On the week of the holy Myrrh-bearing women, a number of annual and traditional celebrations were held in the the Rogozhskoe settlement, the spiritual and administrative center of the Russian Orthodox Old-believers Church. This particular week of the holy Myrrh-bearing women is especially revered in Moscow, as the week also connects with celebrating the anniversary of the unsealing of the church altars in the Rogozhskoe settlement and the granting of freedom given to Old-believers 114 years ago under Tsar Nicholas II.
Guests from all across Russia, as well as from overseas, began to Rogozhskoe in Moscow days before the festive feast-day. On Friday, May 10, an evening of spiritual singing was held in the chamber hall of the Moscow International House of Music.
On Saturday, May 11, a portrait exhibition, “From the heart of Russia”, by the artist L.L. Milovanov was publicly opened in the House of the Clergy in the Rogozhskoe settlement. A historical and cultural exhibition, “Preserving the faith and traditions of the ancestors”, was also opened in the House of the Clergy. The exhibition was in honor of the 245th anniversary of the Nativity of Christ – St. Nicholas church in Novozybkov in the Bryansk region. A photo exhibition “The faces of Old-believers” was also presented and the showcased photographers, Sergey Trigubenko, Evgeny Tumanov and Alexander Govorov, conducted on the day a master class on the basics of photography, in which they shared the secrets of their skills with those who were interested in learning.
On Saturday at 3pm, the vespers service began in the Intercession Cathedral. At 6.30am on Sunday, worshipers met and escorted the head of the Church, metropolitan Korniliy, from the metropolitan’s chambers to the Cathedral. The metropolitan led the divine liturgy and co-served with bishop Andrey (Kladiev) of Samara-Saratov, bishop Evfimiy (Dubinov) of Kazan-Vyatka, bishop Vikentiy (Novozhilov) of Yaroslavl and Kostroma, bishop Sava (Chalovsky) of Kazakhstan, as well as with twenty-one priests and five deacons.
At 12pm, a fair of folk crafts opened in the square outside the Cathedral. Visitors and guests could admire the vast variety of handiwork of the Old-believers’ masters and could purchase icons, books, traditional clothing, home-grown products, home-made food, and many different household items. Cossacks of the Rogozhskoe settlement traditionally treated everyone to porridge from the outdoor kitchen.