Pskov, October 15, 2020
On the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God yesterday, His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov celebrated the Divine Liturgy according to the Old Rite in the Church of St. Nicholas in the city of Pskov, a dependency of the Pskov Caves Monastery of which Met. Tikhon is the abbot.
This was the first hierarchical Old Rite Liturgy in Pskov in several centuries, reports the press service of the Pskov Diocese.
The celebration consisted of the Midnight Office, the greeting and vesting of the hierarch, the reading of the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Hours, and the Divine Liturgy, all according to the Old Rite, used in Russia before the 17th century Nikonian reforms and now used in Old Believer and canonical Edinovertsi churches.
His Eminence was concelebrated by Igumen Peter (Vasiliev) of the Edinovertsi Church of St. Nicholas in Moscow, Hieromonk Anatoly (Dontsu), the rector of the St. Nicholas Church in Pskov, and other Pskov clergy. The service was sung by a combined choir from Old Rite communities of the Moscow Diocese and the St. Nicholas Church in Pskov.
During the service, Dimitry Kirichenko, a graduate of Sretensky Seminary, was ordained to the diaconate.
Before Holy Communion, Met. Tikhon addressed all those gathered with an archpastoral address:
Today, we the clergy prayed in the altar with the prayers that both St. Sergius of Radonezh and Hieromartyr Cornelius offered to God from the heart and in words. All priests, until the end of the 17th century, prayed this way. These prayers are very special: They are very deep, very touching, and very clear. Desiring to make the Slavic language clearer, it was, paradoxically, complicated in many ways. The prayers of the old Orthodox liturgical rite are much more understandable even for an ordinary person than the prayers of the Nikonian translation. But it is not for us to judge them! We have gathered to remind ourselves once again how serious it is to make an error in relation to Church Tradition.
Today we hope that we have begun the revival of Edinoverie services in the Pskov Diocese. Edinoverie services began in the Church of St. Nicholas in 1844. The Edinoverie is that part of the Russian Church, those children who are faithful to the Russian Church who are in Eucharistic Communion with all of us, but celebrate the services according to the old, pre-Nikonain rite. They have preserved the chants, prayers, and rites as they were under our fathers before 1654-1656. Of course, it was unusual for us, because a lot of what the eye and ear are used to is different here. I hope people will be found who will especially love this slow, measured and focused service, without the excessive beauty of polyphonic chants, without haste, and will become parishioners of this parish.
Met. Tikhon also presented a copy of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God as a gift to the parish, and all those present were given a book about the Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker Nicholas.
Read more about the Old Rite and Edinoverie communities in our articles by Vladimir Basenkov.
Watch a video of the service: