Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Metropolitan Kirill to Offer a Molieben for the New Year at the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow

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Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (1946- ), the Patriarchal Locum Tenens

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the Patriarchal Locum Tenens, will serve an evening molieben tonight at the New Epiphany (Yelokhovsk) Cathedral in Moscow, which is the burial place of Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and All Russia, the 15th First hierarch of the MP. According to the press service of the Moscow Patriarchate, as reported by RIA-Novosti, the molieben shall begin at 17.00 Moscow time (09.00 EST 13.00 UTC). Today, moliebens for the New Year will be served in most churches of the MP. This is a special service where believers thank God for His favours in the past year and ask His blessings on the year to come for themselves, their families, and the Motherland. As a rule, moliebens for the New Year take place either immediately after the Divine Liturgy, or a few hours before midnight, or, sometimes, precisely at midnight.

“At New Year’s, normally, people reflect on the past year. For Christians, this should be a time of prayerful recollection, perhaps, asking repentance for their sins. Of course, it is a time to thank the Lord for all the good that we received in the past year and for those things we shall receive in the coming year”, Fr Mikhail Prokopenko, the head of Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations, said to RIA-Novosti.

“This is our first New Year without Patriarch Aleksei. The Church prays for the repose of his soul and asks for God to reveal to us His Will in the election of a new patriarch. Therefore, we should join our prayers for the preservation of Church unity and peace, along with hopes of a blessed and timely election of our new patriarch, to our normal thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the New Year”, Fr Michael emphasised. In his opinion, festive holidays give believers an excellent opportunity “to remove themselves from the usual everyday cares of life in the last week of the Christmas Lent” (it ends on Christmas, 7 January, on the Julian calendar used by the MP).

In this Lenten period, the Church urges us to find time for prayer, repentance, and abstention, particularly from loud entertainment, and asks us not to eat meat, dairy products, and eggs. Fr Mikhail wished that Russians would celebrate the New Year with relatives and friends joyfully, but, “not in an alcoholic haze or in unrestrained debauchery, which is alien to Christian sobriety”. In answering a question concerning the New Year’s festal meal, Fr Mikhail noted that “modern people are able to keep the standards of the Christmas Lent”. However, when asked about champagne, he said, “We do not condemn the drinking of wine; rather, we are against its abuse”.

In the Catholic Church, as its representative in Moscow reported to RIA-Novosti, 1 January is a religious holiday, the Day of the Mother of God. Many Catholic churches will offer a midnight Mass, in which the faithful thank God for the past year and ask His blessings on the New Year, and “mark it by remembering the example of the Virgin Mary, who consented freely to the Will of God”. Most of the followers of the other traditional, non-Orthodox, Russian confessions (Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism) will also offer prayers for the welfare of their loved ones and the Motherland in the New Year, and will celebrate it at home, as a secular, but, meaningful and bright, family holiday.

31 December 2008

Olga Lipich

RIA-Novosti

http://www.rian.ru/society/20081231/158397468.html

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

“Family Reading”

Filed under: domestic life,intellectual,literature/belles lettres,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

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from Portraits (Aleksandr Ivannikov, 2004)

The outgoing year, 2008, which was declared the Year of Family in Russia, came to a close with the publication of a 10-volume anthology entitled Family Reading. The ambitious project can well be regarded as a publishers’ response to a better demographic situation in the country. The outgoing Year of Family registered the birth-rate at 7 percent, which is the highest in the past 15 years. In addition, to encourage births, the anthology was designed as an alternative to television and the Internet.

aleksandr-ivannikov-portraits-2-2004

from Portraits (Aleksandr Ivannikov, 2004)

One of its masterminds, Georgy Priakhin, described it as a worthy competitor. “This anthology contains literary and folk tales, from both Russia and other countries. It also provides valuable information on buried treasures, only our readers know where the treasures are buried, and it gives an extensive account of the battles of the past, God willing, there’ll be none in future. It presents travel and discovery maps and a world of wildlife with rare plants and animals. Children are thus taught to perceive both the artistic and the material”, Mr Priakhin said.

aleksandr-ivannikov-portraits-3-2004

from Portraits (Aleksandr Ivannikov, 2004)

Each volume of the anthology has a title. For one, the Bremen Musicians comprises fairytales and fantasy stories by fairy tale authors from all over the world, Charles Perrault, the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, Oscar Wilde, and George Sand. The little readers can learn to read from the anthology, for every volume is provided with an ABC. the cover and illustrations are just out of this world, featuring reproductions of works by famous artists and genre scenes, all classified into chapters such as “Your Picture Gallery” or “Round the World: from Century into Century”.

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Annushka (Fr Vladimir Kolosov, 2008)

Each volume proceeds from the easy to the difficult, which comes particularly handy for parents, who find it a challenge to introduce their children into a world of literary knowledge slowly, step by step. To piece together a collection of this kind was no easy, Mr Priakhin said, but, it was worth the effort. A whole group of experts worked on it for several years. The editors of the Family Reading anthology now doubt that 10 volumes are enough to include a sufficient number of works by contemporary writers, so, the project may go on. New literary works for children may thus come to enlarge the anthology ad infinitum in future.

29 December 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=37548&cid=59&p=29.12.2008

Editor’s Note:

The photos are from a wonderful site called Orthodoxy Foto. The images may be used to illustrate Orthodox or family articles, if an attribution and a mention of the photographer is given. A beautiful site from Russia (don’t listen to the nay-sayers who tell you that the Church in Russia in corrupt… be serious!).

BMD

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin says that the Lord shall Show Us His Will in the Local Council, as He Revealed It in the Time of the Renovationist Schism

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Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), Deputy Head of the MP DECR

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, believed that the new Patriarch will be elected at the Local Council through the Will of God, and human plans and expectations are not all able to prejudge anything. “Now, of course, much has been said about the various candidates for the patriarchal office. The most important thing is to follow the revealed Will of God, which we always see in history, even on the most difficult questions”, he said, in response to listeners’ questions live on the radio  station Radonezh. Fr Vsevolod pointed up the dogmatic disputes of the first millennium of Christianity, saying, “The Will of God is always found through the conciliar mind of the Church, which sometimes does not find the right solution immediately, but, in the end, it eventually comes to one, moreover, precisely when a real choice stands before it”.

Fr Vsevolod is convinced that “the Lord Himself leads His Church. History teaches us the truth of this. Human wisdom, human plans, and human expectations are not able to define or solve the problems facing the Church”. It is a fact that “all who have a sense of church-consciousness and faith, such as bishops, priests, and grounded laity, understand that the Lord shall show us His Will and it is our affair to obey it and to understand that we do nothing in the Church without following the Will of God.

If it were not for the will of God, there would only be only human reasoning, planning, forecasting, and techniques… in other words, the Renovationist schism would have won. After all, they had the support of the government of the time! Its rule was brutal and inflexible, and all bowed before it with the sole exception of the believers. The intelligentsia, the military, scientists… all bowed down to the Bolsheviks, except for the Church, which did not do so”, he said. Fr Vsevolod went on to say that the Renovationist schism “included many very intelligent people, boasting prominent hierarchs who were considered amongst the leading-lights of the Church, along with the support of the secular leadership, which led to them grabbing the best church-buildings.

In human terms, one would expect them to win a complete victory, but, that did not happen. The Renovationists forgot the most important goal of church life, they did not struggle to acquire eternal salvation through the true Faith, they failed to act as Christians ought”, he said.  “The true Church had far fewer famous people in its ranks, it was humbled, it was driven into prison or the labour camps, yet, it survived. Over the course of a few decades, this schism disappeared, and its surviving leaders begged forgiveness and repentance, living out the remainder of their days in obscurity and in a complete moral vacuum”, Fr Vsevolod concluded.

30 December 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=28121

Editor’s Note:

It is interesting that Fr Vsevolod brings up the topic of the Renovationists. For those not familiar with the history, they believed in such things as a married episcopate, the possibility of remarriage for widowed priests, the abbreviation of the divine services, and the use of “lowest common denominator” modern Russian as the liturgical language. Sounds familiar, no? Indeed… it sounds EXACTLY like the tune played by SVS, Syosset, Basil Osborne, St Sergius in Paris, New Skete, Mark Stokoe, and “Orthodox Christian Laity”. This leads me to a bold statement.

If one were to look at the OCA today, if one were to read the oca.org website, one would think that Vladyki Jonas was hand-in-glove with the above-named currents. The Rossiskaya Gazeta interview is being kept from the faithful. There is no English translation on the OCA or SVS sites, and I shall say this is culpable. I translated it within hours, and they were just as capable of doing likewise. It was carried by two major Russian websites, Interfax-Religion and Pravoslavie.ru.

BMD

A year on…:

I fear that Jonas Paffhausen has fallen completely in with the band of thieves at SVS and Syosset. God spare us all, and may his reign prove short.

President Medvedev Urges US President-elect Obama to Work with Russia on Global Problems

Filed under: Barack Obama,diplomacy,Dmitri Medvedev,politics,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

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US President-elect Barack Obama (1961- ), God willing, he shall end the disastrous neocon foreign policy of Clinton and Bush II. Time shall give us his measure.

President Dmitri Medvedev invited US President-elect Barack Obama to launch a joint effort to deal with global problems. In a seasonal message to Mr Obama released by the Kremlin press service on Tuesday, Mr Medvedev said that Russia and the United States had accumulated valuable experience in cooperating on current international problems. “I am sure that, at the present time, it will be in special demand. I act on the assumption that we will, without delay, start working together along all major lines, taking into consideration the situation in the world and our countries’ interests”, Mr Medvedev said.

Mr Obama is to be inaugurated in Washington on 20 January. “You are assuming the post of the President of the United States at a trying moment. But, I am sure that despite the scale and complexity of outstanding problems, you will meet with success”, Mr Medvedev said. He added that he was sure that Russia and the United States would manage to “augment the positive experience in cooperation on the basis of pragmatism and a balance of interests”.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in mid-December that President Medvedev would meet with President Obama, shortly after his inauguration. Russia-US relations have been frayed by Washington’s plans to deploy elements of a missile shield to Central Europe, Russia’s five-day war with Georgia over South Ossetia in August, and NATO’s eastward expansion. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently said that he expected Russia’s relations with the United States to improve after Mr Obama takes office in January. His words were echoed by Mr Medvedev.

Mr Obama said earlier this month that he wanted to “reset” relations between Washington and an “increasingly assertive” Moscow. “We want to cooperate with them where we can, and there are a whole host of areas, particularly around non-proliferation of weapons and terrorism, where we can cooperate, but, we also have to send a clear message that they have to act in ways that are not bullying their neighbours”, Mr Obama said.

30 December 2008

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081230/119234336.html

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