Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate
The Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate reunited the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Moscow Patriarchate. The accord was signed on May 17th, 2007, which was the Feast of the Ascension of Christ.
The ceremony which officially reestablished the fullness of communion between the Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Patriarch Alexei II, and ROCOR, headed by Metropolitan Laurus, took place at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The two church leaders met on the episcopal cathedra in the center of the church. The Patriarch then read a prayer, which said in part:
As Thou lifted Thy prayers to Thy Heavenly Father for Thy disciples, that they all be as one, gaze now with Thy merciful eyes upon Thy people, who have sinned and disobeyed Thy will, bless now our good intention and the unification of the Church to Thy Glory, create this Thyself, dampen all church temptations and divisions. Having given to us Thy law to love Thee, our God, and our neighbor, deliver us from all insult and disruption, may brotherly love reign among the children of our Church, in the Fatherland and in the diaspora. Grant that we may now enter Thy temple and bring Thy bloodless sacrifice, that we may be unified in one body through communion with Thy Life-creating Body and Thy Honorable Blood and bring praise with all our hearts to Thy ineffable love for mankind.
The two hierarchs then proceeded to the Ambon, where they signed the Act of Canonical Communion. After official statements by both hierarchs, the service continued with the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy by clergy of both churches.
- Act of Canonical Communion text—official English translation (ROCOR Website)
- The Act of Canonical Communion is Signed Article and photos (www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws)
- Photo of signing Metropolitan Laurus (left) and Patriarch Alexei (right)
- Metropolitan Laurus and Patriarch Alexei making commemorations together during the Divine Liturgy