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On Saturday Akathist, Metropolitan Alexander led the service and celebrated the Liturgy in the Kazan Cathedral of the southern capital

April 20, 2024 – Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos (Saturday Akathist); celebration of the memory of the Council of New Martyrs and Confessors of Akmola.

The synaxarium (statutory liturgical teaching) says: “In honor of all the wondrous miracles of the Purest Mother of God, we celebrate today’s holiday.”

Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the oldest church in the city of Almaty - the Cathedral in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.

Before the start of the service, the Head of the Metropolitan District consecrated the newly created paintings of the Kazan Church of the southern capital.

His Eminence was co-served by: dean of the churches of the southern capital, rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral, mitered Archpriest Valery Zakharov; rector of the Kazan Cathedral of Almaty, Archpriest Sergiy Khmyrov; Head of the Metropolitan's personal secretariat Hieromonk Prokhor (Endovitsky), Head of the administrative secretariat of the Head of the Metropolitan District Priest Georgy Sidorov, Protodeacon Nikolai Grinkevich, Head of the Metropolitan's protocol service Protodeacon Roman Golovin, Protodeacon Vladimir Syrovatsky, Protodeacon Sergiy Kulikov, Deacon Konstantin Volnyagin.

Praying at the Liturgy were: Secretary of the Kazakhstan Metropolitan District, Honored Artist of Russia O.N. Ovchinnikov; Head of the public fund "EMO Foundation" G.G. Sosnovsky, parishioners of the temple.

The men's choir of the Alma-Ata diocese sang under the direction of Abbot Philip (Moiseev).

At the funeral litany, prayers were offered for the ever-memorable builders, donors and beautifiers of the temple, clergy and laity buried at the altar of the Kazan Cathedral.

The sermon on the sacramental verse was delivered by Archpriest Valery Zakharov.

The Liturgy ended with the glorification of the Mother of God, after which the Metropolitan congratulated the worshipers on the celebration in honor of the Queen of Heaven - Saturday Akathist and delivered a sermon.

“Everyone who prays to the Most Blessed Lady becomes familiar with the mystery of Divine providence for the whole world and for each individual person, feels the love of the Lord poured out on the righteous and sinners through the prayers of the Mother of God. “Is anyone involved in the knowledge of God? Through You, All-Holy One! - Exclaims Saint Herman, Patriarch of Constantinople. - Is anyone saved? Through You, Mother of God! Is anyone free from danger? Through You, Virgin Mother! Does anyone have mercy? Through You, God-Blessed One!” The performance of a special service in honor of the Queen of Heaven - the singing of the Akathist to Her - is performed at the end of Great Lent, when through prayer and repentance, good deeds and abstinence we are cleansed from sinful filth. Undoubtedly, the special spiritual mood of these days helps us all to feel in a special way the power of grace that we receive all the days of our lives from the Mother of God and to respond with our hearts to Her love. According to the words of the great teacher of the Church, St. Gregory the Theologian, “just as a cloud covers the radiance of the sun’s rays, so a sinner who does not want to acknowledge his sins and renounce them, blocks for himself the rays of God’s love and the mercy of the Mother of God.” Therefore, we will try to combine all the prayers and praises that we perform on this day in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos with a sincere request for the forgiveness of sins, the correction of life according to the Gospel commandments, and the granting of Christian virtues to us.” From the sermon of Metropolitan Alexander.