Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Joint Easter Festivities in USA Show Growing Unity of Russian Orthodoxy

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,Orthodox life,religious,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

A joint service of the clergy of the patriarchal parishes in the US and clerics of the Russian Church Outside of Russia resulted in a demonstration of growing unity inside the Russian Orthodox Church. It took place on Saturday at St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York. Following the liturgy, headed by Bishop Merkury Ivanov of Zaraisk, the chief hierarch of the patriarchal parishes in the US, and Bishop Gavriil Chemodakoff of Manhattan, secretary of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, archpastors, clergy, and laity had a joint march with crosses and icons.

“Our two churches had for the first time a chance to serve jointly these joyful days of sacred Easter”, Bishop Gavriil said after the liturgy. He noted, “The Russian Church united a year ago, they became two parts of a single church, the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Outside of Russia united again”. In response, Bishop Merkury said, “We experienced a special joy that we had today the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kursk and that it passed along the New York streets together with our parishioners for the first time during the stay of this sacred icon in the US”.

“A year ago, God’s power helped us to overcome another long-standing division, one which we inherited from the past, the Russian Church Outside of Russia reconciled with the Church in the Fatherland. Joy and peace now reign supreme in our much-suffering Church”, noted Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all the Russias, in his message to the participants in the Easter festivities in New York. His message emphasised that “A united Church is the spiritual foundation of the revitalisation of Russia. We look with hope to the future of our common Fatherland”.

“Sometimes, the Church is the only island of the Fatherland that many of our fellow countrymen living far from the Fatherland have”, stated a message of greetings by Yuri Ushakov, Russian Ambassador to the US, read by Sergei Garmonin, Russian Consul-General in New York. “Therefore, the revival of church unity became a true symbol of the ingathering of the Russian world, one of whose spiritual foundations has always been the Orthodox Faith”.

“Moscow as the historical centre of the Russian nation does not forget the Russians who chanced to be abroad as the fates decreed”, noted a message by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, read by Georgy Muradov, department head of foreign economic and international relations of the Moscow city government. “Aid to Russian fellow countrymen and Russian Orthodox parishes, support for the Russian language, and active cooperation with the Russian-language diaspora is only a small part of the contribution made by the Russian capital to the noble cause of unifying the Russian world”, the message said.

The divine service Saturday was the first event of this type since the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate. Festivities on this scale were carried out for the first time in the presence of the miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Kursk, which is regarded as the custodian of all Russians abroad and a pearl of Russia’s cultural heritage. The Easter festivities were rounded off by a gala reception at the Russian Consulate-General in New York.

4 May 2008




American and Russian Orthodox Clergymen Hold Joint Service in New York

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,Orthodox life,religious,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

American and Russian Orthodox Church clergymen held a joint service at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York on Saturday. The service was led by the head of the Patriarchal parishes in the United States, Bishop Merkury Ivanov of Zaraisk, and the Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Bishop Gabriel Chemodakoffof Manhattan. The miracle-working Kursk-Korennaya Icon of the Sign was brought to the cathedral before the service. It was carried forth in a religious procession after the service.

Joint Easter-tide services were never held at St Nicholas Cathedral before. The service involved over 60 clerics and hundreds of Orthodox believers. For the first time, the Kursk-Korennaya Icon of the Sign, which is considered to be the guardian of the Russians abroad and a pearl of Russian cultural heritage, was used during the service, the secretary of the manager of the Patriarchal parishes in the United States, Hegumen Josef said.

The head of the Patriarchal parishes in the United States, Bishop Merkury Ivanov of Zaraisk said the concelebration of American and Russian Orthodox priests on Saturday was a sign of unity within the Russian Orthodox Church. On Friday, the bishop told journalists, “Not even a year has passed since the act restoring the unity of canonical unity within the Russian Orthodox Church was signed, and tomorrow’s service will become a sign of this unity. We will hold the divine service together. The Kursk-Korennaya Icon of the Sign will be brought to the cathedral. Hierarchs, clergy, and believers will pray together, and we hope that God will bless us when our procession moves along the streets of New York”, Vladyki Merkury said. He said the upcoming service was especially important because it will take place “during Easter celebrations and Easter joy. New York is a significant city for both the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate because the Patriarchal Cathedral and the Synodal Church of the Holy Sign are located here. And it is particularly important that we will all come together at St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral”, the bishop said.

3 May 2008



4 May 2008. A Thought from Fr Vsevolod…

More than once, Metropolitan Kirill pointed out that various inter-religious and inter-civilisation forums issue general, but not binding, slogans a-la “People, let’s come together”. Today, we’d best insist on, “People, let’s walk honestly”. I don’t mean not to steal, as no one seems to do that, but, I mean we should overturn the idol of political correctness that is, in fact, a “convenient lie”. For example, let’s honestly confess to each other that Orthodoxy and Catholicism consider themselves and no one else keepers of the One True Church, Islam reserves the right to be the last revelation, Judaism thinks it’s the only faith appropriate for Jews, and humanism will never give up defining “human values…”

Yes, such values do exist, but, their hierarchy varies. For example, someone considers this life and prosperity in this world most important, someone else thinks that eternal salvation is the most important value and believes it is impossible to reach without the true faith and a “non-humanistic” organisation of society. If the first and the latter are ready to coexist in dialogue and cooperation… May God bless it. But, purely earthly and practical considerations shouldn’t be imposed on everyone, as they don’t reach further than the life of an individual, or of an ethnos and contemporary mankind. If political correctness keeps me from calling truth the truth, a lie a lie, a sin a sin, and a heresy a heresy, than it’s simply nothing but totalitarianism. Even if it serves “peace and harmony”, any war is better than such peace.

28 April 2008

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin

Zamglavy (Deputy Head) of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate



ME AND MY FAMILY: A Project of the Voice of Russia World Service

Filed under: domestic life,patriotic,Russian,Uncategorized — 01varvara @ 00.00

A painting submitted for the ME AND MY FAMILY project

Editor’s Note:

This project is now complete. Therefore, I have removed the contact information previously present here. The artwork is still up on the website involved, though, and can be accessed.



Paint your family!

The Voice of Russia World Service broadcasting company and the Sergei Andriaka Watercolour School are glad to present the project Me and My Family. We invite all our listeners, little ones and adults, to take part in this interesting undertaking. Hey kids, we are looking forward to your paintings! Your parents and grandparents are welcome to help you. Send your drawings by e-mail to to:

We will tell the world about you and your family in our programmes. The kids who make the best drawings will receive prizes. The first results will be announced on World Children’s Day, on 1 June.

Tell the world about your family! The Voice of Russia will help you do it!


Click on the hyperlink above to see some more of the drawings we’ve already received.

Voice of Russia World Service

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