I would appreciate it if someone could explain to me the differences involved with the rites of greater and lesser consecrations of an Orthodox Church.
The Church of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God at the Martha-Mary Convent in Moscow was first blessed on December 21, 2007 ( http://www.new.mmom.ru/index.php?id=14
It was solemnly blessed on the 16th of this month. ( http://www.new.mmom.ru/ru/life/news/index.php?id=39
Also, what is it that Patriarch Alexei is holding during this outdoor procession for the solemn consecration of the church. At first, I thought he was carrying the Holy Eucharist, but I was told they are relics that will be enshrined in the altar of the church. Is this correct?
Thank you for any explanations offered.