The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church held its working and solemn sessions at the Patriarch Teoctist Aula Magna of the Patriarchal Palace on October 25-26, 2023. The sessions were chaired by Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
The main new decisions of the Holy Synod include the following:
- The Romanian Patriarchate designated October 1 as the Day of the Elderly. It will be included in the Orthodox calendar in the significant days and dates section.
- The Holy Synod approved the canonisation of the Venerable Macarie the Protopsaltis with the name the Holy Venerable Father Macarius the Protopsaltis and his inclusion in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church with a feast day on August 31. The Synod also approved the Saint’s liturgical texts (synaxarion, akathist, and service) and his icon.
- The Holy Synod approved the proposal of the Diocese of Southern Bessarabia to start the canonisation process for protosyncellus Iraclie Flocea (May 11, 1893 – August 16, 1964). The Metropolitan Synod of the Metropolis of Bessarabia previously approved this proposal.
- The Holy Synod approved the standardisation of the name of Saint Demetrius the New as the Holy Venerable Demetrius the New, Protector of Bucharest, and the standardisation of the Saint’s icon so that he would be represented as holding the Patriarchal Cathedral in his left hand and the shepherd’s staff in his right hand.
- The Holy Synod resolved to include Saint Nicholas Cabasilas (June 20) in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church and to approve the Saint’s liturgical texts (synaxarion, service, Akathist, and supplicatory canon).
- The Holy Synod resolved to include the Holy Martyrs Marius and Martha, his wife, and their sons Audifax and Abachum (July 6) and to approve the Saints’ liturgical texts (synaxarion and akathist).
- The Holy Synod approved the Akathist to the Holy, Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver (February 3).
- The Holy Synod approved the Akathist to Saints Barsanuphius and John of Gaza (February 6).
- The Holy Synod approved the text of the service for the exhumation of those who reposed in the Lord.
- During the solemn session of October 26, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel highlighted the social activity of the Romanian Orthodox Church during this Solemn Year of Pastoral Care for the Elderly, emphasising and encouraging the necessary pastoral-philanthropic activity in all dioceses of the Romanian Patriarchate, an effort aimed mainly at the relief of the loneliness of those who have reached the age of senescence.
In an age of paradoxically increased loneliness in the atmosphere saturated with multiple forms of current communication, the concrete, personal, and charitable approach to older people, who are vulnerable, including as a result of isolation, is and remains a priority pastoral duty.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu