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April 18, 2011

Metropolitan Hilarion Conducts Service For Those Re-joining the Church

On Lazarus Saturday Metropolitan Hilarion conducted the rite of joining the Orthodox Church on those who, for a time, fell away from her.

April 16, 2011

The Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion performed in the Moscow Church of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" in Ordynka the rite of joining to the Orthodox Church people who, for a time, fell away from her -- going over to sects, schisms and heresy .

54 people wishing to reunite with the Orthodox Church, renounced paganism, sectarian errors and schismatic false teachings swore allegiance to the Church on the Gospel. After that Metropolitan Hilarion placed his omophor on the head of each of the participants.

The archpastor then turned to those present with words of edification:

"Today, by the Providence of God and by His grace you have been reunited with the Holy Church, and henceforth will remain members of the Body of Christ - the Church founded by the Lord. 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against her' (Matt. 16:18), said the Savior.

You know from your own experience what confusion and deception are. The difference between error and truth is the same as that between the devil and God, between darkness and light. Today, all around us there are many false teachers, false prophets, false christs, who present their teachings as true, deceiving people and depriving people of the kingdom of God and the salvation of their souls.

Christ's Church exists on earth in order to lead people to salvation. And today, having returned to that path, you are called to encourage others to be preachers of truth and apostles of Christ. Each of you probably know other people who have not yet freed themselves from the snares of deception and delusion. Based on your own experience, you can tell them how harmful delusion is, and about the saving truth of the Christian faith.

From now on you will be members of the Church. Take care to always grow in the knowledge of the truth: read the Scriptures, the works of the holy fathers, participate in the Church's Sacraments, come regularly for Confession and Holy Communion. Let the Orthodox Church be your home, so that nothing that happens here would be alien to you, so that the temple becomes like family to you, so that you learn and love the divine services.

If thoughts associated with your former way of life come to mind, chase them away as a diabolical obsession. Remember that a person, having entered the path of salvation, should not look back, should not return to old sins, errors, sinful thoughts. Remember, having turned away from false doctrines and misconceptions, you need to stand firm, without hesitating about truth and through your steadfastness and strong faith help others come to salvation, to the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen."

The work with people who had fallen away from Orthodoxy is carried on at the temple in honor of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow", the AS Khomiakov Center of rehabilitating victims of non-traditional religions. Currently, the center is directed by the temple's priest, Eugene Tremaskin. Preparatory instruction of sectarians and schismatics who wish to return to the Church takes several months

As a rule, the rite of joining [the Church] is performed twice a year. Last year it was done on November 21, 2010, and was also headed by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk.

Source: See photos here.