Avsyunino, Moscow Province, Russia, September 9, 2021
On the occasion of its patronal feast, the Old Rite Edinoverie Church of St. Peter of Moscow in the Moscow Province experienced the beginning of a spiritual rebirth, with the first Divine Liturgy being celebrated there in 100 years.
The feast in the village of Avsyunino began on Sunday with the return of the miraculously preserved icon of St. Peter from the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in a nearby village to the Church of St. Peter, where it was located before the revolution, reports the Church’s page on Russian social media.
Upon the return of the icon, the All-Night Vigil was served within the walls of the dilapidated church by rector Fr. Alexei Guglivat together with Hieromonks Irenei and Spyridon from Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and other local clergy. The service was sung by a joint choir from two local Old Rite communities.
After the Vigil, the clergy and faithful gathered for a common meal.
On Monday morning, the services of the Midnight Office, the Hours, and the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Peter were celebrated. Fr. Alexei served together with Fr. Peter (Vasiliev) of the Old Rite Church of St. Nicholas in Moscow.
The Liturgy was followed by a moleben to St. Peter, a cross procession, and the blessing of water. Everyone was then treated to another festive meal.
Last month, the Liturgy was celebrated in a church in a village in Tatarstan for the first time in 89 years.
The Church of St. Peter of Moscow was built in 1905 at the expense of the Missionary Brotherhood of St. Peter, whose main mission was to overcome the schism with the Old Believers. It’s unclear if the church was originally Old or New Rite, as it was consecrated together by a New Rite bishop and an Old Rite priest. The church was closed in 1930 and was thereafter used as a club and a barn in Soviet times, reports the Moscow Metropolia.
There is currently a library located in the church building.