November 21, 2010
On November 21, 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, administered the rite of reuniting those who temporarily fell away from the Orthodox Church by diverting into schisms and sects, at the church of Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted-in-Ordynka.
The archpastor addressed the congregation with the following instruction:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters, today the rite of your reuniting with the holy Orthodox faith has been administered to you. It consisted of two parts: first you renounced all the false teachings, schismatic and sectarian, which you shared in the past, and in the second part you have taken a vow that you will be faithful to Christ and His saving commandments and have been reunited with the Holy Orthodox Church through the laying of a bishop’s hands.
It is a great and important day for you because each of you has been led by the Lord to the true faith and has been saved from delusion and deception. The Orthodox faith is salvific; the Orthodox Church has in her all that is necessary for giving people salvation and eternal life. And it is not only in afterlife but already here, on earth, that salvation awaits us.
For many people today the very word ‘salvation’ in the context of Christian message is not understandable. ‘Why and from what should we be saved?’ they ask. Now you know from which you have to be saved in this life. You know why the Orthodox faith is salvific – because it is here, on earth, that the struggle unfolds for human souls, from which some come out winners while others losers. Losers are those who have failed to find the way to true God, who have diverted into a path of delusion, who have committed themselves to deceivers, schismatics, sectarians, false believers, liars and other people who temp human souls and deprive them of normal life here, on earth, and eternal salvation in the future life.
You have reunited with the Church, and from now on all these delusions have been left behind in your former life. Never remember them, do not try to analyze what false teachers told you. The Lord has delivered you from this evil. Keep away from it as far as possible. And if you have relatives and friends in sectarian or schismatic communities, bring them to the true faith, tell them calmly what the Orthodox Church lives by, do not condemn them, do not reproach them, do not be annoyed with them, but pray for these people and reveal to them the truth and beauty of the Orthodox faith through your own example, through your spiritual and church life.
Try to make confession and take communion regularly so that through the sacrament of repentance you may unite with the Lord and receive from Him the forgiveness of sins and through the sacrament of communion you may unite with God in all your soul, body, spirit and mind in the way that, according to St. Paul, Christ may live and work in you (cf. Gal. 2:20).
May God bless your church path and your whole life. May He help you to be never caught in the nets of deception and false teaching, but to stand firmly in your Orthodox faith and to bring others to the true faith. May the Lord preserve you all”.