Pastoral Annoucement of Bishop Mercurius

Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA

Patriarchate of Moscow

Beloved in the Lord Fathers! Dear Brothers and Sisters!

On the 11th of September of this year the international terrorist organizations committed an unprecedented in its brutality crime in the cities of New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.

Thousands of innocent people fell victims of the terror. Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning surround everything… We, Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA, take this grief as our own; this is our common pain, our common loses.

We express our condolences to the relatives and friends of those who perished in this tragedy; we share the sorrow of the State Government of the USA, of the Federal and local authorities.

We as a Church are called by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to share these hardships with our confreres – regardless of their nationality, race or religion. The Apostle teaches us: "bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).

No one of us is able to take this pain upon one’s own shoulders. It can be healed only when shared with the others. I am addressing to you, my beloved flock, with an appeal not to be mere observers but to provide any help that is only within your power to the law-enforcement agencies, medical doctors and other services that are involved into the rescue operations.

Many thousands of people are in need of humanitarian aide, but most importantly – they are in need of prayer and words of comfort. This is why at our St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City on the very day of this terrible catastrophe there was conducted a funeral service in memory of those departed of this life.

As your Archpastor, I am urging you:

1. During 40 days in every Liturgy say a special prayer in the Litany of the departed:

"Again we pray for the repose of the souls of the servants of God- Thou, O, Lord, know all their names Thyself-innocently killed by the hands of terrorists, and that they may be pardoned all their sins, both voluntary and involuntary"

In the Litany of Fervent Supplication before the last prayer add:

"Again we pray to Thou, O, Lord, to hear the prayer of us, sinners, for those who are crying and are in pain in our American land, longing for Thy consolation, and to pardon and to comfort them by the Grace and Power of Thy Holy Spirit…"

2. During the Sunday Liturgy hold charity fundraising in order to help the victims of the terrorist acts and transfer these funds to the account of Patriarchal Parishes with the notice “For the victims of terrorists”. When collected, this money will be redirected to the appropriate humanitarian organizations.

3. In your parishes provide shelter, clothes and food those who need as much as possible.

4. Respond the call to give blood to help the victims of terrorists.

Our Lord, addressing to His apostles, said: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:28). Let us follow the example of Our Lord and Teacher to show the world our love not only in words, but in actions as well. May the Lord of Mercy and Love to be with all of you.

+ Mercurius, Bishop of Zaraisk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas