Alexander Nevsky church consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
Our convent has been waiting for this day for almost 20 years. Its heart, its main church named in honor of Saint Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky has been consecrated. On the 19th of May, the day of Holy Myrrh-Bearers, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill performed a solemn act of consecration. It took several years to renovate the grand church. About three thousand people participated in this process: architects, icon-painters, benefactors, and, lastly, our congregation who heartily prayed that the church regenerated its grandeur. “We could not tell whether we were on earth or in heaven. All we know is that God indwells there with people”, once said the ambassadors of Russian Prince Vladimir after they had visited Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. When architects and icon-painters worked on the renovation of St. Alexander Nevsky Church they took examples by the highest ancient standards including Church of the Holy Wisdom, Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora and others. The aim was to build a splendid church where people could feel like heaven, where they could feel that God indwells here. Our Ural architects Dolgov A.V., Goloborodsky M.V., and Rudnev V.G. have done their utmost to achieve it. The painting concept was developed by the sisters of the convent’s icon workshop under the guidance of the spiritual father schema-archimandrite Avraam whose efforts made it possible to renovate the church.
And this long-awaited moment has come. People started to gather in the convent from the early morning, many of them approached the beloved church with tears of joy in their eyes for not only the sisters and the priests of the convent were longing for the opening of the church but also lots of residents, all the city. Thousands of people came to the celebration to offer their prayers in the newly consecrated church together with the Patriarch, their Archpastor and Father. His Holiness Kirill consecrated the renewed church and performed the Divine Liturgy after which His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill welcomed His Holiness Patriarch. He expressed sincere pleasure on behalf of the whole Ural congregation to behold His Holiness here in the Urals again and pointed out that “St. Alexander Nevsky Church renewed by the Ural toilers is the evidence of love and warmth of the people living here, love to Our Father and our Motherland”. On behalf of the whole convent igumenija Domnika said the following words of welcome, “Everybody of us, both the sisters and the congregation were looking forward to your visit. And today we are excited as children who have seen their father! You have given us the joy to pray with You. You have consecrated our main church which we will enter with a special feeling. One holly father compares a church with the ladder, which once was seen by Enoch Jacob. Angels of God ascended and descended it, with God standing at its top. Having seen it Jacob said reverently that God really was there and this place was the House of God and the Heavenly Doors. Today we, too, can feel both awe and joy. With your blessing the invisible ladder has been established here. Its head reaches the heavens; the Angel of God descends it to live near the Holy See forever, the Lord Himself is truly here. And everybody of us can feel that our church is a House of God and the Heavenly Doors”. As a token of love and gratitude igumenija Domnika presented to His Holiness an icon of St. Alexander Nevsky which had been embroidered by the sisters.
In reply His Holiness Patriarch thanked Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill, igumenija Domnika and the main benefactors of the convent who donated for the renovation of the church: Andrey Kozitsin, general director of OJSC “UGMK Holding”, and Igor Altushkin, chairman of board of directors of “Russkaya Mednaya Kompaniya”. His Holiness reminded to those present about the deeds of the myrrh-bearers who stayed faithful to Our Savior to the end, and about nowaday myrrh-bearers – those Russian women who in recent period of persecution managed to keep their faith alive and impart it to their children and grandchildren. In the end, His Holiness Patriarch said that historically our convent was to be named Alexander-Novotikhvin and blessed that the current name of the convent was changed, and from now on it would be called Alexandro-Nevsky Novo-Tikhvinsky convent in Ekaterinburg. In remembrance of his visit to our convent His Holiness Patriarch gave to the convent the Icon of the Savior and an Easter Egg with the Icon of the Resurrection as a gift, besides he presented everybody with an icon of Royal Martyrs with his blessing.
It was also a special blessing to our convent that during the first Divine Liturgy Archimandrite Diodorus (Isaev) was ordained the Bishop Melekesskian. This rite has been performed for the first time in the history of the convent. In His speech to the newly ordained bishop His Holiness Patriarch called it his personal Pentecost. It was a great joy to us as well that on that day the convent was blessed by the Holy Mount Athos: Schema-archimandrite Alexis, Hegumen of the Athos monastery Xenophon together with the monks took part in the sacred service. Thus, a new page of the history of our convent was opened on that remarkable day. In St. Alexander Nevsky Church sacred services are held again to gather lots of people in Christ. Here belongs the main relic of the convent– Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God. Again in the convent there are prayers offered to the Saint Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky – let Him save the convent, the city, and everybody who says prayers to him form all the misfortunes.