Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Liturgy in Moscow

Maxim Marmur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Here's the story as it appears in today's NY Times:

MOSCOW (AP) -- Church bells pealed as leaders of the Russian Orthodox faith signed a pact Thursday healing a historic, 80-year schism between the church in Russia and an offshoot set up abroad after the Bolshevik Revolution.

After a choir sang hymns, Moscow Patriarch Alexy II, leader of the main Russian Orthodox Church, led the ceremony with a sermon praising the end of the formal division.

''Joy illuminates our hearts,'' Alexy said, addressing worshippers in the vast Christ the Savior Cathedral. ''A historic event awaited for long, long years has occurred. The unity of the Russian church is restored.''

Alexy later signed the reunion agreement with Metropolitan Laurus, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Worshippers wept and incense wafted up into the cathedral's soaring cupola.

Read it all here.