Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is to make a week long official visit to Estonia in September.
The visit runs from September 12 to 20 and will start off with a round of official meetings with the Estonian leadership and also that of Tallinn, the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (EAÕK) has announced.
The EAÕK lies under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
The patriarch will then be conducting a tour of Tartu, Värska, Võru County, Valga, Pärnu and the island of Hiiumaa, as well as Aruküla, Harju County.
Prayers, a liturgy and meetings with local EAÕK leaders and heads of local government to be included at each stop.
While on Hiiumaa, Patriarch Bartholomew will take part in the reopening of the Church of the Nativity of Christ (Kristuse sündimise kirik) in the village of Puski, and will also attend the reopening of the Holy Trinity Church (Kolmainu kirik) in Aruküla, near Tallinn.
Patriarch Bartholomew will preside over an open-air liturgy in Värska on September 16
This will be the fourth official visit the patriarch has made to Estonia – the last one was in June this year – and this time it is dedicated to the centennial of the founding of the EAÕK.
The trip will culminated with a meeting with Archbishop Urmas Viilma, head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) and of the Estonian Council of Churches (EKN), and an ecumenical service in St Mary's Cathedral (Toomkirik) on Toompea.
On July 7, 1923, Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius IV, together with the synod, issued an act on the autonomy in respect of the EAÕK. The Finnish Orthodox Church had received a similar act a day earlier.
As of today, there are approximately 34,000 congregants attending across the EAÕK's 68 parishes.
The EAÕK is wholly separate from the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (MPEÕK).
His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople was born Dimitrios Arhondonis in 1940, in the village of Agioi Theodoroi (present-day Zeytinliköy), in Imbros (now Gökçeada, Turkey). He was elected 270th archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and ecumenical patriarch, in October 1991.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi