MOSCOW: January 28, 2011
Bishop John of South America Leads a Meeting of “The Old Rite in the Life of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Past and Present”
On January 25, 2011, a meeting titled “The Old Rite in the Life of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Past and Present” took place as part of the 19th International Nativity Readings at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Heading the conference, which is being held for the sixth time, is its director, Priest Ioann Miroliubov, Secretary of the Commission on the Old Rite Parishes of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was a guest speaker at the event, who was recently appointed by the Synod of Bishops as a liaison with the Old Rite parishes.
Protopriest Georgy Krylov, a specialist in Liturgical history, drew a great deal of interest with his speech “How the Agiasma Became Movable,” Professor AG Dugin of Moscow State University delivered a lecture titled “The Eschatological Problem of the Old Believers, Old Ritualism and New Ritualism,” and Hegumen Afanasy (Selichev), Abbot of Archangel Michael Monastery in Yuriev-Polsky read a speech “St Athanasius (Sakharov) the Confessor and His Attitude Towards Old Ritualists.”
Also drawing interest was a lecture read by Deacon Maxim Plyakin (Saratov), “Pre-Nikon Particularities in the Internal Order of Sarov Hermitage.” The listeners were shown illustrations (photographs of liturgical music books, church utensils and monastic garb), showing how the monastery preserves relics of the pre-schism period, including divine services, znamenny chant and service texts.
On January 26, a round table was held on the problems of the Old-Rite parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Patriarchal Center of Ancient Russian Church Traditions at Pokrovsky Church in Rubtsov. Some twenty clergymen participated along with laypersons representing almost all the major churches which celebrate according to the ancient rite.
The attendees noted happily that interest in the ancient traditions of divine services has been gaining in recent years among Orthodox Christians, and that new parishes of the Old Rite are joining the Russian Orthodox Church, which helps heal the wounds of Church division stemming from the 17th century.
The participants of the round table were also told of instances of intolerance to members of the Old Rite within the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Plans for a joint publishing effort were discussed by member of the Old Rite and holding services at holy sites. The proposal to establish an Old-Rite youth club was unanimously approved, as well as a scholarly seminar at the Patriarchal Center for studying ancient traditions of divine services.
Press Service of the DECR