On the feast of the transfer of the relics of the Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, on September 12, 2023, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the celebrations dedicated to this holiday in St. Petersburg.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Annunciation Church of the Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
In the upper church, consecrated in honor of St. Alexander Nevsky, there is a historical silver reliquary kept in the Hermitage for the relics of the blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky — the patron saint of St. Petersburg.
Before the beginning of the Patriarchal Liturgy, an ark with the relics of the holy Prince was brought from the Trinity Cathedral by the brethren of the Lavra to the upper church of the Annunciation Church.
In the church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill worshiped the relics of the holy Prince.
On this day, the Primate of the Russian Church also marks a personal memorable date - September 12, 1971
The celebrations were broadcast on five large screens installed: in the alignment of Nevsky Prospekt, on Alexander Nevsky Square and at the Annunciation Church.
Special petitions were made at a special litany. After a special litany, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill offered a prayer for Holy Russia.
At the end of the Liturgy, His Holiness was greeted by Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga. The head of the St. Petersburg Metropolia presented His Holiness with two panagia and a cross.
His Holiness was also greeted by the Vicar of the Lavra, Bishop Veniamin of Kronstadt, who presented His Holiness with an icon of the Nativity of the Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky.
The Primate of the Russian Church addressed the faithful with the Primatial Word.
Then His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led a procession with the relics of the Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky from the Annunciation Church of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra to Alexander Nevsky Square.
The two—storey church in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky is the first stone structure of the architectural ensemble of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
The upper church was consecrated in honor of the blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky on September 12, 1724. On this day, the relics of the blessed Prince were solemnly delivered here, which were transferred to the Lavra by decree of Peter I from Vladimir. So the city on the Neva found its heavenly patron and protector, and the day of September 12 became a special holiday for St. Petersburg. In 1753, the shrine was placed in a precious silver shrine.
In 1743, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna established a citywide festive procession on the day of the transfer of the relics of the blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky. The tradition of the procession along Nevsky Prospekt on September 12, interrupted during the years of Soviet power, was resumed in 2013. In 2023, the 10th anniversary of the revival of the prayer procession along the main thoroughfare of the city is celebrated.
The lower church was consecrated in honor of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos on April 7, 1725.
A tomb was also built here for the burial of members of the royal family and eminent nobles.
A high-profile event was the funeral in the Annunciation Church-the tomb of Generalissimo Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov on May 19, 1800.
The church was closed in 1933. Its first floor was transferred to the Museum of Urban Sculpture, and the second in 1935 was divided into separate rooms. In 1948-1949, both floors of the Annunciation Church were occupied by the Museum of Urban Sculpture.
In March 2021, after long negotiations, the upper church was returned to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The Lower Annunciation Church was returned to the monastery in August 2023.
According to the materials of the press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia