It isn’t easy for Germans to become Orthodox, both emotionally and in practice. They have to not only abandon the faith of their fathers but also to become members of a foreign community with a different mentality and an unfamiliar language. However, the desire to find the truth is so strong that more and more Germans are deciding to take on this burden.
When I was fulfilling my compulsory military service, there were some Evangelicals in my battalion. We would spend entire nights arguing about the faith. I started going to church on Sunday and talking with the priest so I could better prepare for my discussions with them.
Our conversation with Archpriest Joseph Skinner is about the life of the Diocese of Sourozh, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), the Black Lives Matter activist movement and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The traditions connected with the place where the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord was uncovered and it’s, to say the least, complicated fate over the centuries, are the subject of our conversation with Nun Mariam (Yurchuk) of the Gorny Convent of the Russian Mission [Moscow Patriarchate] in Jerusalem—a guide and the author of a guidebook for pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Priest George Sungaila, a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Pure Mother of God in Vilnius, runs a blog on Orthodoxy in Lithuanian. He is actively involved in the preparation and publication of prayer books for fellow Lithuanians and says that he doesn’t have enough people to help him preach Orthodoxy in his native land.
Bishop John (Berzins) of Caracas and South America was born and raised in an Orthodox Latvian family in Australia, studied theology in Jordanville, served in the Holy Land, and later began to govern the Edinoverie parishes of ROCOR. We talked about life abroad, Russian emigrants and the preservation of national identity.
People are seeking happiness, preferably in recipes and measurable proportions: “Five Steps to Success,” “Six Ways to Stay Calm,” “Ten Secrets of Happiness”… So let’s give the world our true, Christian secrets of happiness, which in one way or another every man seeks throughout his life.
In his deep humility, Vladyka Simon, probably dreaming of having a bishop for the Edinoverie more than anyone else, sought this for himself least of all. Batiushka believed there were many who were more worthy than him. And the fate of the Edinoverie bishop did not promise a quiet and full life.
Until the revolution in Russia, there was a universal tradition of reading the “lay order” of the services. In the absence of the priest in church, or at home, the entire family would read part or all of the daily cycle of Church services. We will talk today about what happened to this good tradition, how to revive it, and what benefit it brings for the whole body of the Church.
The value of tradition as the best experience of our ancestors, accumulated, refined, and transmitted, has been devalued in our days. The modern Orthodox family is compelled to seek new ways to orient their everyday life. Over the course of the many centuries of Christian history, the Russian people created a universal system of family values, which, having moral categories, is always clearly manifested externally: in expressions, relations, and organization of space.
The Edinoverie allows you to truly, as a in monastery, break away from worldly vanity, immerse yourself in a prayerful condition, look at the Orthodox faith through the prism of greater strictness with yourself, and pull yourself up to a personal spiritual height.
There are no longer long services and plangent, angelic singing in our city parishes, and icons of the Rublev school are found far from everywhere. But grains of these olden times, of this semi-monastic life have been preserved, by the will of God, and survived to our day in the Edinoverie (United Faith, Old Rite) parishes of the Russian Church.