Why the parish for the fourth time happy festival of classical music, as the priest to make the God – purpose, and not the means, and that to answer the person who asks blessings upon all in a row – says the rector of the Church of the Archangel Michael in Pushchino and Bogoroditserozhdestvenskoy temple Podmoklovo Archpriest Dionisy hooks.
Archpriest Dionisy Hooks / Photo: Maria Baburkina
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Bless to marry someone
– You nastojatelnee for twenty three years. Church in the city of science (Pushchino, Russia – one of the scientific centres of RAS) – still a special place. Not something where you come with the request “to bless to be married.”
– Agree that the Church exists for everyone, not just for liberal-minded people who do not accept directives in their lives. Come to me and quite ordinary people. There is also the type of people who endlessly ask for advice. But what to do? And then how to do?
Another thing is that I have a principled position. I am convinced that the priest – as the Adjuster. He sets up in person trusty compass. “My dear, you interested in these?”- “Yes, father.” – “Great. Think about it, how would I respond?” – “Well now, father.” – “Absolutely, that’s what I would have told you. So why are you asking me, if you know what I say?!” So, and not otherwise, is under construction my conversation with voprosami.
I spent many years trying and I really hope that was able to help people articulate for themselves how to act a believer. I did it because my father formed it of me. He’s formed his Confessor and reading the Holy fathers. The mission of the priest is to put the compass in the human soul.
– Do not come for the blessing?
– Yesterday a man came. Difficult his life is. My wife and I broke up.
Tells me, they say, sir, you probably have an unmarried parishioners and bless me to marry someone. I answered him: “No, friend, it’s not about me.”
I don’t consider myself an elder who is able to combine the fate of people. I believe that this is the work of God. Moreover, I am sure that not everyone will make it, if so the priest would bless his marriage.
We are different, we cannot and do not know how to live the blessing, as they lived in the middle ages. 20 years ago people thought it might be possible to revive the pre-revolutionary tradition, when the priest gave the names of the children, in pairs, tell someone what to buy a cow. I know a lot of examples, when such blessings on the ground today leads to tragedy. It’s not something bad or something wrong with the middle ages. But then another was the attitude.
Today have a choice: you either become humble novice spirit-bearing elder, or we prepare for the Lord brought you in my life. You with Him make contact, he can contact Him, he learns to read His will and signs, which He leads you through life. Only you yourself have to decide and make choices, because your life, your soul is the value that you received from the Lord.
I immediately realized that there must be something besides building
– So what kind of people are your parishioners?
– When we with the family after graduating, he returned to Pushchino in the early nineties, no temple was not there. Authorities were only allowed to organize a “ten”. Ten members of the community had the right to Express themselves, to apply to the Ministry of justice and subsequently be asked to appoint a priest. My father, another priest, also a researcher, a couple of grandmothers who for lack of another temple went in Serpukhov came together and declared themselves. My dad had a lot of enthusiasm, and he managed to win the right to begin construction. So the Church in the science city built from scratch.
1988 – a time of great religious enthusiasm. In the country the people EN masse began to be baptized. And birth in Pushchino religious life was a phenomenon timely and appropriate. A place for the temple has allocated for the suburbs. The city authorities were very cautious, afraid to give a Central place, who knows what: now allowed, and tomorrow will ban and will have to endure. Given the country of the architect. Our service began in panel house.
The building turned much later. Led her very selfless man, a graduate of the Moscow Institute of architecture Victor Varlamov, appointed chief architect of the city. The rector has appointed Archimandrite James (Maksimova). He is a man of authority, he even honored worker of miracles to his people traveled from the Tula region, where he once served. But in Pushchino between Archimandrite Jacob and residents arose the conflict.
It was a confrontation between scientists and simpletons. Traditional Church life contrasted with the scientific environment, which was set up on a more educated approach than she was offered.
Was aggravated by the fact that father Jacob had made of cows and goats. Took them to the sanctuary for grazing. The area is protected, environmentalists were outraged: “How can!” Although cows and wildlife – things are not contradictory it seems. A cow does not hurt the ecosystem, but ecologists did not. Raised a wave of rejection, and on this wave of conflict has evolved.
When I was appointed rector, I knew that in any case can not support neither one nor the other, but you need to try to reconcile and connect. It was my principled position.
In this, I am still convinced: it is impossible to build group Orthodoxy through educational, political, or whatever other principles.
Well, it is impossible to mechanically reconcile the conservatives and the liberals, the professors to the janitors. The only way out: again and again in sermons to say that Christianity lies in the fact that we see the image of God in man, which seems to us a creature not of our lives.
– Student, youth, large, Georgian intelligentsia parish. Is not this a natural and simple principle of bringing people in the temple? People looking for a priest for themselves, or people whose views I share, whose way of life close to them, isn’t it?
– So. And anything wrong there. It is remarkable that in Moscow, for example, there is a choice. But in Pushchino there is no choice. And if the priest in a small village or town begins to distinguish one group of people, then inevitably pushes the other to look for a place outside of this settlement.
When I became rector of the Church, the walls were already erected, and even the bell tower was built. I, a former pianist who had to learn the construction issues, to organize a Sunday school and in General spiritual life. But I immediately realized that there must be something besides building.
Evangelical conversation that we have begun to strengthen the community, was something fundamental. But in our city, students lived father Georgy Chistyakov. They are also going to these Evangelical groups. And we have evolved in parallel planes. It was then that I realized that the biggest trouble will be to try to create an elitist parish, which goes only intellectuals read and cites outstanding scholars.
I would like to have my parishioners were hungry for God
– The results of sociological studies say that with each new generation decreases the number of believers. Do you have an understanding of what and why is happening? And as it so happened, that incredible the religious resurgence of the 80-ies suddenly exhausted itself?
– Romanticism in modern converts actually much less. The desire to get in the middle ages, barely crossed the threshold of the temple, when once in the XVII century, is no longer.
Starting to recreate the life of the Church, we ourselves have not changed, and the traditional consciousness is not about us. We live in the postmodern era. As a priest, I see that among those who now come to Church, bright cases much less than it was twenty-five or thirty years ago. In the mass there is a much less personal relationship. People come to Church, because Church attendance has become a part of everyday Russian reality.
– “Just Orthodox, then Sunday have to go to the temple”?
– Approximately so. But there are people who go from domestic needs, and there are guided, that focus on the environment. Once a neighbor, a relative and even the chief goes to temple, I go bolder. This category of people in need of critical mass, to feel the Church as their own, native, not alien.
I see another trend that stretches all of the same eighties: “We are Russian means Orthodox” as if it is a priori given.
On the one hand, that’s good, because people have no barriers to the desire to cross the threshold of the temple. Everyone knows that the bread you buy in the store, and spiritual problems are solved in the temple.
As well all know that the main sacraments of the Church are confession and communion. And this is the most important achievement of the Church’s activities in recent years. It used to be that the Church is about “light a candle to the exam to pass”.
On the other hand, all of this is bad, because Church attendance and participation in the sacraments is seen as a form of social activity.
– How do you see man’s place in the temple?
– I would like to have my parishioners were hungry for God. As a priest I want to convey to people that God is not the means and our goal. Those for whom the Lord – the goal at all times was a little. Basically He was a tool.
In the religious surge of the 80s there was a lot of fire. But very soon cooled down and some moved away, others began to err, somebody got tired, and the fourth admitted that God was their goal and did not. But today there is not only the fire, the problem is that the question: who is Christ for us – often does not even arise.
– The Church today does so much to the man in it was good: a beautiful Church, the parish leaflet with a gospel interpretation service in Russian, a clever priest, leisure for children… But the number of people who go to Church, inevitably reduced. Man challenges bring, without them to find God not work?
– Formalization – a great misfortune of the modern Church. The Church is transformed into the state service. Today it is closer to the combine of ritual services than ever before. Sometimes it seems that the Church better be perceived as an alternative to psychotherapy.
See, in the spiritual life always was and will be the conflict of form and content. Although to build a life on formal signs much easier, and it’s obvious.
But the conflict between Christ and the Pharisees – is also eternal. And in this conflict we are all Pharisees by definition. It is easier for us to fulfill the establishment, than to worry about something.
To endure is as painful, difficult and requires concentration. And to report formally to spend the time or muscular effort to make the bows, simpler and easier. It obryadoverie not becoming obsolete. Moreover, it will always be and each of us must go through this stage.
I remember when I used to be inchurched, and this coincided with the attempt to enter the Gnessin Academy, I have devoted much attention to the ritual side. I thought the whole point and strength. I do not avoid it. And yet realized that the development of the spiritual life as necessarily proceeding from the simple to the complex. It resembles the transformation of the “fear of God” spoken of in the Holy fathers.
First, we test slavish fear, and fear God like a slave afraid of punishment, then we are overtaken by the fear of a hireling who looks to God the payment for what I performed, finally, one is born a FILIAL fear, when we live with God as father common feelings, afraid to disappoint Him with their actions. I’m sure people must go through all these steps. Jump impossible. “I’ll be a son” – all this intellectual joke.
– Why, isn’t that Mature feeling?
– If in your experience there is a sense that for the sins you can punish your life if you won’t be scared of a club on its back, and not from God, you will rather play in the son of God, than to be them. As a consequence, all afford, “God forgive you, because He’s my Father.” I’m sure it leads away from genuine religious feeling, from the authentic sonship.
The same applies to eradication in itself hypocrisy. The fear of the mercenary is the fear of the Pharisee, fulfilling all the requirements for the sake of God provided in his life of sustainable well-being and comfort. And we, too, must go, as the stage of slavery. All at once and in one moment does not become the sons of God.
– As a musician you know, if you long to play the same piece, then one day bored and no desire but to pick up and throw, does not arise. If we apply this to the Church goes, not going to the next stage, you will leave her?
Therefore the Church must give the highest term for man, speaking of salvation, the thirst for God, the joy of living in Holiness. And the priests often appeal to the idea “you are Russian, then you are Orthodox”, and “all the punishment of us for our sins.”
Sins indeed dissolve the fabric of human life. From them, and woes, and troubles. But what an act of repentance offer us? “And let’s go in penitential procession, and then in our lives is all well and safely”.
But this is very primitive and simple, although I understand that someone is only at this level perceives the Church and therefore we have no right to dismiss this approach. Church for all: for the publicans, Pharisees. But I want to see the future, so that was a place of serious spiritual work.
To hold such a festival myself I just couldn’t
– The priests, knowing that the community is spreading, come up with different ways to bring people together. Festivals, for example, satisfied. As possible, whether it is appropriate in the context of religious life? Is this not a manifestation of the formal approach?
– You know what the most popular phrase among believers? “I don’t like large churches, there is a crowd. Prefer small, intimate, everyday life. Love in a corner to hide and where to pray.” I often hear it. Sounds understandable, because in the silence of the desolate space for the best feel and hear your soul, tune into communion with God. But excuse me, where is the sense of unity of the ecclesia? It is not. And it turns out that there is no difference: in the house by himself to pray, to go in the field or in an empty temple in a corner to hide.
The Church is not only for the sake of realization of personal needs, to not only come to pray. It is a place where there is a very important thing: is born the feeling that you’re not alone, and are the cell of the huge organism and Christ is in our midst.
Communicating and learning from various priests, I learned one important principle: I should be available to everyone to communicate, and to make those with whom you communicate himself, began to interact with each other. Only then the parish is not confined to the priest. That is why we are in your ward has mastered all forms of interaction, from simple (pilgrimage) to the complex (festivals), from gospel meetings to catechism courses. And not because I am afraid that the people had fled.
We have a soup kitchen for the poor, which we feed every day 50 people in difficult situation. This dining room was organized by the parishioners. We have a youth change, youth club. And it was done by parishioners themselves. When a man comes to me, I see that it is adequate, he’s got initiative, and I bless him and helping as best we can. It is important that people had a community life that truly could unite them around Christ.
– The festival in Podmoklovo is one of such initiatives?
– He goes over this scenario, because it is rather our family business, to which we involve the congregation. The festival was conceived my wife and eldest daughter, Faith. At this festival, I share with the community that me and my family is important. And do it in the temple in Podmoklovo, the revival of which is engaged in for many years. But to hold such a festival with just our own family, I just couldn’t. Create a program, to negotiate with the musicians, to take, to bring, to feed, to clean the territory around the temple, but even to provide clean toilets. It’s all a big work.
And I’m glad that my parish is wonderful and helpful people who quite naturally respond. “I can keep an eye on the toilet during the festival?” Is “can”. And it strikes me that after they come and thank you that you were allowed to take part in a great and common cause, although this participation was not the most pleasant.
The festival involved more than forty people from our parish: one engaged in social networks and other benches to build. We have an architect that you can put any most difficult task. For example, we asked him to design a cover for pianists. During the festival the musicians and instruments are on the gallery, and during the game unpleasant to sit on the back of the open space, especially if it is windswept. The architect we did a project. And my congregation it brought to life. And all this on a voluntary basis, because our festival is free. We have the whole world to collect it.
This year will bring the chamber orchestra of Tarusa, which is led by conductor Ivan Velikanov. He, like his orchestra, associated with the faculty of historical performance art, which was organized by Alexei Lubimov. He Lyubimov this year will not come to us. He lives between Salzburg and Moscow, and the concert program does not allow you to reach us. But will his colleagues: Ekaterina Derzhavina, Yuri Martynov, Ivan Sokolov, Marina Katarzhnova, Olga Martynova, Philip Nodel and others.
The festival will consist of three parts. Will begin at 12 noon on Saturday and will continue until late evening. Baroque music, orchestra, piano, Symphony by Haydn, a lot of interesting things.
– Antique tools, silent chamber, the sound of Baroque music – how it all fits into the format of community life? Why did ward listen to classical music, inviting stars like Alexei Lubimov?
– Since childhood, my father instilled in me that music need only listen to the good performance. He collected recordings of the best performers of classical music. Over time, and I, becoming a professional pianist, I started to collect reference record and supplied their father. This year for Christmas cells Danilov monastery gave the Christmas oratorio by Bach in the performance of arnonkur. My father, hegumen Theophan, bought new, very good equipment and pleased the music fraternity.
I mean, what father taught me to skip through the heart and soul and science, and the arts. For the love of the art ten years ago, I became involved first with the history of the Church in Podmoklovo, which was appointed rector, and then to organize festivals, attracting his preaching in the music of the congregation and their friends.
And do you have the feeling that, organizing the festival, doing benches, screens, meeting and seeing, you do not have time to enjoy the music?
– I organize it not for my own pleasure. Of course, trying to listen to our performers, but more important for me to share with people that I love very much. If you want a form of my sermon. For me the most important is that the festival is held in the parish, brings together a lot of new people around the Church.
Culture came out of the cult, delimited with him, but I see the possibility to combine them. Yes, the culture can be harmful to the spiritual life, I have no doubt about that. Many of the works of Lars von Trier, for example, is a brutal indictment of God.
May be it is necessary of modern man to shake, but it seems to me that to plunge it into the abyss of despair – still to destroy. And in art should be a distant light output, to which man might aspire.
I’m sure classical music is able to return man to God, because it speaks of the divine humanity, nurturing the human soul.
One of the problems with modern Christian – stony insensibility, the life of habit. But the Church is not just to forgive sins and to coppers, it seeks to return man to God, to develop it. Music always communicates directly to the senses and in this sense it is the most humane way of human exposure, it is able to teach to feel. Finally, the music speaks well for ourselves, if we certainly want myself to know something.
Come and listen to Bach, which is pretty hard falls on the ear, not in the chamber conditions within the room in which you locked up like a prisoner, and in the open space just outside the temple is the most beautiful way to apply to himself. The more that are outstanding performers. Festival in Podmoklovo – this is the real missionary.
Photo: Maria Baburkina