Visiting the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra and Sofrino - Moscow: Day 3 (July 23)

July 23, 2013 to July 25, 2013

Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Alexander and the OCA delegation came to Sergiev Posad -out two hours from Moscow—to visit the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra (founded by Saint Sergius of Radonezh), the Moscow Theological Academy and the ecclesiastical goods factory nearby at Sofrino.

The delegation was met at the gates of the 15th century monastery - with bells ringing - by Archbishop Evgeny, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, and Archimandrite Alipy of the Lavra (representing Bishop Theognost, the abbot, who was away), and a large group of monks who sang us rapidly through the monastery from one chapel to the next, venerating relics as we went, beginning with Saint Sergius and ending with Saint Innocent of Moscow and Apostle to America.

Archbishop Evgeny - who has been rector since 1995 - led the delegation in to the Moscow Theological Academy. Protodeacon Igor Mihailov took us through the Academy museum and then the hosts and delegation had lunch together and discussed aspects of theological education and formation for church service.

A brief tour of the Sofrino factory led by the chaplain, Father Vadim. The factory has 3,000 employees and a prayer service opens every work day. The chapel is too small for everyone to be present, but on Thursday mornings the various departments take turns coming together at a liturgy. The factory was founded in 1980 by Patriarch Pimen (with 250 employees).

Back at the hotel, from 8 to 9 pm Metropolitan Tikhon was interviewed for Soyuz TV