Voices from Russia

Sunday, 11 January 2015

11 January 2014. Vox Pop on the Church War and Christmas… a “Read n’ Heed”

01a carolers Byelorussia

_____________________________

I came to the USA from Poland, being from an area next to what are now Slovakia and the Ukraine. The Orthodox Service Books printed in the early 1600s call this area Podkarpatskaya Rus. You can see this name on the first pages of the very oldest Slavonic Service Books printed in Mukačevo. I know my heritage, I know my faith, and I know what I am… I’m “Ruska”, a Russian woman from the Carpathians. My family has always been Orthodox. Always. My great grandparents would go to Yablechno or Pochaev to confess their sins every year when they could. Everyone in Europe knows who we are. It’s only here I’m informed I’m “really” Ukrainian or Ruthenian or Rusyn or whatever. I came to America when in the late 60s, looking for work. Poland needed American dollars. Life wasn’t too restricted in communist Poland. In fact, the communist government defended Orthodox from Roman Catholic persecution all the time. Sometimes, they rebuilt Orthodox Churches, too. Officially, it was because of “cultural value”, but they really helped the Church. I came to America and found work and husband. My husband and I (he was a Pole with a worker’s visa, too) ended up staying here. We found a good Orthodox church in a town nearby and joined it. Life went on.

In 1982, our American Orthodox Church did something even the communists wouldn’t do in Poland. They took on the Roman Catholic calendar. We weren’t happy, but we were able to keep our tradition by going to another church not too far away. Others elsewhere were not so lucky; for almost 25 years, the American Church attacked them. Sometimes, real persecution took place. Again, the communists never did such a thing in Poland or Czechoslovakia! The American Church said we couldn’t have “two Christmases”. It was wrong to keep one as the civil day and the other as a holy day. They always told us that we had to “sanctify” America by using only American Christmas. They showed much animosity against those who couldn’t accept this change.

Then, the White Exile Church and the Moscow Church made peace. They even united. They buried the hatchet. OK. However, now that the two Russian Churches united, what do we see? Every Orthodox Christmas, OCA people fill our churches! Even priests! They come, sing, eat festal foods, and go sing Russian Christmas carols. They keep two Christmases! What they persecuted others for doing for 25 years! It’s outrageous! I want to tell them what I feel! Either go back to the old calendar or go away and “sanctify” 25 December! You don’t have the right to be with us for Orthodox Christmas. You threw it in the garbage… with it you tossed out many of your own brothers! Maybe, you secretly preferred the old calendar? Nevertheless, you did nothing to defend it or defend the people who kept it. You sat on your hands as other people better than you suffered. I can’t forget this. I forgive you, but really, your appearance at our church for Russian Christmas is an insult. You sour my holy day and other people’s too! Go “sanctify” your calendar, please. If not, at least, issue a sincere and heartfelt apology… ask forgiveness from those you hurt. If you can’t do that, you’re not entitled to any Christmas at all!

******

Editor:

As I always say, there was a REAL Church War and those who fomented it hurt many people, but the powers-that-be never gave a ruby-red goddamn, as the victims were “little people”. To hell with the First Families, their institutions, and their lies… the sooner that they disappear, the better it’ll be for the rest of us.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Gospel according to St Matthew 18.6

BMD

11 January 2014. Rusins Want OUT of the Ukraine

00.01 Carpatho-Russia coat of arms

******

______________________________

Most Rusins want OUT of the Ukraine… interestingly, both Orthodox and Uniates are sick n’ tired of Galician oppression. Most seem to want a federal status in Hungary. They believe that the Magyars would leave them alone, unlike the drooling fascist Galician Uniates, who want to destroy their culture, deny their nationality, and “Galicianise” them. I think that the Galician Uniate fantasy will fall into the cess-pit where it belongs. After all, Yatsenyuk stated that the USSR invaded Nazi Germany… that gives you the measure of these amoral ravening monsters. God willing, the Rusin people will leave the Galician Uniate hell and have peace in Hungary. The real-deal Magyars (not the pro-American running dog neoliberal quislings) have made it clear that they’re welcome (that scares the American global hegemonists shitless).

Where is Fr Dmitri? Is he still under the thumb of the Galician Uniate fascists?

BMD

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in Saint Clair PA

russian orthodox bellringers

______________________________

On Wednesday, it was a white Christmas for those who celebrated the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ at St Michael the Archangel Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Saint Clair PA. The snow that fell on Christmas Eve provided a beautiful scene for the actual holy day. Families and individuals came to the church in the morning with the temperature at about 15 degrees and snow blowing from roofs and along streets. About 70 people who attended the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom on Orthodox Christmas; they wouldn’t have missed it for cold weather or snow to be part of celebrating the birthday of Jesus. Whilst Christmas is 25 December according to the Gregorian calendar, St Michael parish, which follows the Julian calendar, celebrates the holy day on 7 January. The church is part of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA.

One could hear “Merry Christmas” from time to time, but many people gave the traditional Orthodox greeting of “Christ is born!” or “Christos Razhdayetsya!”, with a joyful response of “Glorify Him!” or “Slavite Yego!” Members of the St Michael Choir led by dirigent Barbara Verbitsky sang hymns in English and Rusin before the Divine Liturgy. The choir also chanted many of the responses throughout the liturgy, which they sung “a cappella”, without musical instruments. Fr Jeff L Zias, pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy. At the start of the liturgy, Zias incensed the ikonostas, or icon screen, then, walked down the centre aisle, incensing the congregation. At the back of the nave, he incensed the icons of Christ Pankrator, Mary the Godbearer, and St Michael the Archangel, the patron of the parish.

According to Orthodox teaching, the birth of Jesus is of tremendous importance to eternal salvation, because through his birth, God gave us the food of life eternal, which is his body and blood under the forms of bread and wine in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. They give very little importance to the exchange of gifts or to any commercial thought. Orthodox Christians rejoice on Christmas Day because Christ is in their midst, a newborn child with outstretched arms begs for his love, and he returns this love in his God, his neighbour, his family, and to his country.

After the Epistle reading from the Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 4.4-7 and the Gospel reading from Matthew 2.1-12, Fr Jeff gave a sermon, which was the Archpastoral Letter for the Nativity by Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ was incarnated from the Virgin Mary for us humans and for our salvation. This salvation is boundless and is offered to us on a daily basis. As we continue to face difficult times and circumstances in the whole world and in our personal lives, let us embrace with our whole hearts the happiness that the Lord offers us at this special Nativity season. Let us love Him as our Saviour and let us love our neighbours as our brothers and sisters. With Jesus Christ in our hearts, the difficulties and troubles, no matter how great, do not have the power to disappoint us because He fills us overwhelming with joy. When we are tested by temptations and encounter sadness in our lives, let us remember that these trials merely make us stronger and more faithful. Let us always remember that God never abandons us. Today, God is revealed to us as a small child in the manger. This child may look weak and fragile, but it has enough love to cure each and every one of us of all our ills. Let us invite this child into our lives in order to transform our entire existence. May all of us, priests, panis, deacons, subdeacons, readers, parish officers, parishioners, friends and supporters of the God-protected American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, experience the joy and wonders of the shepherds and the awe and respect of the three wise men at the arrival of the Messiah, our new born King. Christ is Born! Glorify Him!”

8 January 2915

John E Usalis

Pottsville (PA) Republican Herald

http://republicanherald.com/news/orthodox-christians-celebrate-christmas-1.1814119

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Rusin Nativity Music… from St Michael Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church (Binghamton NY USA)

00 Sasha Ressetar. Holy Supper. 2014

An Old School “Holy Supper”… long may they endure…

******

******

Nebo i Zemlya (Heaven and Earth)… one of my favourite kolyadki

______________________________

Here are some sounds of the season from the Far West of Holy Rus. The correct transliteration is “Rusin”, as the Cyrillic is “Русинь”… a “y” would transliterate “ы”. “Rusyn” is mangled Galician usage. All of Holy Rus is ONE… yet, it’s not all identical… go figure. From Cape Anadyr to Mukačevo/Munkacs, from Kotlas to Tskhinval (some would count Orthodox Alaska Natives as a constituent part of “homeland” Holy Rus… I would)… it’s one civilisational space… MANY peoples… ONE ethos. The Rusin people are “one of us”… they’re not “Westerners”… they’re an indispensable “piece of the mosaic”. They’re simply the most Westward-located part of our civilisational bloc… which gives them some distinctiveness, which we Great Russians should respect. Being the largest group doesn’t give us the right to impose our ways… God willing, I’m not the only one to think like that (HH certainly does, too)…

In My Father’s House, there are many mansions… indeed!

BMD

Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,050 other followers