CWN - The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has sent a message to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on his fiftieth birthday.

“Being notable for your professional competence and responsibility, you strive to achieve your goals, performing manifold and difficult service for the benefit of the homeland,” Patriarch Kirill of Moscow said of Medvedev, who also served as Russia's president from 2008 to 2012.

“It is gratifying to note your attention to various initiatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and to the preservation of spiritual, historical and cultural heritage of our country,” the patriarch added. “I particularly appreciate the active support you render to the dialogue between the state and the Church.”

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Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)