party, including pilots, scientists, and our Interfax correspondent, confessed and received Holy Communion at the liturgy.
19 December 2008
Woof, woof! Who let the dogs out? Rather, who let the DAWGS out? There are those of us who understand the difference (especially those who hail from the great city of Cleveland). The Interfax translator deserves to be thrown into the Dawg Pound for instant justice. Paragraph two was missing. If it is in the original, retain it in the translation. Another Big Green Weenie for the Interfax weenies. Fie on you!
This Just In:
Interfax gets a DOUBLE Big Green Weenie Award for this one. It looks as though the above story is pure and complete hooey. Fire those incompetents! Say, next time, try phoning Vladyki Hilarion before running a story? It does make good-sense, after all.
Here’s the official word on the situation:
This morning I spoke with Vladika Metropolitan Hilarion at the Diocesan Office here in Sydney. Vladika told me that he is NOT going to the Antartica for Christmas – he will be home here in Sydney (after all he is still Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand – plus our one parish in South Korea and our mission parishes in Indonesia!! He has written to the Russian website which started this rumour and asked that their article be retracted – but to no effect – word is spreading around the net. A pity that he isn’t going really, I was rather looking forward to seeing all the photos from the occasion.
St John the Baptist Skete
Do be more careful Interfax! I wonder if this allows Vladyki Hilarion to take the entire Interfax lot out to the woodshed for a come to Jesus thrashing? Perspiring minds want to know…