Author Topic: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion  (Read 128897 times)

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Offline Gud_bevare_Tsaren

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2005, 03:59:31 PM »
Zdrastvujte, matushka !  ;)

Yes, I think you have a point although I believe the communists are to blame. The bad quality of priests and other church officials were a result of the communists taking control of the church. Young and intelligent men were banished from theological education and the education in itself were kept at the lowest possible level. Many of the priests were forced to work as informants reporting directly to the KGB so the confidence people had in the church and their officials were very low. The church still received visitors but these were the old and the poor, in other words the harmless.

God and the Bible were simply replaced by the Communist Party and Lenin.

If, for example, a young man wanted to be baptized and went to a priest, the priest would inform the KGB and the young man would loose his place at the university, and thereby loosing all possibilities for a higher education, and his parents would at the same time be forced to leave their apartment.  :(

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, I believe he is called Aleksej II or something similar, took two very important decisions when the Evil Empire collapsed. First, he divided Russia into 100 districts which enabled him to appoint a lot of new bishops and those he appointed were young and talented men that had nothing to do with the now crumbling KGB. Second, he traveled to all these new districts and held masses, making himself more visible than any other russian archbishop ever before. All this was very important and helped your church to regain atleast a little of the strength it once had.

I've been to an ortodox mass in St Petersburg once. It was an amazing experience with all the people, smoke, large icons and astonishing clothes. It was truly great and very different from the very modest church meetings we have in Sweden. One felt connected to Him in a way I haven't experienced before.

Sincerely
Gud bevare Tsaren (= God save the Tsar)

Offline Azarias

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2005, 01:49:31 AM »
After reading the last couple of postings I guess we could say that the ikon of the prerevolution church has been smashed forever by communism. Everyone reacted in different ways according to what they could or knew best. Opportunism in human nature can exist on all levels. Perhaps that's what some choose.

What is important now is that a new era has begun and the Russian people have an oppurtunity to create a new a vibrant ikon of their church which hopefully is rooted in the past and with an eye to the future!
"My! People come and go so quickly here!" - Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

Offline doug__h

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2005, 08:52:55 AM »
Recently, I was lucky enough to be in St. Petersberg fo 2 weeks. During my visit I attended many weekday morning masses. I was astounded at the fervour I witnessed, by worshipers of ALL ages. By comparison, weekday masses draw very few in Italy.
The most spectacular religious event I have ever been to was on the feast day of ALexander Nevsky....3 hours of glorious choral and congregational singing, colourful and splendid robes, the swinging open and closing of thee main gates (I forget the actual name.)
After that everyone...probably about 1000 people (This was a Thursday morning!) processed outside where another mass of 1 1/2 hours was held. Probably there was another "Service" when the relics were taken back into the church. An amazing...and moving day.
Two small questions:
1. Any Orthodox church I have been in (here in Toronto, Paris, Russia) there are no chairs or pews. (The above described ceremony was, of course, with everyone standing the whole time!) An earlier post seemed to suggest this is not the case in the USA.
2. Probably a dozen churches in St. Petersberg were called cathedrals. Is the use of the term cathedral different than in the Catholic church where a cathedral is the seat of a bishop? Or are there simply many, many bishops in ST. Petersberg?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by doug__h »

Offline M_Breheny

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2005, 06:48:56 PM »
When I was in Russia and the Ukraine in July, I was amazed at the number of people - both young and old - I saw worshipping in the Orthodox churches.  This was a far cry from what I had encountered when I visited the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.  

There are two church visits that are especially memorable for me.  The first was the Church of Our Savior in Moscow.  This magnificent cathedral has been lovingly rebuilt, thanks to contributions from all over the world.  Stalin had the original church blown up to make way for a special Hall of Soviets, or something similar, which, incidentally, never was built.  When I was in Moscow in the 1970s, this site contained a huge swimming pool!  Today, however, the the Church of Our Savior is full of the faithful (and we happened to be there on a Wednesday afternoon, not a Sunday or a holy day).  

The other church visit that impressed me was in Kiev at the Caves/Monasteries.  Granted it was a Sunday morning as well as July 17, the date of the Romanov's murders, but the lines of worshippers waiting to get into the several churches of the complex were astonishingly long.  There must have been over 1,000 worshippers waiting outside of the churches that morning.  A very moving experience, especially seeing many of the faithful carrying ikons of the Imperial Family.  

I came home with the distinct feeling that Orthodoxy is alive and on the come-back in Russia and the Ukraine.

Mary

Offline Tania+

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2005, 09:05:41 PM »
Hi Mary,

I've not been back to Russia since the 70's due to very serious health conditions, but as you described your visit, I am taken back to the many who attended services in the many cities of Russia we visited, both young and elderly. (At one city we had a very trying schedule, and I wore slacks. When we came to the church, I was admonished even before leaving the transport services, that I could not enter the church without wearing respectful clothes. A kerchief was found, and a skirt to put over my slacks. Only then was I permitted to enter.) I'm of course Russian Orthodox, but I'd been told by many here in the US, religion was dead. What a surprise to find it was indeed, well and alive, and that was before communism had fallen!

I am heartned to read your post and that of our new poster Gud_bevare_Tsaren, and Welcome to you :),and many others who state so many positive things are more and more transpiring in Russia for the good of Orthodoxy, and the Russian people to worship freely.

By the way, Gud_bevare_Tsaren, thank you so much for sharing so much of what transpired to the good christian peoples in Russia, under communism, and to our church leadership, etc. I don't think too many know of the trials they were forced to go through short and long term, as well their families.

As a side note, I want to tell you that here on the west coast of the United States, in most of our orthodox churches, there are no pews. Youth to elderly stand throughout every service. There are a few chairs here and there, but I would say those are taken by those whom are truly disabled and unable to stand for any length of time.

Thank you all again for your generous input.

Tatiana


Quote
When I was in Russia and the Ukraine in July, I was amazed at the number of people - both young and old - I saw worshipping in the Orthodox churches.  This was a far cry from what I had encountered when I visited the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.  

There are two church visits that are especially memorable for me.  The first was the Church of Our Savior in Moscow.  This magnificent cathedral has been lovingly rebuilt, thanks to contributions from all over the world.  Stalin had the original church blown up to make way for a special Hall of Soviets, or something similar, which, incidentally, never was built.  When I was in Moscow in the 1970s, this site contained a huge swimming pool!  Today, however, the the Church of Our Savior is full of the faithful (and we happened to be there on a Wednesday afternoon, not a Sunday or a holy day).  

The other church visit that impressed me was in Kiev at the Caves/Monasteries.  Granted it was a Sunday morning as well as July 17, the date of the Romanov's murders, but the lines of worshippers waiting to get into the several churches of the complex were astonishingly long.  There must have been over 1,000 worshippers waiting outside of the churches that morning.  A very moving experience, especially seeing many of the faithful carrying ikons of the Imperial Family.  

I came home with the distinct feeling that Orthodoxy is alive and on the come-back in Russia and the Ukraine.

Mary

TatianaA


Offline palimpsest

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2005, 05:40:22 AM »


Russian Orthodox Christians attend a Christmas Liturgy in the giant Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow, early Friday, Jan. 7, 2005. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Eastern Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world. (AP Photo/Str)
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Offline palimpsest

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2005, 05:56:41 AM »




Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II conducts a Liturgy in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, Thursday, June 10, 2004. Patriarch Alexy II celebrated 14 years as leader of the country's dominant faith and his 75th birthday - belatedly - with an elaborate service Thursday at the grandiose Christ the Savior Cathedral near the Kremlin. (AP Photo/ Misha Japaridze)
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Offline palimpsest

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2005, 06:41:20 AM »
Quote
I am an atheist. Am I very controversial?


Ida
I'm orthodox but I want to say something I heard from an Elder in my country [Romania] that my interest you. Sometimes atheists can have a better understanding of God than some of the faithful.

Here is a citation from the Mystagogia of St. Maximus the Confessor:

“May God guide our every word and thought, He the only sense of those who think or of the objects of their thought, the sole reason for speakers and their subjects, the life of the living and of those who receive life, who is and will become all to all, for the sake of things present or yet to be; on His own account, He neither is nor will become anything in any sense whatever of all things presently existing or still to come, as His nature is not of the same order at all as the things we say exist. For this reason it could be rather more suitable to say He does not “exist”, because His mode of existence is so superior. It is very important to perceive the true difference between God and creatures; the mode of existing of the Supreme Being must be denied of existing things; and the mode of existence of existing things is not that of transcendent being; the real meaning of both “existence” and “non-existence” must be considered in relation to the Supreme Being, and then neither can be affirmed. Both can be said validly: the term “existing” is apposite to God as the cause of existence; but the term “existence” as it applies to the transcendent cause of being, is totally to be denied of all creatures. But then, neither term is precisely applicable to God, as neither expresses the really essential mode of existence natural to the essence in question. Nothing existent or non-existent, no existing thing that we know of, or non-existent thing unknown to us, can come reasonably close to that to which nothing at all is linked of its nature as a cause (for He is uncaused, absolutely free and independent). His existence is simple, unknowable, and inaccessible to all, completely inscrutable, beyond description by any of our affirmative or negative language."

So, from an orthodox point of view, there is no philosophy, concept or even "theology" that can "catch" the "existence" of God.

However some may receive the gift of faith, that goes beyond any philosophy, and can pray to the paradoxical God of Abraham.

[There is a whole discussion about the unknowable "essence" and the knowable "hypostasis" of God -but it would be too much for this thread]

We speak about God [with affirmative or negative language] only as a continuation of prayer. For the Orthodox Church theo-logy makes sense only as prayer. If the Orthodox Church has dogmatic "theology" it is only so as to keep open the possibility of the "right" faith, and as a medicine for those with "little" faith. This is why the Liturgy is more important than theology in the Orthodox Church, and why St. Maximus writes about the Liturgy in his "Mystagogy".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palimpsest »
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Offline Azarias

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2005, 06:07:22 PM »
Wonderful piece, thank you Palimpsest!

I would also like to add (for Ida) that in our Orthodox theology God is knowable in His energy but never in His essence. It is also far easier to say what He is not, than to ever try to define what He is.

"My! People come and go so quickly here!" - Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

Offline palimpsest

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2005, 07:38:08 PM »
:)


we should also remember that the use of these terms like "essence", "energies", “existence”, “hypostasis” etc. come from Ancient Greek philosophy but that they receive a totally different meaning and "spirit" in orthodox "theology". And to understand them you have to "live" the tradition of the church rather than "philosophize" or "theologize" over them. The fathers of the church had no other choice but to express their faith in the language they had available. They really managed a “transfiguration” of it.



[have some post been deleted on this thread? why?
I remember posting on the third page, what happened?]
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Offline Tania+

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2005, 09:36:57 PM »
I am so very glad that this thread is available. The Russian Church, and Church Leaders have gone through so many, many hardships and unbelieveable difficulties. To see that Russia, and Russian Orthodox Believers in Russia are returning once again to the church is very uplifitng, and allows many of us here outside Russia to gain confidence that our religion is still 'alive and well'.

Russian Orthodoxy has been for countless centuries the center of life for many Russian Christians. It's so lovely to see its full return and support. I have especially enjoyed the many pictures shared from Russia, to do with Orthodoxy. Thank you for your kindness in sharing.

Tatiana

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Offline palimpsest

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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #71 on: December 20, 2005, 12:13:52 PM »
Anyone interested in “things” orthodox can look up the following threads on this forum:



Imperial Russian History   //   discussion about Orthodoxy (2)

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=history;action=display;num=1121353312;start=0



Balkan Royal Families   //   The Byzantine Empire

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=balkans;action=display;num=1114076649



The Windsors   //   Prince Charles - Mount Athos / Orthodox Church

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Windsor;action=display;num=1118807488
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palimpsest »
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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2006, 11:25:09 PM »


The head of Russia's Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II holds candles during a Christmas Liturgy in the giant Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow early Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Eastern Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #73 on: January 06, 2006, 11:41:39 PM »


The head of Russia's Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II holds a Christmas Liturgy in the giant Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow early Friday, Jan. 7, 2005. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Eastern Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world. (AP Photo/Str)
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Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2006, 07:17:30 PM »
Dear Community,
   I'm a new member here, and I'm what they call "cradle Orthodox," meaning that I was born into the church. My family tradition is the Russian, but I'd like to make it very clear that Orthodoxy is not really a national thing, it's a universal church that expresses itself through particular nations and peoples. All Orthodox Christians believe the same things and worship the same way.
   Anybody who may have questions about Orthodoxy, please feel free to ask, and I will answer as best I can. And if I cannot answer a question, I'll say so.
   Light and Life! (a traditional Orthodox motto).