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For the first time since the medieval period …

For the first time since the medieval period an Orthodox service takes place in Trondheim at the church and burial vault of the Holy King Olaf of Norway

On 21st March 2021 a historic event took place in Norway in the city of Trondheim as part of the celebrations of the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy at the parish of the Holy Princess Anna of Novgorod. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on the site of the very first church in honour of St. Clement of Rome in the ancient capital of Norway Nidaros (contemporary Trondheim) and  in the first church and burial vault housing the relics of the ‘eternal king of Norway’ St. Olaf.

The service was the first Orthodox service to take place here in almost a thousand years. The liturgy was headed by the rector of the parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in Trondheim Father Alexander Volokhan.

From the fourteenth century onwards this church in honour of St. Clement of Rome was in a state of decay, and for centuries afterwards lay hidden beneath its burial precincts. In 2016 archeological excavations were carried out on the site of the church building. The relics of St. Olaf of Norway originally lay from 1031 by the altar in the sanctuary. Upon the medieval stone altar during the liturgy once again there were placed in an ark the sacred relics of Olaf Haraldsson, a particle of which was solemnly gifted to the parish in Trondheim as part of the construction of the Church of St. Olaf of Norway in Stiklestad in 2014.

At the end of the liturgy the rite of the Triumph of Orthodoxy was celebrated and prayers were offered for all those who had laboured in the Orthodox faith, ‘Eternal Memory’ was sung for the departed and ‘Many Years’ was sung to those present.

A procession of the cross then took place with icons and banners and a bas-relief depicting St. Clement of Rome was blessed opposite the entrance to the museum church. Following tradition, worship was conducted in three languages: Church Slavonic, Norwegian and Greek.

News of this important event in the life of Orthodox Christians in Norway was shown on the Russian The Saviour and Unity TV channels.

Parish of St. Anna of Novgorod in Trondheim/
Communications Service of the DECR

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