First Divine Liturgy in 100 years in Tatarstan church

Chirpy, Tatarstan, Russia, August 12, 2022

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On August 10, the feast of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, the liturgical life in the church of the same name in a Tatarstan village was revived after 100 years.   

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan and Tatarstan, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Smolensk Church in the village of Chirpy by the local dean, Igumen Nikdom (Shushmarchenko), and the local priest Fr. Mark Alexandrov, reports the Tatarstan Metropolis.

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The Smolensk parish was formed in 1747. Its church was rebuilt in 1889, with a chapel to St. Sergius of Radonezh. During the Soviet years, the church was closed and looted.   

On May 31 of this year, a cross was consecrated on the dome of the church, which is being rebuilt.

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Residents of Chirpy and other nearby villages came to pray at the first Divine Liturgy.

At the end of the service, the clergy served the glorification of the Queen of Heaven. All then shared in a festive meal, and a concert was performed by a local ensemble.

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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, another Nizhny Novgorod church in February of this year, another church in Tatarstan last month, and a church in Moscow earlier this month.

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