On Christmas day, January 7, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga celebrated a Christmas Vespers in the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, which was attended by the Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov, speaker of the legislative Assembly Vyacheslav Makarov as well as abbots of monasteries in the city and region. Hieromonk Pogos Vardanyan, spiritual pastor of the Armenians of Saint Petersburg and the North-Western region, and Grachya Pogosyan, Saint Petersburg philanthropist, were among the guests of honor.
Before the sacred service started, hieromonk Pogos Vardanyan and Grachya Pogosyan spoke with the Governor of the city, congratulating him on Christmas and New year. Alexander Dmitrievich conveyed his Christmas greetings to all the parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the entire Armenian people.
Metropolitan Barsanuphius also congratulated the honored guests on Christmas, wishing them prosperity and God's blessing, and warmly recalled his visit to hospitable Armenia. In their turn, hieromonk Pogos Vardanyan and Grachya Pogosyan invited the Metropolitan to visit the Armenian Church of Saint Catherine and get acquainted with the Church Council and parishioners.
And then the Christmas liturgy took place. His Eminence was co-served by the vicar of the religious house, Bishop Nazariy of Kronstadt with his monks, bishop Mstislav of Tikhvin and Lodeynopolsk, bishop Mitrofan of Gatchina and Luga, bishop Siluan of Peterhof, Secretary of the Diocesan Administration Sergiy Kuksevich, rectors of St. Petersburg temples and other clergy.