Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and all Moldova celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the First Sunday of Great Lent in the Nativity of the Lord Cathedral in the capital of the country.
Concelebrating to the arch-pastor of the Moldovan Church was Bishop Serapion of Zarinsk, Vicar of Barnaul Diocese, archpriest Vadim Cheibas, Metropolitan secretary and Cathedral Dean, and the synaxis of priests and deacons of the Cathedral.
Liturgical responses during the service were provided by the Cathedral Choir directed by Angela Angheni.
The First Sunday of Great Lent celebrates the Triumph of Orthodoxy, a feast instituted at the 7th Oecumenical Council in the 9th c after the restoration of the veneration of icons.
The Church triumphs on the combating of heresies and prays for the returning to the Universal Church of all those who abandoned it by developing false teachings about the person of the Christ, Holy Trinity, Theotokos, Saints, Holy Relics, Icons, and other matter.
This Sunday also commemorates all those who suffered from persecutions for the reason of faith.
The metropolitan especially prayed for arch-pastors, priests, lay Christians who lived during times of persecution, and who did not hesitate to witness their faith even for the fear of death or suffering. Their devotion and sacrifice left a priceless treasure of Orthodoxy to all generations of Christians.
This was a very special Sunday service for deacon Valentin Smoleac, 1995 year graduate of Chisinau Orthodox Seminary. Father Valentin received priesthood ordination.
The following Sunday is dedicated to the memory of Holy Hierarch Gregory Palamas.
Synodal Sector of Institutional Communication and Mass-Media Relations