First Liturgy in 105 years at university church in Moscow

Moscow, August 8, 2023

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A house church within the walls of a 19th-century Moscow university was finally blessed with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the first time in over a century last week.

The patronal feast of the Church of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University was celebrated on Friday. And the Liturgy was led by a graduate of the university—Fr. Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Commission for Work with Universities and the Scientific Community, reports the social media page Church and Universities.

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The Liturgy was preceded by a moleben for the blessing of water. The service was attended by staff, teachers, and students of the university and others who actively worked and prayed for the revival of the university church.

The university was founded in 1826 and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene was consecrated in 1832. In 1918, according to the decree on the separation of Church and state, the closure of university churches began, including the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.

After that it was opened only once, on the day of the funeral of the “father of Russian aviation,” Nikolai Zhukovsky, in March 1921, after which the iconostasis and liturgical utensils were dismantled and the premises were used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and later the Academic Council.

Starting in 2016, the community of Orthodox students, teachers, and graduates of the university celebrated the feast of St. Mary Magdalene with molebens in the nearby Yelokhovsky Cathedral and processions along Bauman Street.

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