Voices from Russia

Sunday, 28 April 2013

28 April 2013. Anyone Near Jackson NJ… Pannikhida for Nicholas Dubovsky on Monday… Funeral on Tuesday

00 Duty Calls


On 25 April 2013, our beloved Cossack brother Nicholas Dubovsky died in a fatal car accident. Nicholas had just returned home from a trip to Russia. Nicholas was one of the very first supporters of the Cossack Congress in America; he did everything possible to see Cossacks united in America. The Kuban Cossack Host, and the Cossack Congress in America, lost one of its best Cossacks; we’ll dearly miss him. We ask that all Cossacks who can, please, attend Nicholas’ Pannikhida on 29 April at St Mary Church, 316 Cassville Road, Jackson, NJ 08527 at 18.00 and his funeral at 10.00 on 30 April.

Вечная память!

28 April 2013

Конгресс Казаков в Америке

Congress of Cossacks in America



St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Surrey BC: “An Island Amongst Sinners”

00 Rev Mykhaylo Pozdyk. St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Surrey BC. 28.04.13


A half-dozen years ago, bullets flew into the walls of St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Surrey BC (part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District). That should tell you all that you need to know about the crime, drugs, homelessness, and squalor that surround the church’s gold-coloured dome in Whalley. Rev Mykhaylo Pozdyk said, “We’re like an island amongst sinners. The picture isn’t good, but we’re proud to be here to be God’s witness”. Although he said that dying in the church would be a “great honour”, it was fortunate that no one was around at the time of the drug-­related shooting spree.

The church is on 135A Street, in a two-block section that’s generally-considered Surrey’s worst stretch of pavement. When Ukrainian immigrants chose the spot for the church 50 years ago, the town centre was thriving. Today, the building’s white walls and blue-painted trim stand apart from nearby vacant lots and rundown buildings. Fr Mykhaylo said that the street people in the neighbourhood are friendly for the most part, but thefts occur and church property is sometimes destroyed, noting, “People ask for money but they usually don’t want food”.

As difficult as life is for the disadvantaged in downtown Whalley, Pozdyk saw much worse under Soviet rule in the Ukraine, where he lived until moving to Canada in 1996. He said, “Here we have more respect and value for people. Canada’s a rich country with many government programmes to help them”. He went on to say that churches were shut down for several generations in his homeland and KGB agents lurked in every village and organisation, observing, “Communists denied God’s existence”. Pozdyk was secretly married in a church in 1987 at the beginning of Mikhail Gorbachyov’s period of thaw. Ukrainian people flocked to the churches when the doors opened after independence in 1991.

He stated that the churches there aren’t as well attended now because people chase after the same material goals as they do in the West, saying, “As soon as you sign a mortgage, you’re a slave to the mortgage. You have no time for God”. Although Pozdyk has bought a house here, and smiles about it, he remains faithful to his spiritual duties, telling us, “We’re temporary in this world… pilgrims. Freedom you can only find in God. We ­glorify God for everything we have in this life. We say ‘thank you’ for the forgiveness of our sins. I’m still a sinner and I’m trying my best to grow ­spiritually”.


What’s your congregation’s religion?

Our congregation is part of One Holy Orthodox-Catholic and Apostolic Church.

What would you put in a tweet? 

We’re blessed to worship in this beautiful little church that’s on the City of Surrey Heritage Register. We welcome everyone, and we’ll treat you as best as we can.

How many people attend services?

40 to 70

What’s traditional?

Our worship is Liturgical, Eucharistic, and Jesus-centred.

What’s modern?

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What’s the most beautiful thing about your church?

Praising God and worshipping Him in spirit and truth together with all the people who come here and have hope that all their names will be written in the Book of Life.

Give us your sense of what’s happening in the area around the church.

Hard-working people who were busy with supporting their families built this church between 1950 and 1955. At the same time, they worked hard to build a new place of worship. At that time, it was a good area. Now, the church finds itself on one of the poorest streets in town.

26 April 2013

Kent Spencer

The Province


In Albuquerque NM an Unknown Knife-Wielding Assailant Wounded Several Parishioners

00 US WWI poster. Destroy This Mad Brute copy


 In Albuquerque NM, a man attacked worshippers at a Sunday service. The unidentified man attacked members of the choir with a knife at St Jude ThaddeusCatholic Church during the Mass. Police spokesman Robert Gibbs says a man in his 20s jumped over several pews and went up to the choir area, where he began his attack. The incident occurred at about 12.00 MDT (22.00 MSK 19.00 UTC 14.00 EDT 11.00 PDT 04.00 Monday 29 April AEDT). Local TV station KOB reported that the man wounded six people, two of whom are in serious condition. Injuries to four church-goers weren’t life-threatening, and all four were treated at nearby hospitals. Numerous parishioners subdued the attacker and held him down until police arrived. Gibbs says the attacker is in custody, but that police don’t yet know his identity, the motive for the stabbings, whether he had any ties to the victims, or whether he regularly attended the church. The stabbings occurred as the choir had just begun its closing hymns. At the beginning of this year in Albuquerque, a teenager shot five people, including his parents, brother and two sisters.

28 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service



 Editor’s Note:

Note well that this violent attack occurred in a state under rightwing Republican rule. I submit that the violent and vicious ideology of the GOP forms a fertile seedbed for such incidents. That’s why Orthodox Christians should keep their distance from the GOP… its very Urgründ {“deepest first cause” in German: editor} (that is, the invisible hand of the market) is anti-Christian to the core, far worse than anything in the Democratic Party’s platform (and that ain’t much to write home about, either). In short, we should follow the principle, In a situation where both choices are bad, choose the least noxious alternative. As Christians, we don’t believe that Greed is Good… ‘nuff said…


Patriarch Kirill on Orthodox Palm Sunday: “The Church is Outside Politics”



After serving Palm Sunday liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias reiterated that the Church continues to reject categorically any involvement in politics. He emphasised the Church’s pastoral role.


Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church Year, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, commonly called Palm Sunday. Russian liturgical books call it Flowery Sunday, but the people call it Palm Sunday. The holiday ends the forty days of the Easter Lent and starts Holy Week, which culminates in Easter Sunday. This year, Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on 5 May. On this day, believers come to church with pussy-willow branches in memory of how the people of Jerusalem met Jesus Christ. Then, Holy Week follows the theme of the Passion of the Saviour, retelling the story of suffering and death on the cross of Jesus Christ.

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, the First Hierarch of the Church of Moscow and all the Russias, served liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. In the centre of the temple, exposed for the veneration of the believers, were a particle of the Lord’s Robe and a Nail from the Holy Cross. During the coming week, they’ll be in the centre of the cathedral, afterwards, they’ll return to their usual place in the right choir.

Until recently, these holy objects were in the Moscow Kremlin. They came to Russia in the 17th century, exposed for veneration at the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin once a year. Empress St Elena discovered the Life-giving Cross of the Lord in the 4th century, the mother of Emperor St Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles (Greek: ἰσαπoστολος: isapostolos Latin: aequalis apostolis Russian: равноапостольный: ravnoapostolny). In addition, four nails from the Saviour’s crucifixion were found with the Cross. According to the Gospel narrative, the soldiers cast lots for the Robe of the Lord, rather than dividing it. Before the 17th century, this piece of the robe was in the cathedral of Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. After Shahanshah ‘Abbās the Great of the Safavid Empire captured Georgia in 1617, he took this relic. In 1624, he offered it to Tsar Mikhail Romanov, who brought it to Moscow and placed it in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin.


04d Palm Sunday 2011


The Orthodox Church celebrates the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem on the last Sunday before Easter. This is one of the 12 Great Feasts. People call it Palm Sunday because churches bless pussy-willow branches and palms on this day after liturgy. Yet, even though this day is called Вайи (Vay, branches of the date palm, which the people of Jerusalem used to welcome Jesus), Holy Week is also known as Flowery (Цветоносия, Цветной) Week. In 2013, Orthodox celebrated the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem on 28 April.

It’s a single-day holidays and, unlike other feasts, it doesn’t have a week of feasting; it’s surrounded by strict fast days. On the one side, we have the Easter Lent proper; on the other, we have Holy Week (a week devoted to the Passion and death on the cross of Jesus Christ). Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday serve as a transition from Lent to Holy Week itself. The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem was one of the main events of the last days of the earthly life of Jesus Christ, described by all four Evangelists, which they considered as a symbol of the future reign of God. On that, Jesus rode on a young donkey as He entered Jerusalem, and the whole city came out to meet him. As the Gospel tells us, the people took off their cloaks and threw them on the road on which Jesus rode. They littered His path with palm branches, and greeted Him with shouts of “Hosanna!” That was usually only reserved for acclamations to the king. The reason for such jubilation was His miracle on the day before, where Jesus raised Lazarus, thus, proving his status as the Son of God.

Christians celebrated this festival from the 3rd century onwards; in Russia, it came with the Baptism of Rus in the 10th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries, in Moscow, the celebration of this feat was especially solemn. Before the Liturgy at the Assumption Cathedral, a procession wended its way through the streets, passing through the Spassky Gate of the Moscow Kremlin. Firstly, everyone went to the Church of the Intercession on the Moat (better known today as St Basil Cathedral) for prayers on Calvary. In the procession, along with the banners and icons, believers carried pussy-willow branches and flowers. In the midst of it all, the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias rode on a donkey, which the tsar himself led by the bridle. Upon returning to the Assumption Cathedral, the blessed pussy-willow branches were passed out as gifts to the believers. At the end of the 17th century, this custom disappeared.

Palm Sunday services begin on Saturday evening. The all-Night Vigil on the evening before the feast is particularly solemn, after which the blessing of pussy-willow branches takes place (the pussy-willow symbolises the victory of life over death… the Resurrection of the Lord). After the reading of the Gospel, the clergy incense the pussy-willows, recite prayers, and sprinkle holy water on the branches. Usually, the clergy repeat the sprinkling of the branches on the very day of the holiday, after the liturgy. Sanctified branches are given to the believers during the anointing with oil during the service. The believers stand with branches and candles during the reading of the festal canon, thereby symbolising the people of ancient Judea that came out to meet Jesus Christ at His Entrance into Jerusalem. After this, the believers keep the candles as a symbol of the greatness and grace of the triumph of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, as their flickering light represents the resurrection to eternal life.

When they return home, believers take the pussy-willows blessed on this day and place them behind the corner of one of their icons, where they stay until next year’s Palm Sunday, when they replace it with a fresh branch. The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is used on this day, and the liturgical texts meditate on the meaning of the events of the resurrection of Lazarus (Lazarus Saturday), and the solemn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the eve of His suffering on the Cross. The clergy wear green vestments on the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem, as green is a symbol of the rebirth of life, and it brings to mind the green palm fronds that the people of Jerusalem welcomed Christ with.

On this day, even according to the strictest reading of the rules, believers can eat fish and drink wine. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, or Great Week, the week preceding Easter, dedicated to retelling the Passion of Jesus Christ. On Sunday night, the service commemorates the Last Supper, His Trial, His Passion, the Crucifixion, and the Burial of Jesus Christ.

 28 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service




Editor’s Note:

His Holiness makes it clear… the Church is above partisan politics. Therefore, the American Orthodox who’re trying to ally the Church with the Republican Party and the Pro-Life Movement (these are mixed together so incestuously that it’s impossible to separate them) are going against the Received Truth taught by the Church of Christ. Christ has nothing in common with greed, favouritism to the rich, regressive taxation on ordinary folks, warmongering in foreign parts, drone attacks on civilians, hurting the most-vulnerable amongst us, the promiscuous use of the death penalty (as one sees in Hard Right strongholds such as Texas), and “gun rights“… indeed, quite the opposite. However, don’t argue with such people… they’re invincibly-incorrigible. Oppose them… for that’s what the Lord Christ commands. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God, not Blessed are the warmongers, for they fatten the boodle bags of the oligarchs

Remember, the Church says, the love of money is the root of all evil… the Republican Party says, Greed is Good… I think that one of these things is not like the other…


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