A few significant events took place in the second half of July in Kazan. There were more guests at the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God than usual. The feast was not limit itself to the solemn divine service and the festive meal.
The celebration united the two Old Believers’ churches – the long known cosy church at Ostrovskiy street and the cathedral at the neighbouring Staraya (Old) street. Since November last year the divine services are conducted here as well on Sunday and festive days. On July 20 and 21 the service in the small church was led by the Right Reverend bishop Evfimiy of Kazan, Vyatka and the Urals. During the Divine liturgy bishop Evfimiy ordained reader Dimitriy Chetvergov into a deacon. As the ecclesiastics of the diocese noted, now there is at least one deacon in each region belonging to the diocese.
The traditional for this feast Service of supplication took place during the Procession which moved to the Cathedral, and here the service was finished by the blessing of water.
This year was the 440 anniversary of the appearance of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. To this date the people of Kazan dedicated the spiritual-educational forum “Living Heritage of the Ancient-Orthodox Culture”. In the evening the solemn opening of the forum took place with the concert of the choir of the Kazan and Vyatka diocese led by priest Roman Dontsov.
The street exhibition-market of crafts of Old Believers-artisans became a part of the program. It opened on Sunday in front of the Cathedral. The guests were shown the exhibition of Old Believers’ icons, books, church and ordinary life objects – old and modern. From Monday a series of lectures and workshops started which continued for the whole week.
The organisers of the forum set themselves a task to acquaint with Orthodoxy as many people as possible. The representative of the organising committee Ekaterina Chetvergova notes:
The Old Believers have preserved the undistorted teaching about the truth for more than 300 years, and for any Orthodox person truth is Christ. We wanted to show that our heritage consists not only in museum items or church buildings, but it is in the people, who keep their faith and traditions from generation to generation, therefore it is living. It was important for us that everyone had an opportunity to touch upon this treasury.
A few lectures could not show all the diversity of ancient Russian culture, but at least it could point out to the different fields of this culture, each of which demands a more detailed uncovering. The guests were offered thematic online resources: “Ancient-Orthodox book culture”, “Old Russian Znamenny Chant”, “Traditional Ancient-Orthodox Clothes and Utensils”, “Ancient Icon Painting”, “Orthodox Media Space”. 2 or 3 lectures were given in each of these fields. No for everyone it was possible to come to Kazan to listen a lecture. To make the lectures available to all, the format of online-broadcasting was chosen. If someone could not go online at certain time to listen for the lecture, the videos and all additional materials can be watched at any convenient time on the youtube channel.
The biggest interest and discussion was sparked by the lecture-talk by bishop Evfimiy “Preservation of the Living Russian Language”. Unfortunately, it was impossible to show this lecture-talk online in live stream due to technical problems, but it is also available on the youtube channel of the Kazan community. The biggest interest of the viewers was aroused by the workshop on Ancient Russian Znamenny Chant by Pavel Kataev.
The idea of the forum belonged to the Kazan Old Believers’ community and its dean father Gennadiy Chetvergov. Father Gennadiy suggested to think: what good can the parish do for the Church, the city and the society in general. The idea turned into a form of an application for the contest of presidential grants, and the project received support.
We hope that we have reached the set goal at least partially. This is our first experience. Of course we have a lot to work on, and, with God’s help, the next time we will conduct such events in an even better way. In general for the first time, I think it is not bad. The number of views at our youtube channel grows every day, it means the people are interested. We are pleased that not only Old Believers registered for the workshops. On the contrary, more than half were ordinary inhabitants of the city Kazan – Ekaterina continues.
After the series of the lectures was finished the organisers suggested the participants of the forum within the frames of the round table to tell about their impressions, comments and suggestions.
It was important for us to hear everyone, to receive advice about how to make this event even better. With God’s help, we will try to continue to make the Ancient-Orthodox culture known to the people – Ekaterina summed up.
The art-historical exhibition of Old Believers’ icons, books, church and ordinary life objects – old and modern will be open at the Cathedral for everybody until the feast of Transfiguration.