Престольный праздник в храме святой великомученицы Екатерины.

В субботу утром, 7 декабря 2013 года, настоятель архимандрит Александр вместе с духовенством и прихожанами храма святой великомученицы Екатерины принимали на подворье представительства Его Высокопреосвященство, митрополита Волоколамского Илариона, председателя Отдела внешних церковных связей Московского Патриархата, и Его Преосвященство епископа Иринея, администратора Канадской архиепископии, которые возглавили торжества в честь престольного праздника, дня святой великомученицы Екатерины.

Встреча состоялась у входа в храм, где Владыку встретили  протоиерей Николай Кречетов, благочинный Замоскворецкого округа и староста храма Сергей Аликов, затем митрополита Илариона проводили в храм, где и началась архиерейская праздничная Божественная литургия.
За Божественной литургией Владыкам сослужили, благочинный Москворецкого округа протоиерей Николай Кречетов, настоятель Екатерининского храма, представитель Православной Церкви в Америке при Московском Патриаршем престоле архимандрит Александр (Пихач), протоиерей Валентин Васечко, протоиерей Николай Щибалкин, протоиерей Вадим Леонов, протоиерей Христофор Хилл, иерей Иоанн Кечкин, помощник председателя ОВЦС протодиакон Владимир Назаркин, протодиакон Назарий Полотайко, диакон Дмитрий Асратян, диакон Кирилл Доценко, диакон Джейсон Митчелл.
Богослужение совершалось на русском и английском языках.
По окончании Божественной литургии настоятель храма обратился со словом приветствия к митрополиту Илариону, выразив радость, что в этот праздник владыка вновь служит в родном для него приходе, где он нес священническое служение более семи лет.
На молитвенную память от имени прихода архимандрит Александр преподнес председателю ОВЦС икону Божией Матери. Памятным даром епископу Квебекскому Иринею стал образ великомученицы Екатерины.


С архипастырским словом к верующим обратился председатель ОВЦС, сказав:

«С большой радостью и внутренним трепетом я переступил сегодня порог этого храма, где мне довелось служить с 1995-го по 2002 год, где до сих пор немалое число прихожан знакомо мне в лицо, где под руководством тогдашнего настоятеля отца Даниила мы совершали Божественную службу, где сегодня продолжается активная молитвенная и литургическая жизнь под руководством архимандрита Александра, назначенного настоятелем этого храма и представителем Православной Церкви в Америке при Святейшем Патриархе Московском и всея Руси.
День памяти святой Екатерины − праздник для многих людей, прежде всего, для тех, кто носит имя этой святой. Екатерина − одно из самых распространенных на Руси имен, и сегодня многие из тех, кто присутствовал на богослужении, кто носит это святое имя и празднует ныне день тезоименитства, причастились Святых Христовых Таин. Поздравляю всех Екатерин с этим праздником.
Но поздравляю я не только носящих это имя, но всех, кому дорог великомученический подвиг святой Екатерины, кому дорог этот храм, кто присутствует и молится здесь сегодня, кто причащался Святых Христовых Таин.
Пример святой великомученицы Екатерины научает нас тому, что нет в жизни большей ценности, чем Сам Христос. Екатерина, как повествует ее житие, была очень красивой девушкой, и многие юноши искали ее руки. Но, познакомившись с одним старцем-христианином, получив от него наставление и приняв крещение, она уневестила себя Небесному Жениху. Ей было обещано старцем, что она увидит Христа, и Екатерина увидела Его и Пресвятую Богородицу. Сердце ее преисполнилось радости, трепета и в то же время духовной силы, потому что времена для Церкви тогда были лютые: продолжались гонения, и быть христианином означало бросать вызов всему окружающему миру. Святая Екатерина бесстрашно бросила этот вызов. Когда пришел час ей исповедать имя Христово, она, не устрашившись, исповедала Его и преклонила голову для того, чтобы принять казнь от руки мучителей. Через свой мученический подвиг она стала великой святой, и сегодня мы молимся ей как одной из наших Небесных покровительниц, молитвенниц и заступниц.
Нет в жизни христианина большей ценности, чем Христос. Это мы должны понимать и исповедовать всей своей жизнью, потому что Господь Иисус Христос был не просто учителем нравственности и духовности, не просто одним из наставников, каких немало в истории человечества, но воплотившемся Богом, Который пришел в этот мир, чтобы через видимый лик человека явить человечеству невидимый лик Бога. И когда мы читаем Евангелие, молимся Господу и Спасителю нашему, особенно же когда причащаемся Святых Христовых Таин, с нами происходит та самая встреча со Христом, которая произошла со святой великомученицей Екатериной и которой были удостоены многие люди не только в течение земной жизни Спасителя, но и в последующие века, потому что чудесным образом Господь открывался людям на их жизненном пути, и не только тем, которые Его искали и любили, но даже иной раз гонителям Церкви.
Так, например, будущему апостолу Павлу Христос явился на пути в Дамаск, перевернув всю его жизнь, все его прошлое и поставив его на апостольский путь. Павел, не будучи учеником Христа, не имея знакомства ни с одним из апостолов, начал проповедовать Христа, созидать Церковь. Вместе с учениками Христовыми участвовал он в их апостольском подвиге, а потом закончил свою жизнь, как и прочие апостолы, мученическим подвигом.
Нередко в жизни людей встреча со Христом вела к мученическому подвигу, потому что Сам Господь говорил Своим ученикам: «Меня гнали, и вас будут гнать» (Ин. 15. 20). Гонения на Церковь происходили в разные века и в разных странах, жертвами их становились многие люди. И думая о мучениях, которые претерпевали мученики древние и мученики современные, мы спрашиваем себя: «Откуда они брали силы, откуда черпали внутреннюю духовную мощь, которая позволяла им терпеть невыразимые физические мучения?» И мы понимаем, что эту силу давал им Сам Господь, потому что они встретили Его на своем жизненном пути, а когда пришел час для каждого из них исповедать имя Христово, то Господь Иисус Христос давал им особые, сверхчеловеческие силы, чтобы они совершали этот подвиг и с Его именем на устах, с молитвой в сердце переходили из жизни временной в жизнь вечную.
В наши дни, когда Церковь благоденствует, Господь не призывает нас к мученичеству, но Он призывает нас к тому, чтоб мы были исповедниками Его имени и Его учения. Каждый из нас встретил Господа Иисуса Христа на своем жизненном пути, каждому из нас дается возможность всякий раз, когда мы приходим в храм на Божественную литургию, причащаться Святых Христовых Таин и соединяться со Христом духовно и телесно.
От каждого из нас Господь ждет исповеднического подвига: чтобы мы не смотрели на окружающий мир, не прислушивались к голосам тех, кто говорит нам, будто вера христианская устарела и мало подходит для современного человека. Мы должны слушать только голос Божий, который звучит для нас через Святое Евангелие и обращается к каждому из нас непосредственным и самым прямым образом. Мы должны просить Господа о том, чтобы Он дал нам силы быть исповедниками Его святого имени, ставить всегда на первое место Христа, а все остальное − на второе или третье место, всегда заботиться о том, чтобы угодить нашему Небесному Жениху − Христу.
Будем просить святую великомученицу Екатерину, чтобы она молитвой и своим небесным заступничеством помогла нам быть достойными исповедниками имени Христова. Аминь».

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