The Russian Church Abroad has yet to schedule centennial celebrations and pilgrimages as COVID-19 eases: First Hierarch

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has yet to decide on schedule of celebrations of its 100-year anniversary and pilgrimages of its major relic, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God even as the COVID-19 pandemic eases, according to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), its First Hierarch, said after a meeting of the Synod of Bishops held on December 8, 2020.

We had the usual type of meeting, about our Holy Land monasteries and properties, about the financial report of the Synod, and very difficult situation of our parishes in South America, Vladyka Hilarion said.

This year, we planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian emigration of 1920, but because of COVID-19 we had to put it off for next year, and various events and celebrations have been postponed. Our plan was to go to Serbia to celebrate the 100th anniversary there, but we are not certain about that. COVID-19 has induced us to avoid risk. So, we just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, we have been celebrating locally. At the end of the year, we will have a St Herman of Alaska Youth Conference on Zoom. On December 25, the Synod will celebrate Divine Liturgy, so our youth could watch and participate it through the internet.

Currently, we are not discussing any plans for the Kursk Icon to visit other countries, including Russia. However, certainly, once there is no danger to the health of people who come to church and in such large crowds that always gather in Russia to venerate the icon, we will resume these pilgrimages.

In the meantime, many parishes here in the United States that rarely got to see the icon or never saw it were visited by the icon. There are always ways that the icon can visit the faithful.

Dmitry Zlodorev



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