Voices from Russia

Saturday, 18 July 2015

MP Holy Synod Established a day of Special Prayers for God’s Creation

00 Vlad Sokolovsky. A Little Waterfall in Podkarpatskaya Krai. 2015

A Little Waterfall in Podkarpatskaya Krai

Vlad Sokolovsky

2015

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The MP Holy Synod meeting on 13 July 2015 in St Petersburg (zhurnal nr 41 ) set aside a special day of prayer for God’s Creation. The members of the Synod approved the Synodal Commission of Liturgical Rites text of a Molieben for the Preservation of God’s Creation, which all parishes should serve on the first Sunday of September. The Synod also moved that archpastors and pastors should devote their sermon on the first Sunday of September to the care of God’s Creation.

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The Russian Orthodox Church takes special care to preach that mankind should relate to God’s Creation… the world around them. At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, this led to the creation of a number of church documents stating the Church’s position on environmental issues. In particular, the Archpastoral Council in 1997 raised the topic of ecology, developing it in the document Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopted by the Jubilee Archpastoral Council in 2000. In 2008, we raised this issue in the document Basic Teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church on Human Dignity, Freedom, and Human Rights. In the same year, a meeting of the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches in Turkey resulted in a final document in Message of the First Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches, which highlighted the topic of ecology. In this document, in particular, it stated, “In this regard, we reaffirm the previously set [by the EP] day of special prayers for the Protection of God’s Creation on 1 September at the beginning of the Church Year. We support the introduction of the topic of environmental protection in catechesis, preaching, and pastoral work of our Churches, as is already happening in a number of them”.

Keeping our commitment to all-Orthodox decisions, the Archpastoral Council in 2013 adopted a working document The Position of the Russian Orthodox Church on Important Environmental Issues. This document stimulated activity by clergy and laity in environmentalism. In its meetings of 17 February, and from 25 June 2015, the Supreme Church Council proposed a public environmental organisation with the Synodal Department for Church and Society, to develop the intentions expressed by the 2013 Archpastoral Council document. In particular, it proposed to establish a special day of prayer for God’s Creation. As regards the decision of the meeting of the First Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches in 2008, on the date of 1 September, the canonical Russian Orthodox Church marks the beginning of the school year in church and secular schools, with special moliebens for students, so, the conflation of these two significant themes wasn’t thought appropriate. We also noted that there are substantially more people at services on Sunday, so, such a commemoration and molieben would have a wider resonance. In this regard, we proposed to establish a special day of prayer for God’s Creation of the first Sunday of September.

14 July 2015

Patriarchia.ru

Official MP website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4158902.html

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