On July 29 Bishop Vikentiy (Novozhilov) of Yaroslavl and Kostroma, performed a consecration of the altar dedicated to prophet Elijah in the church of the Most Holy and Life-creating Trinity over the gates – one of the three churches of Old Believers’ Nikola-Uleyma monastery – and celebrated the first Divine liturgy on the newly-consecrated altar.
After the end of the divine service bishop Vikentiy congratulated the praying people with the Resurrection of the Lord and with a great spiritual solemnity of this convent – consecration of the alter dedicated to glorious prophet Elijah.
– Everything is symbolic, – noted bishop Vikentiy in his word. – Although everyone is tired, heaviness in legs, in body is exhausting, but the spirit is awake. By this prayerful spirit, this high mood you should always live in the holy convent, fulfilling the commandments of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the monastic vows. Let us unceasingly work for to support the convent, to support our spirit, to support Old Faith in general. I call upon our Christians to help nuns as much as they can in the improvement of this beautiful convent, created by the disciples of venerable Sergiy of Radonezh – and prophet Elijah will not forsake you in his prayers and help you in all good deeds.
Bishop Vikentiy was concelebrated by Hegumen Manuil (Chibisov), priest Anatoliy Nosochkov, deacon Alexandr Devin, readers and singers. Guests arrived from Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Omsk, Moscow and Moscow region to share the joy of the feast.
– It has been 20 years since the convent was transferred to the Old Believers, but we did not know about the altars because of the lack of project documentation. There were auxiliary rooms on the place of the holy altars, which is not allowed by Church canons, – tells Hegumenia Olympias, the Abbess of the convent, about the difficult fate of the altars. – But after the fire, which happened in the church, we learned by God’s providence that in 1891 the left altar dedicated to prophet Elijah was founded here, and in 1892 – the right one, dedicated to the Holy Apostle Philipp. Following the instruction of the Holy Scripture to give “unto God the things that are God’s” we worked to restore the altars.
All people who took active part in the restoration of the altars and improvement of the territory of the convent received letters of gratitude. The names of helpers were inserted into the prayer lists, they will be always prayed for at the liturgies and everyday night vigils.
– Dear brothers and sisters, I deeply bow to you for your help in this godly deed – building of the house of God, for your kind heart. Without you we would not have this feast, – expressed her gratitude Hegumenia Olympias.
Bishop Vikentiy noted a special spirit of ancient Orthodoxy reigning in the convent and thanked the nuns for their unceasing vigils and labours:
– We should pay due respect to you, our dear labourers. Despite your age and weakness of human nature you demonstrate the example of carrying the heavy burden of monastic feat on your shoulders. Sometimes the burden is unbearably heavy. I wish you strength and fortitude in the continuation of the Old Believers’ monastic tradition, success in this narrow way of spiritual perfection, which is full of sorrows, everyday night prayer and diligent labour. Take care for each other, forgive your neighbours their sins, live in peace and harmony.
On the eve of the celebration, July 28, the nuns congratulated priest Anatoliy Nosochkov, who is the pilot of the convent, with the 32th anniversary of his ordination. They noted that he is the first priest ordained by metropolitan Alimpiy after his enthronement in 1986.