More than 9000 young adults from throughout Europe and some from other continents are together in Taizé for the Easter celebrations (5000 at Easter, 4000 the following week).
With a few brothers, Brother Alois, the prior of Taizé, left the hill to celebrate Easter in Russia. With 240 young adults from 26 countries, they are making a pilgrimage to Moscow to take part in the celebrations of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The young pilgrims are being welcomed in six Orthodox parishes in Moscow. Beginning on Thursday, they will take part in the liturgical celebrations. On Good Friday, they will travel to Butovo, in the south of Moscow, where 20,000 people were shot during the Great Terror of Stalin in 1935-36. Many bishops, priests, religious and lay people died there. On Saturday, they will take part in the Easter night celebration in each of the six parishes.
The pilgrimage will end on Sunday with the solemn Easter vespers, led by Patriarch Kirill I in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Links between Taizé and Russia go back over many years. Already in the 1960s, Russian Orthodox Church leaders were able to visit the community. During the 1970s and 80s, Brother Roger and other brothers were invited to visit Russia. In 1988, the community sent a million Russian New Testaments to Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev and Minsk. When, at the start of the 1990s, the borders opened, Russians came in large numbers to take part in the youth meetings in Taizé as well as the European meetings at the end of each year. In June 2006, Brother Alois visited Patriarch Alexis II and attended his funeral in December 2008 as well as the enthronement of Patriarch Kirill I in January 2009. For years now, the Patriarch of Moscow has been sending greetings to the participants in the yearly European meetings.
Taizé, Wednesday April 20, 2011
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71250 Taizé, France