The future Cathedral in the Name of Christ’s Resurrection, will become the main cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces, and the world’s 3rd largest Orthodox church.
Earlier this month, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced plans to build an Orthodox cathedral, located some 50 km to the southwest of Moscow, that will be dedicated to the country’s armed forces.
The house of worship will be built in Patriot Park, a military theme park and exhibition center, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a conference with senior officers.
“This idea was approved by the public, state authorities, military administration and the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I,” said Shoigu.
A sleek animation on the cathedral’s homepage depicts an army green structure with glass panels and six shimmering golden domes dedicated to the patron saint of each service branch.
The cathedral will overlook expansive grounds that include monuments to military-related patron saints.
“The cathedral is being built to unite all Orthodox believers, and for the moral and psychological support of the troops. It will symbolize the spirituality of the Russian army raising the sword only to protect its Motherland,” the church’s website explains.
Deputy Minister of Defense, Chief of the Main Military-Political Directorate of the Armed Forces Andey Kartapolov said “The cathedral should become the personification of the historical unity of the army, the people and the church, a spiritual, educational and methodological and educational center for servicemen, members of their families, clergymen and all Orthodox Christians,” the deputy minister added.
The church will also house a museum and exhibition center that will use virtual reality technology to immerse visitors in three-dimensional reconstructions of historical battles.
Shoigu urged senior officers to get actively involved in the fundraising campaign for the new military cathedral. “Naturally, everything should be absolutely voluntary,” he was quoted as saying.
The cathedral will be built on a grand scale, in a monumental Byzantine style. Once construction has been completed, it will become the third tallest Orthodox church in the world, second only to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (height 103 m) in Moscow, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral (101.5 m) in St. Petersburg.
The height of the cathedral will stand 95 meters, with an area of 10,950 square meters, large enough to hold up to 6 thousand parishioners.
The cathedral will include five domes and, accordingly, five chapels. In addition to the central side-chapel in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, the four side-chapels will be dedicated to the “heavenly patrons” of the branches of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation:
- The chapel of St. Alexander Nevsky – patron of the Land Forces;
- The chapel of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called – patron of the Navy;
- The chapel of St. Elijah the Prophet – patron of the VKS and Airborne Forces;
- The chapel of St. Barbara the Great Martyr – patroness of the Strategic Missile Force.
According to Main Military-Political Directorate, Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov, apart from the five chapels, the new cathedral will also include “lecture halls, classes for working with the military clergy and the conference hall.” The church will become a spiritual and educational center for servicemen, Orthodox priests and citizens of Russia. It will house an exposition dedicated to the history of setting up the Russian state and the Military Forces.
On 19th September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu took part in a ceremony of blessing the foundation stone of the future main cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces. The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I conducted the service of consecration of the stone.
Putin told the public that had gathered for the ceremony the consecration of the corner stone of the future Cathedral in the Name of Christ’s Resurrection was an important historic event, as the cathedral would be dedicated to victory in World War II.
Vladimir Putin was shown a scale model of the cathedral and the adjacent territory after the ceremony. The display featured murals of the cathedral’s side-chapels, which are under-the-dome spaces and frontals, as well as icons that Moscow Patriarchate will commission for the cathedral.
On 21st September, the Interfax News Agency announced that more than 1 billion Rubles ($15 million USD) had already been donated to the Resurrection Foundation, the charitable fund which collects donations for the construction of the cathedral.
The construction is planned to be completed by the 75th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War in 2020.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 September 2018