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On 24 May 2018, the commemoration day of Ss Cyril and Methodius Equal-to-the-Apostles and Teachers of the Slavs, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Celebrated on this day are the Day of Slavonic Literature and Culture and the Nameday of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.

Concelebrating with Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Irinej were Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan, the assembly of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church including twenty-five metropolitans, as well as representatives of the seven Local Orthodox Churches, abbots of the monasteries and Moscow priests.

Among those praying at the service were Metropolitan Nifon, representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; hegumenesses of the Russian Orthodox convents; Orthodox pilgrims and Muscovites.

The Patriarchal choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the choir of the brethren of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius sang during the service which was broadcast live by ‘Soyuz’ and ‘Spas’ TV channels.

Exclamations and petitions at the Liturgy were said in the Church Slavonic, Greek, Serbian and Japanese languages.

Petitions for His Holiness Patriarch Kirill who celebrated his Nameday were said at the Litany of Fervent Supplication. Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna said a thanksgiving prayer.

After a prayer for peace in Ukraine offered up the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Juvenaly read out the congratulatory address of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill delivered his primatial homily. Addressing His Holiness Patriarch Irinej he expressed his joy over concelebration on the commemoration day of Ss Cyril and Methodius and added: ‘We, as Patriarchs, are called to continue their mission with support of our brother bishops, priests and all the faithful. I wish You God’s aid and blessings to the Serbian people. May the Lord keep our nations in people, love and the unity of mind. May the Lord grant You many and good years of life.”

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill cordially greeted Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan, saying: “The Japanese Autonomous Church, a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, has come into being thanks to the Russian ecclesiastical mission in Japan. Now the Japanese Church has Japanese bishops and clergy and celebrates in the Japanese language. It makes me happy. Dear brothers and sisters, if you come to Japan and enter an Orthodox church there, you will feel at home… “

In conclusion His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said: “May the Lord keep us and help us in our labours. I cordially thank all those who congratulated me today, those who offered up prayers to the Lord and those who my everydays care for the Russian Orthodox Church.  Holiday greetings!”