CWN - A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church offered criticisms of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church, which will take place in Crete in June.

The comments made by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, are significant because the Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the 15 autocephalous churches within Eastern Orthodoxy.

Metropolitan Hilarion made clear that the synod is not an ecumenical council and criticized its draft documents.

“We would have liked to improve their wording,” he told a conference at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow on April 19. “Believe me, we have exerted a lot of efforts to make the documents better than they were, but many our amendments have not been adopted.”

Turning to synodal procedure, Metropolitan Hilarion said:

We have proposed from the very beginning of preparation to convene all bishops … However, we were told that it was impossible to bring so many bishops together and let it be the fixed number from each church … It means that certain churches will be represented by all their bishops, but our church, which has over 350 bishops, will be represented by a small quantity.

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Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

St. Seraphim of Sarov