Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 December 2009

First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva Greeted the Children who came to Visit the Kremlin Christmas tree

Filed under: Christmas,Dmitri Medvedev,popular life and customs,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva (1965- )

First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva gave New Year’s greetings to the children who came from all over the country to see the national Christmas tree in the Kremlin on the coming New Year holidays. “I am very happy to see you in the Kremlin, and I want to give you my warmest greetings for both the coming New Year of 2010 and Christmas. I would also like to convey to you greetings from my husband, President Dmitri Medvedev”, Mrs Medvedeva said Saturday at the opening of New Year’s festivities in the Kremlin. “You came here from every corner of our vast country and you are now in the very heart of it, the Moscow Kremlin. Indeed, many episodes in our history took place here, in the Kremlin. Today, the main Christmas tree of our country is here in the Kremlin and festive decorations from many different regions decorate it. For many, many years, the yolka (Christmas party) during school holiday kindled countless friendships”, she said. Mrs Medvedeva wished the children good health and success in school. “Learn well. I know that every one of you has a talent”, she said, according to RIA-Novosti.

26 December 2009

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2009/12/26/3279778.html

Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev Met with MP Clergy Serving in Asia

Architectural plan drawing for All Saints church in Phuket in Thailand

Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, during his pastoral visit to Thailand, met with clergy assigned to minister in the Asia-Pacific region. Amongst the participants in the meeting were priests from China, Mongolia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, both Russians and indigenes. According to the communications service of the MP Department for External Church Relations, Archbishop Hilarion, as the head of this department, thanked the priests for their labours. He said, “Your service is of particular significance to our Church. This is truly a self-sacrificial missionary endeavour undertaken under difficult conditions, for you face not only a harsh climate, but, also, psychological and spiritual challenges. You live in conditions that are very close to those that typified the lives and service of the apostles”.

In Vladyki Hilarion’s opinion, a priest who leaves his homeland to carry out an obedience requires a special spiritual vigilance and sobriety; he must constantly work on himself. He said that such a priest must constantly rekindle his spiritual zeal, and, above all, remember the centrality of the Divine Liturgy. “All of you must understand that serving the Liturgy is the spiritual wellspring that gives you the strength to serve the Church. During the Liturgy, you offer bread and wine, and they become the Body and Blood of Christ the Saviour. When we pray for this miraculous intervention, we turn to God the Father with the words, ‘Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these Gifts here offered’. Moreover, at our prayer, the Holy Spirit descends not only on the bread and wine, but, on each one of us, replacing the old man with the new, healing our weakness, and giving us His divine grace”, Archbishop Hilarion said.

In addition, he advised them to cultivate spiritual keenness by regularly reading the Holy Scriptures and Holy Fathers. Vladyki Hilarion noted that the Holy Books were always trustworthy. “The Church Fathers shared with us their spiritual experience, they spoke of the trials and temptations through which they passed, and through which we are now passing”, he said.

22 December 2009

Alla Tuchkova

ANN News

http://www.annews.ru/news/detail.php?ID=203854

Ded Moroz will Light the Kremlin Christmas Tree

Poster for New Year‘s festivities in Moscow

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On New Year’s Eve, the all-Russian Ded Moroz will arrive in Moscow to greet the kids in the capital and to light the Kremlin Christmas tree. To meet the Fairytale Wizard, several thousand children will gather on Manezh Square, the Moscow City Administration reported. “Moscow will not leave its dear guests empty-handed, a play, The Student Wizard, will be presented on Manezh Square for the young Muscovites waiting for Dede Moroz. Sources in the mayor’s office told us “the show will begin at 14.00 MSK”. The stars of the presentation will be young wizards who, together with Dede’s assistants, will sing holiday songs, read poetry, dance, and do tricks. During the presentation, a large video monitor shall show a documentary chronicling the New Year’s celebrations 65 years ago in 1945, the year that Russia won the Second Great Patriotic War.

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Of course, on a day when the forces of good arrive, fabulous villains such as huge bugs, deadly germs, and Intrigue also come in an attempt to vex them. These evil forces will try to set up enmity between the young wizards and Ded Moroz, to disrupt the New Year’s celebrations. Furthermore, at the dramatic climax, they will almost succeed, but, just in time, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Governor Vyacheslav Pozgalyov of Vologda oblast will come to assist the children to help the forces of good to expel the minions of evil from the capital. “After the total defeat of the dark forces, Ded Moroz will arrive along with Snegurochka in Manezh Square. They, along with the children, will say the magic words and the Christmas tree will light up”, the city spokesman added. After the tree-lighting ceremony, Dede will go to his Moscow residence in Kuzminki Park. From 27 December, he will receive visitors here and participate in pre-New year performances, according to a report by ITAR-TASS.

26 December 2009

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2009/12/26/3276359.html

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Patriarch Kirill Pleased with His Reform of the Central Church Administration

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias (1946- )

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias expressed his satisfaction with the results of his reform of the Central Church Administration in 2009. On Friday, in Moscow, opening the winter session of the Holy Synod, the Patriarch reminded us that, this year, “we took very important decisions concerning the restructuring of the Central Church Administration and creating new Synodal agencies and departments, which has significantly altered the work flow in all synodal institutions. Furthermore, I must say that the results of these decisions, especially those taken at a meeting of the Synod at the Danilovsky Monastery on 31 March, now fully demonstrate their timeliness and necessity. I feel it every day, as I work in Moscow”, Patriarch Kirill said. In his opinion, “These new institutions have already stimulated good results throughout society, since a number of these agencies work towards facilitating the interaction of the state and public relations with our Church”.

The patriarch noted that the Synod meeting on Friday also intends to consider “the results of changes in the structure of church governance” and to take decisions “concerning improvements to our church life”. Patriarch Kirill also reported that, in 2009, the Synod met six times. Three of them were in the Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow, two in the historical building of the Synod in St Petersburg, and one, in the summer, was in “the Mother of all Russian Cities”, Kiev, at the Kievo-Pecherskago Lavra.

25 December 2009

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=33536

Editor’s Note:

One of the most important results of the 31 March meeting was the complete top-to-bottom reconstruction of the Department of External Church Relations. It had existed in its previous form since the time of Nikodim Rotov in the 60s and 70s. Nikodim had restructured the DECR so it could act as a “first-line of defence” for the Church. That is, everything was subordinated to gaining publicity abroad. This stratagem worked. The Church made no advances in the time of Brezhnev… but, it suffered no great losses either, due, in large part, to the publicity gained by the DECR abroad. It laid the groundwork for the beginning of the rebirth of church life in the 80s.

Today, the Church no longer needs such an autonomous body. Therefore, KMG radically restructured the agency, breaking it into three sections. One portion, under Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, works with the Russian government. Another, under Bishop Mark Golovkov, is really a “shadow DECR”. Hilarion Alfeyev only runs a shell of what the agency was under Kirill’s leadership. Indeed, the head of the DECR had always been a ruling bishop, now, it is only a vicar bishop’s position.

Note well what His Holiness said, “Furthermore, I must say that the results of these decisions, especially those taken at a meeting of the Synod at the Danilovsky Monastery on 31 March, now fully demonstrate their timeliness and necessity”. He is not going to go back on his actions… they are fully to his liking, thank you very much. He even hints that more changes are in the offing… what they are, I truly don’t know. However, KMG had the moxie to take on Hilarion Alfeyev and cut him down to size. I think that JP and Co backed the wrong horse in this one. After all, it WAS announced that the Holy Synod was going to have the topic of the diaspora on its agenda… we shall see, won’t we?

BMD

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