On January 24-27, 2017 were held XXV International educational Christmas readings organised by the Russian Orthodox Church with the support of the presidential Administration of the Russian Federation and the Government of Russia. The leitmotif of the anniversary readings was the centenary of the October revolution “1917-2017: lessons of the century” that inspired all charters of Christmas readings containing 16 topics and a variety of activities: prayers, conversations, meetings, concerts and lectures.
International Christmas educational readings in originated in 1993 is a forum (from the Roman seat of talks and social events – approx. ed.), created for social service, deepening of the communion of the Church and society in cultural and educational spheres. In the Christmas readings, in addition to representatives of the Church at all levels, were involved the President, the Government, the Parliament and cultural figures of Russia, just tens of thousands of people. The purpose of spiritually-moral education of society and the deepening of cooperation with the Church in education. The Chairman of the readings is Patriarch Kirill.
One of the important events of the Forum was a Scientific conference in the framework of the section “Church antiquities”: “the Moscow Kremlin – the spiritual center of Orthodox Russia. The Kremlin shrines, lost and saved: the Assumption Cathedral”, which took place on 26-27 January 2017 (for the first time!) in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, is the spiritual heart of the Kremlin, tomb of Russian pre-Petrine patriarchs – from Peter’s to Hadrian (except Nikon) and a place of coronation of Russian tsars. In the assumption Cathedral was proclaimed the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church (independence from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1448).
In connection with the revolution topic, Andrey Batalov, Deputy Director General for research of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, drew attention to the fact that the true rescuers of the Cathedral in 1917 are cadets, which stopped the defense to Bolsheviks and only because of the threat of the destruction of shrines, and then all of the cadets were killed. During all the atheistic Soviet period, the Museum staff resisted the confiscation of sacred objects, and studied them.
Head of section “Church antiquities”, Ph. D. C. Belyaev expressed that: “it is Impossible to separate the icons, frescoes from the main purpose, for which the Cathedral of the assumption was created – the service, the Liturgy.” “Assumption Cathedral is the only Church – said, S. Belyaev, – which was founded by the head of the Church… nowhere else we can’t see primates buried where they served.”
Listeners learned or remembered about the shrines, stored in the cathedral, about how it was founded and what a treasures trove in it today.
It is gratifying that this wonderful Cathedral, custodian of the spirit of the Russian history, scientific mysteries and values of art, has again become a place of unity for faith, science and culture under the auspices of the Church within its 25 educational Christmas readings.
Source: International Christmas readings