“I was saved by the theatrical “sect” as a priest became a “star” in your area

The performances in the theater “Pyotr Fomenko Workshop”, movies, among them “the Case of kukotskiy” and “Liquidation” why the actor Andrey Schennikov decided to change my life, how did you manage to stay a “star”in your area, does the priest their role and why it is important to show my weakness and tells the acting rector of the Church of the Holy Martyr Antipas on Kolymazhny yard, a priest Andrey Schennikov.

The Priest Andrey Schennikov. Photo: Yefim, Richman

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The priest it is important to show his weakness

– Father Andrew, when you came to Church, was there frustration?

I love the Church initially as a structure. I knew what people knew theatre, as a large community, connected not only play, but with the idea of nepotism, friendship, service. I had a tremendous amount of friends. And suddenly everything began to spread, friends were somehow not really friends, adulthood repaid youthful ardor and fervor, many around the crumbling family…

Somehow, visiting their friends, right next to Donskoi monastery, I saw the icon of the virgin with saints in the background of a huge temple. And I realized: but this design exists. They, these people, exist. And the Church is and will be.

So disappointment in the hierarchy, the priests, the life I had.

Frustration was associated with me, because I played in all of this and can not reach the depth. And they began not so long ago and still not over.

That is, I first decline neophytes began recently. And all this to do with my weakness, with my kind of mediocre, lack of spirituality. I understand that there were forces, but I squeezed it myself, and then – hard. But the burden of responsibility, the burden Sana – it’s on me and nowhere to go.

You seem to be dragging the whole world. And all, not strong enough.

At one point I realized that all it is necessary to radically change something.

– Change in life, in yourself, in others?

– In themselves, in actions, in elementary some outer life, the daily routine, bad habits. If you do not start small in some cases, from the prosaic, then this may all collapse. Everything rests on such a slender thread. Happiness of man, in the second may break. I was very close to what things can result in a serious crash.

– Failure – to leave the priesthood?

I could not even imagine, for me this question was not quitting the priesthood. It seemed to me that right now you can die with all that on my plate.

Even the fact that I became the acting Abbot… so many mistakes I have done! From this it seemed that now, just broke down physically – go crazy, get to the hospital. I even once sincerely was ready to get to the hospital, there to lie down.

But this acute crisis somehow managed to overcome.

– What helped?

The Lord took pity, perhaps, gave strength, pulled me out of another dungeon, where I myself have sunk. Obviously, it had to be to somehow reason with me in my excessive vanity and conceit about his priesthood and his election. Needed something heavy stages.

And I know these tests are many priests on their way, so tell.

– Not afraid to talk about their own weaknesses?

– I like people doubt, people of weakness. I really like to watch a different angle on the lives of the saints, to see them as ordinary people. Here I read the diary of St. John of Kronstadt, and if you get at least a small weakness, it is a hundred times more makes the greatness of the Holy, since he of his weakness could leave.

This is also our faith. Even Christ was hard, painful and scary, and this further confirms His divinity, and gives us hope.

But we in the Church are somehow afraid to talk about weaknesses – what I’m going to tempt the other, better – globally.

But the priest is really important to show his weakness. This, strange as it sounds, can claim other people are around. This weakness may not give then suddenly the man that’s near you, be disappointed in yourself.

When I was ordained, it was scary

When you become a priest, not feared making a mistake?

In that moment, when I was ordained, I was extremely scared.

But this step was a natural and I reassure myself that in this I had no self-will, I have not changed anything. It happened by itself. So everything is God. Allegiance of the decision and approves the sequence of steps to God. And even then, that near me a wonderful, loving wife. Loving and tolerate me at different stages of life. The fact that she’s near – confirmed that is still the Lord thinks of me.

Almost none of my friends from film, theater and all the drama of the party had not preserved the family. All second and third marriages, children from different marriages.

Maybe the prayers of grandparents, my parents ‘ love, and the absolute heroism and humility of my wife somehow established. And helps me tremendously because I see the God that was leading. But if led, it means that now is, can I straighten the shoulders. Because it’s hard for me to get away from the constant of the complex, if I take someone else’s place. Once everything is Lord, then I’m not scared.

– You become a priest already in the Mature age. This fact bothers you or Vice versa?

– I myself always feel a little bit of an outcast. I don’t have the history that I have always served in the Church, graduated from Seminary. I didn’t grow up in the Church, I came to her, got in the way of the priesthood. So with a sinking heart look at some of the great priests who grew up in the Church, where she was raised. They – absolutely other people. And so I always feel a kind of complex in this regard. I pull up, can’t trust myself. So if I do, I have to say, that if the tone has taken? Maybe it’s good. Maybe these priests need also.

Probably you’re wondering: “can I Play the role of a priest or live in the deep?”

– Very difficult time. On the one hand, still playing the role of the priest is of course. But, on the other hand, I already also do not know who I am outside of this priesthood. After all, he has arrived, and it’s not just a costume change or profession. My soul, my life is connected with the priesthood of Christ.

– During a conversation, you can understand that you have the acting background for some manner of communication, techniques. These acting techniques, skills hinder or help you?

Yeah, I’ve been involved with all of these reflexes, which are never overcome. I have stopped trying to fight, if they are already there.

On the other hand, there are other qualities that I can take from my old job.

I can speak loudly and clearly to, to get in tune. Even the actors have good quality, which helps to be Christians – confidence, sublime and pure desire to serve. Artist – he is in the theater, he always speaks about himself. Also – the ability to be with another plastic to match it.

There are of poor quality, heavy, painful isolation for yourself. And, with all said before – the fear of man.

Theatre “sect” saved me

– You were baptized when we came to Church?

Andrey Schennikov

Summer we came to the Rostov region, to the grandparents. They have six children, so you can imagine how many people was going – uncle, aunt, their children. There brother and was baptized when I was seven years old, in the early eighties.

My grandparents were believers. Remember when everybody was asleep, grandpa took out a notebook with handwritten prayers and began to pray. He definitely went to town for the holidays. As of now I know – it was Trinity, the Dormition.

But in a Church happened much, much later. The first time I probably thought about God, about what I believe or do not believe, when I was 25.

But, after all, I studied in a specific Institute, GITIS. We read Russian literature, disassembled it. But this is impossible without touching the matters of faith, the Church. So later, having gained some experience, had to answer, even for himself, to these questions.

That is, in youth, a student rushing in search of faith was not to the hare Krishnas, Baha’is, and so on?

– I had my own “sect” I was doing theater. And it has been good for me. We had our own community. That may be, to which people resort, looking for a religion. So I’ve been some extreme throws.

We have from the first year three people went to Church.

Were 1992 – 1993, the people have failed in that time, it was broken. I think that people have gone to hide from the reality that it was impossible to explain the forces which were not. Left one girl – she then became a mother, wife, father Demetrios.

I also had two children – one became a monk, the other a white priest. They were newcomers and I think they still could not cope with Moscow.

But for me the training was more than a hobby. Ideology, religion, anything. I remember very fondly the time of study. Of course, do not want one day to be reversed, do not want to repeat. But I understand that I owe so much and the Moscow art theatre. It I just saved a lot.

– What?

Death, for example. We have in the yard for 90 years there is not one childhood friend, all died – drugs. It was the peak of drug culture and died with my generation. It is without question needed to try, because it was what we were given. This was discussed, it was sung. And now, if I didn’t have this new reality, a different reality, striking, strong, stronger than what was behind this world, then I don’t know… I think I would not be alive.

You say that people came to Church, unable to cope with reality. So atheists are right when they say that the Church is for the weak and the strong don’t need it?

– The Apostle Paul says: “See, brethren, who you called: not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and weak things of the world hath God chosen to shame the strong” (Cor. 1:16-27).

So, it turns out, atheists are right. If a person has enough strength to withstand life, he obviously has some power. I have it was not enough. So I just said: “I do not. Obviously You are, so let’s try”. I understand that left his weakness.

– When was it?

– I have graduated from GITIS, I had a family – a wife, a child. By the time I started hearing echoes of what some friends in the Church others. We also decided to go with his wife to the temple. First confession… And a month later, the father, from whom we have confessed, had ceased to be a priest.

How sluggish I lived half a year, and then my friend, the playwright Olga Mukhina, says: “let’s Go to the temple of Sophia the wisdom of God”. Anyway, I was at the vigil, talked with father Dimitry Roschin. Don’t even remember what we talked about. I asked some stupid General questions. And then I just sat down, spent an hour listening to the service, and realized that what I lacked for many years.

The next day, I went to Germany on tour. Everywhere I was haunted by a simple Christmas motif coming from everywhere.

This farcical jukebox with Christmas tunes accumulated in my own emptiness, worthlessness. I understand: all need the organ grinder to cover.

Arrived, was fast. This was my first post, like all – to polyamorous.

Of course, father Dimitry Roschin, my spiritual father, played a huge role in my life. He just showed the life of the Church in himself, in his thoughts, in his manner of speaking, in his freedom, in ease, in love to their mother, to children.

Who look people

– It is believed that the art – a step to understanding God, the Church life is the next step. And if a person, say, understand iconography, it is not up to secular art. What do you think? You are interested in going to the theater?

A scene from the play “the bride” theatre “Peter Fomenko’s Workshop”

– Develops, that simply is not enough time. When I arrive in a city and have the opportunity to go to a Museum to look at paintings, and having fun doing it. I remember the first time I was struck by the Paris Impressionists. And so far for me it’s important.

When it is possible to go to the theater workshop of Peter Fomenko, I rejoice as my friends play. But seriously, I can’t turn on. Movies, performances are evaluated just: mine – not mine, happy – not happy. But if the joy is such, which is free from any load of significance or spiritual reflection.

– To the Church where you serve, there is an interest. You can hear: “behold, to the priest-the actor come . It does not interfere?

I do not know. I have no such problems. Come to Church friends, not “stars”.

And no onlookers we have.

But on a famous person people consciously or unconsciously look back…

– So it’s their problem, famous people. They wanted and got it. I laugh that all my life I wanted to be known to all looked at me when walking down the street.

Got everything in abundance, becoming a priest. People even won’t remember what TV series was filmed. They will know that you’re a priest. We live in Kuntsevo, and in my neighborhood I just a star, because almost no one go.

In fact, I became afraid of such attention.

Our people do not like priests. Showing aggressive interest.

But if even a little bit drunk man, we all started to climb, ask: what, what, what you drive, where you earned it?

I know that by not going after seven in the evening in the district “Magnet” because people there buying some alcohol. And if people don’t even ask, he will look at you with a meaningful pause.

– Catechetical, then not trying?

– Yes, the living would remain in the evening, what is there to catechetical! I am, of course, laughing now. Sometimes come and ask the blessing, please come to hear confessions and to give communion to the sick, to bless the apartment and so on.

– What are the main challenges in modern humans, in your opinion?

We are now in a period when the wave of gluttony like there was, we filled, but even with such heavy shortness of breath, greedily standing at the table. We have so measured a prosperous peaceful fullness. Still have anger, I can take it all away.

It seems to me that in the 90-ies all waited for the close of the Apocalypse, some revelations. But nothing happened, and we must somehow live. And that’s a zero, tenth – Christian temptation of a normal human life. And we live in a normal human life can not. In the first place – Russian Christians. It is a tradition, a mentality.

We used to globality, we don’t know what to do with the quiet life. We are not accustomed quietly to think, to reflect, to record, day by day, systematically. That is why our life is spreading in hard, small, uncomfortable sin.

I once saw a book called “the Apocalypse of small sins”. The contents do not know, do not read, but the name I liked. We now finely crumble, savethem in the quagmire of everyday life, which is more or less somehow organized. And these weekdays to do with the height of such Revelations, which we accepted, we do not know.

In the nineties the world from the ruins to rebuild the temple, giving to the construction of all – power, and money. And how to live now in these churches is on, when everything is built and quiet – no one knows, because everyday life: neither the Apocalypse nor the Kingdom of Heaven.

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