Arvo Pärt awarded EELC Cross of Merit


At Pentecost, Sunday 24 May, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) awarded Arvo Pärt the Cross of Merit First Class. During a special service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Tallinn, the EELC recognised people who have rendered them significant acts of service. In addition to Arvo Pärt, Archbishop Urmas Viilma also presented the same Cross of Merit to bishop Joel Luhamets and bishop Tiit Salumäe.

Altogether, Crosses of Merit First and Second Class were awarded to 6 people, and the Cross of Merit Third Class was awarded to 19 people. The archbishop presented 49 people with additional awards. Outstanding clergymen, board chairmen, church musicians and people working with children, youth and the deaconate were all recognised. Others recipients included the president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tarmo Soomere, receiving the Cross of Merit Second Class, and Father Vello Salo from Pirita Convent and the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras, both receiving the Cross of Merit Third Class.

The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Cross of Merit is bestowed upon a person who has served the church in a devout and especially outstanding or long-term manner, or has rendered the church a remarkable service in any of their fields of activity.

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