Russian Patriarch Opens Unity Day Festivities with Liturgy Topic: Russian Church
Hundreds of people came to the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin on Monday morning to pray for the Fatherland. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill lead the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.
In 1612 this holy icon became the main shrine of the militia, who liberated Moscow from Polish and Lithuanian invaders. After the national victory the Times of Troubles ended and the restoration of Russian statehood began, therefore, this holiday laid down the foundations for the Day of National Unity.
After the religious service Patriarch Kirill together with statesmen and public figures unveiled the obelisk dedicated to the reigning of the House of Romanovs in the Aleksandrovsky Garden at the Kremlin walls after the restoration. The monument, which was built on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Royal Dynasty, was changed for the monument to the ideologues of the Communism in 1918. Now the initial form was brought back to the monument.
Then the celebrations continued at the Central Exhibition Hall Manezh. A large-scale multimedia exposition “Orthodox Rus. The House of Romanovs” will open today. The exposition was organized on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Russian royal dynasty and is devoted to its role in the fate of Russia without any embellishment, but at the same time with the focus on the achievements of each monarch. Russian President Vladimir Putin together with Patriarch Kirill will participate in the opening of the exhibition.
For nine days until November 12 the debates with essayists, historians, diplomats will be held, the first nights of the documentaries about different times of the Russian tsarist dynasty will be showed, spectacles and an opera will be staged at the House of Music.
Meanwhile, from November 4 to 12 at the exhibition people can venerate the miracle-making Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God, which is considered as the divine patroness of the Romanov Royal Family. In 1613 first Russian tsar Mikhail from the Romanov dynasty was blessed to rule the country. The shrine is brought to the Russian capital for the first time.
Russia Celebrates Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh Topic: Russian Church
St. Sergius of Radonezh
October 8 marks the anniversary of the death of the St. Sergius of Radonezh, a spiritual leader and monastic reformer of medieval Russia and one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most highly venerated saints. Today Patriarch Kirill will preside over a service in honor of the saint at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
According to the saint’s life tale, he was born to a boyar family near Rostov Velikiy, where Varnitsy Monastery now stands. He was originally baptized with the name Bartholomew. His parents Kirill and Maria became impoverished and moved to Radonezh together with their three sons: Stefan, Bartholomew and Peter.
In 1334, after the death of his parents, Bartholomew moved to to Khotkovo near Moscow, joining his widowed older brother Stefan. In 1337, he was tonsured a monk with the name Sergius and was ordained to the priesthood. In seeking a more secluded place, he and his brother found such a place in the deep forest near the Marovets hill and built a small cell and a simple chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1340.
The brothers lived a secluded life in the forest, and in time Stephen found the life of seclusion difficult and left Sergius to live in Epiphany monastery in Moscow. With the departure of his brother Sergius lived alone for a number of years. The wild animals seemed to recognize him, as packs of wolves and bears would come to his hut but would not harm him. According to legend, one bear came to his hut to share Sergius' last piece of bread with him.
Gradually people learned of Sergius and approach him for spiritual guidance. Soon, the cell grew to a small hermitage of twelve monks. The hermitage of the Holy Trinity soon became the spiritual center that eventually became the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitri Donskoi before the Battle of Kulikovo. Artist: Ernst Lissner
As Holy Trinity monastery grew, Sergius began to send his disciples to spread the Gospel to the natives across central and northern Russia during the reign of Dmitry Donskoy. The number of monasteries founded by these disciples approached 400, some of which were established in the most difficult places. These included the monasteries of Borisoglebsky near Rostov, Ferapontov, Kyrillo-Belozersky, Golutvin in Kolomna, and Pokrovsky near Borovsk. All these monasteries formed links of a new country centered around Moscow. As the commerce centering on Holy Trinity monastery increased a settlement was formed at the monastery gates that grew into the town of Sergiev Posad.
The news of his life and works of wonder spread far and wide. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Philotheus sent him a charter confirming the new rules of community cloister life established by Sergius at the Holy Trinity Monastery. Metropolitan Alexis of Moscow honored Sergius as a friend and entrusted him in the tasks of reconciling differences among the princes of Moscow and Russia.
In the Russian struggles with the Tatar Khan Mamai, Sergius blessed the Prince Dimitry Donskoi as he departed for battle in 1380 with the words, "Go fearless prince and believe in God's help". Dimitri's victory at the Battle of Kulikovo was a momentous one in the history of Russia.
There are churches and cathedrals throughout the world built in honor of St. Sergius. The Roman Catholic Church officially recognizes Sergius as a saint, listing him in the Martyrologium Romanum. He is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on September 25, the date of his death according to the Old Style calendar.
Sergius died 1392 and was glorified (canonized) in 1452. His incorrupt relics were found in 1422 and placed in the new Trinity Cathedral of the Lavra. The church commemorates him on the day of his death, and on July 5, the day his relics were uncovered. Among the many affectionate titles given him, he has been referred to as the "Abbot of Russia" and "valiant voevod" of the Russian land.
In 2014 Russia will mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius. A working group has been established by the president of Russia to organize the festivities.
The Romanovs and the Russian People Forum in Ekaterinburg Topic: Russian Church
On October 10, in the "Kosmos" cinema and concert theatre of the city of Ekaterinburg, the second public forum of Middle Urals "The Romanovs and the Russian people" will take place.
This event will complete a chain of all-Russia celebrations, being held in 2013 in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kostroma and Ekaterinburg, devoted to the 400th anniversary of the end of the “time of troubles" (1610-1613) and accession to the throne of the royal dynasty of Romanov, reports the website of the Diocese of Ekaterinburg.
Ekaterinburg became the site of martyrdom of the last Romanovs, which is why the organizers decided to hold the final event, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the royal dynasty, in this very place.
Leading Russian specialists in state building, demography, interethnic relations, history, and philosophy will take part in the second forum, organized by the Diocese of Ekaterinburg, the governor’s administration, and the “World Russian People's Council”.
The distinguished guests include: Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhotury, The governor of the Sverdlov Region Evgeny Kuivashev, chief federal inspector of the Sverdlov region Vladimir Shabanov, Metropolitan Theophan of Chelyabinsk and Zlatoust, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, Mufti of Ural Sibagatullah Hazrat Saydulin, co-chairman of the “World Russian People's Council” Vladimir Khomyakov, Prince Alexander Trubetskoy, test cosmonaut of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and mayor of "Star city" Valery Tokarev, pilot-cosmonaut Viktor Plakida, Russian politician, statesman and scientist Sergey Baburin, writer Sergey Chekmaev, editor-in-chief of the portal Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya Anatoly Stepanov, Russian economist and professor of the Moscow State University Marat Musin.
During the forum, the icon of Holy Royal Martyrs that was taken into near-earth orbit with the crew of the Russian Space Station will be given to the Diocese of Ekaterinburg. At the present time, the icon is in the Zvyozdny Gorodok ("Star city", situated in the Shchelkovo district of Moscow region), where Russian and foreign cosmonauts live and receive training.
New Bell Tower Completed at New Jerusalem Monastery in Moscow Topic: Russian Church
The bell tower that was demolished by Nazi forces in December 1941 has been rebuilt at the New Jerusalem Monastery
The unique 75-meter bell tower that was demolished by Nazi forces in December 1941 has been rebuilt at the New Jerusalem Monastery in the Moscow region. Today for the first time the bell tower resembles its original appearance as when it was first erected during the time of Patriarch Nikon, ITAR-TASS reports.
Founded under Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century in Istra on the outskirts of Moscow, the New Jerusalem Monastery was meant to evoke the Holy Land and serve as a pilgrimage site. Two buildings, the Church of the Tomb of the Holy Savior and the Cathedral of the Resurrection, form the nucleus of the monastery. Inside the two churches, the icon, decoration, and inscriptions represent the most important group of polychrome ceramic work ever produced in Russia. Built between 1658 and 1698, New Jerusalem is an extraordinary example of Russian ecclesiastical architecture.
Bombing by Nazi occupying forces in 1941 destroyed the great dome of the Cathedral of the Resurrection; it was partially reconstructed in the 1980s. Sporadic restoration and maintenance followed, but came to a halt in the 1990s. In 1995, the New Jerusalem Monastery was handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and resumed its service as a male monastery. In 2002, the World Monuments Fund put the New Jerusalem Monastery on the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
In 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and then Patriarch Alexy II visited the monastery and later that year organized a Charity Fund for the Reconstruction of the New Jerusalem Monastery, with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov appointed its head.
New Jerusalem Monastery is an extraordinary example of Russian ecclesiastical architecture
Icons Stolen During Crimean War Returned to Sevastopol Topic: Russian Church
More than 150 years after the Crimean war ended, the spoils of the war have now been returned to Sevastopol.
Since September 6, two Orthodox Icons have been on display in St Nicolas Church on the North side of the city. They will be available there for viewing till September 16 and then the Icons will be visiting various Churches and Cathedrals in and around Sevastopol. Members of "The heritage of St Clement of Rome" public organization found the Icons at an English auction, reports Argumenty nedeli - Krym online newspaper in Sevastopol.
"We were astonished at the inscription that clearly and openly said that the Icons had been moved out of Sevastopol in September 1855 during the Crimean war" said the chairman of the public organization Vadim Prokopenkov.
The auction took place in a small town near London.
The residents of Sevastopol seized the opportunity, purchased the Orthodox Icons and brought them back to their motherland. They carried out necessary laboratory research and proved the Icons' authenticity.
But the attempt to determine their ownership proved to be not successful. Supposedly, the Icon with depiction of Holy Metropolitan Peter of Moscow was regimental and belonged to a "field" Church of one of military sub-units that arrived in Sevastopol.
Note: Personally, I find it appalling that churches, palaces and museums in Russia (including the Ukraine) are forced to buy back icons, and other historical items dating from the Tsarist period, that were stolen by invading armies, and/or sold by the Bolsheviks and the Soviets. - Paul Gilbert, Royal Russia
Orthodox Believers Pay Tribute to St. Seraphim of Sarov Topic: Russian Church
Emperor Alexander I visiting St. Seraphim in 1825
St. Seraphim of Sarov is being celebrated today, August 1, in Russia and other countries around the world. Liturgy services are being held in Orthodox churches worldwide in honor of the 110th anniversary of the saint’s canonization. There are churches named in honor of St. Seraphim in the United States, Europe and Australia, ITAR-TASS reports.
Traditionally the celebrations of St. Seraphim at the Serafimo-Diveevsky Monastery near Sarov attract thousands of pilgrims each year. This year new cathedrals named in honor of the saint are to open in Belgorod and Izhevsk. On August 3 of this year a special bicycle tour is being organized, with stops and excursions at various religious sites in the Nizhniy Novgorod region.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov was born on August 1, 1754, and is one of the most renowned Russian monks and mystics in the Orthodox Church. He is generally considered the greatest of the 19th century startsy (elders) and, arguably, the first. He is remembered for extending the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson, and taught that the purpose of the Christian life was to acquire the Holy Spirit.
Seraphim was glorified (canonized) by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903 at the initiative of Emperor Nicholas II. The date of his death is his major feast day. Reverence for him is not limited to the Orthodox church; Pope John Paul II referred to him as a saint in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
Tsar Nicholas II, accompanied by his family and nearly half a millon pilgrims, attend the canonisation of St. Seraphim of Sarov, instituted initially at the request of the pious Tsar himself. Emperor Nicholas II and the grand dukes took part in the transfer of the Holy relics.
Celebrations of 1025th Anniversary of Baptism of Rus Topic: Russian Church
On July 24, 2013, the feast-day of St. Olga, Equal-to-the-Apostles, Grand Duchess of Russia, Divine Liturgy was served at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, in the presence of the Cross of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, brought to Russia for celebration of the 1025th anniversary of Baptism of Russia from the city of Patras (Greece) with the blessing of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece.
The service was celebrated by the heads of local Orthodox Churches and the heads of delegations of local Orthodox Churches, who had arrived to the capital of Russia for participation in celebrations of 1025th anniversary of Baptism of Russia, the Patriarch and members of the Holy Synod, hierarchs and clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Liturgy was celebrated in a special order of services for the day of Baptism of Rus ("The service to our Lord, glorified in the Trinity, in the memory of Baptism of Rus, and Holy Grand Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles"). The chants of the service were composed by Hiero-Confessor Athanasius (Sakharov) and are dedicated to the memory of Baptism of Russia and all the Saints of Russia.
Ambassadors of Slavic countries and representatives of the Russian and Ukrainian governments were present at the service.
Historic Church to be Reconstructed on Khodynka Field in Moscow Topic: Russian Church
The Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh as it looked before the Revolution
On the morning of July 17th, an open-air liturgy was held at the site of the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh on the former Khodynka Field in Moscow. According to some historians, the church was a prominent place of worship for the local military, and the first in a series of churches destroyed by the Bolsheviks in Moscow in the early 20th century.
Built in 1892-93, the wooden church was constructed in 1892-93 by the architect Ivan Pavlovich Herodinov (1827-1896). The four-tiered gold plated iconostasis consisted of 94 icons, and was almost a full copy of the iconostasis in the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin.
Before the revolution, the majestic cathedral was a true ornament of this part of the city. It was built for use by the troops of the Moscow garrison during their summer military camps which were held in the Khodynka Filed. The church could accommodate more than a thousand worshipers.
The Khodynka Field is best known for the tragic event that took place during the festivities following the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II on May 30 [O.S. May 14] 1896, in which more than 1,200 people were trampled to death during a stampede.
After the October Revolution, the church was closed by the Bolsheviks in 1919. During the 1920s the church was ransacked by the Bolsheviks, the icons, chandeliers, candlesticks, and other items of any value were distributed to museums or stolen and sold to Western buyers, the church was demolished in 1930.
The restoration of the church will be made for the upcoming 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius in 2014, and is part of a massive construction project by the Russian Orthodox Church to build 200 new churches in Moscow.
Historical plans and drawings of the destroyed church could not be found, so the Society for Protection of Monuments was commissioned to carry out historical archival research. According to the results, it was recommended that the reconstruction of the church would be made from historical photographs.
The community of St. Sergius was established in 2000. In March 2012, a platform and an Orthodox cross were installed on the spot where the church once stood and a liturgy was held. Parish consists of not only the residents of neighboring houses, but the descendants of the test pilots of the former air base dating from the Soviet years.
Christ the Saviour Cathedral Marks 130 Years: A Video History Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 2 minutes, 31 seconds Topic: Russian Church
The original Christ the Saviour Cathedral was consecrated 130 years ago, on June 8, 1883. Since then, it has been blown to bits, replaced by a swimming pool, rebuilt and, most recently, at the epicentre of the controversial performance by activist punk rockers Pussy Riot. Here is that story told through archival footage.
Patriarch Consecrates Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 39 seconds Topic: Russian Church
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and All Russia performed the rite of consecration of the Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas at Kronstadt today, marking its 100th anniversary.
A divine luturgy was attended by Patriarch Theophilios III of Jerusalem and Svetlana Medvedev, wife of the Russian Prime Minister, as well as delegations from the North, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific fleets of the Russian navy.
The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas was originally built in 1903-1913, and served as the main church of the Russian Imperial Navy's Baltic Fleet, and dedicated to the memory of all fallen seamen.