Voices from Russia

Saturday, 11 April 2015

11 April 2015. A Thought from St John Chrysostom on this Holy Saturday

00 easter eggs. 11.0.15


Christ is risen… but the empty tomb isn’t known yet. Christ is “loosing the bonds of the captives” in Hades… leading out all those who chose to follow Him. Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand; set your minds on things eternal, ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in his hand Christ our God to earth descended, come our homage to command. The Feast of Feasts is tonight at midnight…



Saturday, 19 April 2014

19 April 2014. This Year in Jerusalem… The Holy Fire Appears, Yet Again…

00 Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. 19.04.14


In Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Holy Fire appeared yet again. Every year, delegations from Orthodox lands take the fire back to their homelands. Russia is no exception. HH will light his Easter Candle from the Holy Fire brought by plane from Jerusalem. It’s coming… ever the same and evergreen at once.


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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Patriarch Kirill Says Permissiveness Isn’t Freedom

00 The Republican said to God

This is the permissiveness condemned in the present Easter epistle… any questions?


The MP official website reported that Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias noted that spiritual rather than material values should guide advocates of freedom. In his Easter message to clergy and believers, to be read in churches across the country during the Paschal liturgy early on Sunday, he wrote, “We live at a time when freedom is often interpreted as permissiveness. Many people sincerely believe that only power and wealth, or health and physical strength can bring liberation. Whilst competing in serving the idols of modern times, they often fail to achieve the main thing… the true purpose of existence. Our resurrected Saviour has given us freedom and revealed to us this purpose, which consists in learning the Truth and living a life with God”. He added that only in the struggle with evil could people grow spiritually to become truly free.

Early on Sunday, right after midnight, Patriarch Kirill will serve liturgy in downtown Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Up to 5,000 believers may attend the Easter service. This year, Russia will celebrate Easter, also known in Orthodox Christianity as Pascha, on 5 May, in line with the Julian calendar, following a long period of fasting. Easter is Christianity‘s most important and joyful feast, when the Church commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The last days of Holy Week that precede Easter are its most important days. On Holy Thursday, the Church remembers the Last Supper of Jesus and the Apostles. Great and Holy Friday is considered the most sorrowful day of the liturgical year because Christians remember Jesus being crucified and dying on the cross. On Holy Saturday, believers flock to churches to have their Easter eggs and cakes blessed by priests in anticipation of Easter celebrations. According to the New Testament, Christ rose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion, which is on Sunday, if Friday is included in the count.

In a related item, the RF MVD said that some 10,000 police officers, servicemen, and volunteers would ensure order in Moscow during festivities on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

4 May 2013



Editor’s Note:

Note well that HH interprets “permissiveness” as surrender to the zeitgeist of consumerism and greed… not so much sexual immorality. In other words, the struggle against godless libertarianism is more important than any “crusade” against “depravity” or marches for “pro-life politicians” are. The first involves a stand-up fight with a demonic ideology that says that there are no rules, no role for government (or any other outside institution, for that matter) in society, and that autonomous individuals are gods. The second is often a cartoonish caricature of the Church’s actual teachings. No politician who supports drone attacks is pro-life… as for homosexuality, do look at how the Church handled the affair of Nikon Mironov (it didn’t sweep it under the rug, as the OCA does, but it also didn’t allow Mironov to serve as a ruling bishop).

Ultimately, libertarianism says that there are no standards outside of the individual. In short, the Church has no real role to play, save as a chaplain to the idle rich (and issue unctuous soothing platitudes from the likes of Freddie M-G). Let’s not be coy… HH is right. Permissiveness is our enemy… a permissiveness that allows Bain Capital to slash employees’ wages… a permissiveness that allows the grasping Affluent Effluent to avoid their duty to the larger community… a permissiveness that spits on the social justice that Our Lord Christ taught. Depravity is a personal failing… serious, but not fatal to the body at large. Libertarianism is permissiveness walking in Seven-league boots. It’s more dangerous than the early communist persecution of the Church ever was… it sets up Man as an untrammelled and unbounded god, and that’s that. That’s why the upcoming Acton Institute seminar at SVS is absolutely evil and all decent Christians should avoid it. Don’t be fooled by their religious rhetoric… they’re just as much libertarians as the outright godless ones are… and they wink at the atheism implicit in libertarianism. Ponder that well…

You can follow Christ or you can follow the libertarians… it’s your choice.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

14 April 2012. VOR Presents… YUM! The Traditional Easter Foods

On 13 April, Christians marked the most sorrowful day of Holy WeekGood Friday. Believers brought to mind the Passion and Crucifixion of the Saviour to atone for human sin. Despite the fact that not everyone followed the Church’s guidelines, and not everyone shall attend services, both believers and unbelievers prepare for Easter with the same pleasure. Today, under the heading “Yum”, we’ll offer you the traditional dishes found on the Easter table.


Since olden days, the preparation for Easter began with Holy Thursday. On this day, people cleaned the whole house sparkling clean, painted and decorated eggs, and prepared the Paskha, besides baking the kulich, honey cakes, and fine pastry in the form of lambs, roosters, and pigeons.


The egg is the main symbol of Easter Sunday, as an egg contains new life. At Easter, believers greeted one another by giving each other coloured eggs. Usually, people dyed the eggs on Thursday, and they had them blessed in the church on Saturday.


Another distinctive treat is an Easter cake, the kulich. Kulich is actually a special “holiday” kind bread. The dough has much more butter, eggs, and sugar in it. In the image above, we see a kulich weighing 120 kilos (@265 pounds), about one metre (@39.5 inches) tall, baked in Kazan.


Of particular importance is how we decorate kulichi. Traditionally, formed the cross using nuts or raisins, or they wrote the initials “XB”… “Christ is Risen” (Христос воскресе: Khristos Voskrese, in Slavonic). However, those aren’t the only decorations… it all depends on your imagination. Normally, people ice the kulichi with fondant, and decorate them with icing sugar and poppy seeds.


Some people add spices or flavourings to their kulichi, usually, vanilla, cardamom, or nutmeg. In the image above, students at an Orthodox  gimnaziya in Vladivostok decorate kulichi.


Making kulichi has always been one of a housewife’s most important duties… for the success of her cake portends the fate of her family. If it all goes well and turns out right, then, the family will be fine, but if the dough doesn’t rise in the oven or it has a cracked crust, well, that’s a portent of disaster. In the image above, we see the making of kulichi in the bakery of the Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow.


Cheese Paskha is in the form of a truncated pyramid, which symbolises the grave. Of course, the great miracle of the Resurrection triumphed over it. Therefore, the letters “XB”, signifying “Christ is risen”, are on the side.


In the image above, we see people with food to be blessed at St Michael the Archangel parish in Sochi, on Holy Saturday.


13 April 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


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