Tikhy Ples, Tatarstan, Russia, July 25, 2022
Yet another Russian village church closed during the godless Soviet years has seen the light of the Divine services again for the first time in decades.
On Saturday, on the feast of the Placing of the Precious Robe of the Lord in Moscow, which occurred in 1625, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan and Tatarstan celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church in the village of Tikhy Ples, Tatarstan, which was celebrating its patronal feast.
This was the first time the Liturgy was celebrated in the church in almost 90 years, reports Orthodoxy in Tatarstan.
The local faithful, pilgrims from Kazan, and volunteers working on the restoration of the church all prayed during the service.
After the service, the clergy and faithful held a procession around the church.
Met. Kirill, addressed the people on the occasion:
Today we prayed in a ruined but not forgotten church. Thanks to the dean Fr. Pimen, the rector Fr. Anatoly, the head of the youth department of our diocese Artem Garanin and other laborers, the spiritual life is being revived here. It’s impossible to raise this church with our modest human efforts, but there is huge Divine power in this sacred place that sends opportunities and draws people.
… But it’s important that we, each in our own place, would feel the presence of Divine grace, so we wouldn’t have to go somewhere to find it, so we could come to our church, pray, and leave with warmth in our hearts. If Divine grace touches our soul, then we’ll leave the church with a pure heart, filled with grace. We won’t pay attention to the sins of others, and everything that happens in the world won’t obscure the presence of God.
After the service, the local dean Fr. Pimen presented the parish with the books of Sacred Scripture, the parishioners were given icons of the Placing of the Lord’s Robe.
OrthoChristian has reported on the restoration of the liturgical life at a number of churches after the long years of soviet persecution, including a church in the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin in 2018, a church at the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg in April 2021, a church in Moldova that May, another church in Tatarstan that August, an Old Rite church outside of Moscow that September, and another Nizhny Novgorod church in February of this year.