“Would you like to see a picture of Christ?”

Archpriest Andrew Rosanov, a cleric of the Kirovsky Church of the Holy martyrs Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov and their mother Sofia the priest opens through a camera lens than the Japanese differ from the Russian and why are people asked to “baptize the cross.”

Archpriest Andrew Rassanov

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In my arms a friend died and the next day I went into the army

– “First of all, what I have learned to appreciate that becoming a priest is a man,” you said once in an interview. And how was the revelation of the man?

Archpriest Andrew Rassanov

– When people ask me what I read always say that don’t actually read a lot of fiction. All that is covered in the literature, the priest hears from eyewitnesses – in the confessional, while on duty in the temple when people come up to talk.

The value of human life is realized only when you face death.

One of the events that most inspired me to awareness, understanding of life, including the spiritual – is the death of my friend the day before I had to go into the army. He died right on my arms of a heart attack. The ambulance drove for a long time – 45 minutes, and I tried to hold it – do artificial breath, indirect massage of heart… Then the paramedics ten to fifteen minutes trying to resuscitate, but nothing happened. Shaken, I left the next day to the army.

Then occasions when my eyes people were dying, there were many. Faced with them, you realize that life is so precious and so valuable time that we need to dedicate people, because every day could be the last day for me and for other people who surround me.

– Was the situation when you understand how thin the line that is your life?

In 2006 we went on a pilgrimage in Ukraine. Long time spent at the border, it was night, and when we left the border post, our bus driver fell asleep and never saw standing on the road truck. He noticed her for two seconds before the collision. Slightly turned to the left. The blow fell just on the place where I was sitting, the bus in the wrong place crumpled.

A miracle that nothing bad happened, I just made a kick pass, a little damaged leg. Foot problems still exist, but at least I was still alive. On the windshield, on which the blow fell, was an icon of the Archangel Michael.

Came emergency, we were taken to a nearby village, helped, then got on the train.

At least the legs and swollen, but I’m overcoming the pain, went with the other pilgrims on.

– When I first started thinking about faith?

– I was born in 1978, and, of course, about faith, none of us in childhood did not tell. Every Sunday we went to visit grandma who lived on the street Communist. And here on this street, now called Orel, was the only active Church in town – St. Seraphim Cathedral. Once, in passing, I asked my father what it is. He replied dryly: “the Temple.” This was all my acquaintance with the faith, temple, God was finished.

Solovki. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

The first more or less conscious knowledge of God I received from the cartoon “Superbook,” which had just begun to show on TV. Later I became acquainted with the Baptists, began to take from them different books and it is from there that got some knowledge about Christ, but the congregation of Baptists did not go.

Then, for me, there was no difference between Baptists and Orthodox. But, because the Russian tradition is closer to Orthodoxy and was baptized because my grandmother, though not led the life of the Church, but wanted me to, thirteen were baptized, I did it in an Orthodox Church.

I was baptized without understanding how important this step is what requires. It was simply the desire to touch something new. But the Church occurred much later, really to Orthodoxy, I probably went on for another nine years.

I didn’t know the chants and the exam was singing “In the forest tree was born”

In the army you went already a believer?

– Then I have considered myself, to some extent, the Orthodox, wore a crucifix, but a deep understanding of what it means to be a Christian, perhaps, has not yet come. In the army I did a lot of reading the Bible and associating with the Pentecostals. We met, discussed, read, prayed. I served in the Okhotsk, the far East, and near the part, there was no Orthodox Church, so that Pentecost was the only one who could speak about Christ.

Velikoretsky religious procession. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

In the army resulted in a deep familiarity with Scripture, then what has prompted me to further study, but it is in Orthodoxy. A year after returning from the army, I realized that I wanted a spiritual education, and went to enter the Vyatka religious school, not knowing about Orthodoxy absolutely nothing.

It was a miracle that I got in a religious school: for me it was immediately clear that I newusersonly people, although, of course, are diligently preparing for admission. On the exam, Church music, where they check the hearing, I was singing “born In the woods tree”, because I didn’t know sung as hymns. After all the exams I was waiting for an interview with Archbishop Chrysanthus, at that time Archbishop, and later Metropolitan of Vyatka and Slobodskoy.

It is surprising that the Bishop, as he himself repeatedly said in interviews, never asked the students, know the parents that their children are in religious school. But in that moment, when I interviewed, he just turned to me with this question. I said that about nobody knows me, no father, no mother, no grandmother, I decided to prepare to do and say only if coming.

The Bishop was surprised, but blessed me to enroll in a religious school, and then I told my parents.

– What was their reaction?

– Dad reacted calmly, for my mother it was a shock. Because novoselkovskogo the man who decided to devote his life to the Church, is sure to become a monk, not to create a family and all is lost for society.

But over time, the mother began to realize that it is not so scary: the son seems to be acting calm, devoted almost all his time studying.

After graduation, he entered the correspondence Department of the Kostroma theological Seminary, married, and the blessing of the Lord, ordained to the priesthood.

Solovki. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Something was in the first years of churching, you took in the Church life?

Given my Protestant fellowship in the past, it was difficult for me to venerate the icons, take a blessing from the priest, kissing his hand. But gradually, when I began to study the culture of the Church, I realized that these traditional rituals is justified, and began to treat them more calmly and consciously.

– What would you advice to me in the first years of the priesthood, the young father Andrew, what errors would indicate?

– Nothing wrong just would not say. I think from the point of view of the spiritual life that father Andrew was a model for the present. For example, the first years of service have I encountered such a sin as condemnation. The experience I acquired, helped and inspired me.

Can’t say I didn’t commit any mistakes, like any neophyte, trying to do everything one hundred percent, if you post something strictly according to the monastic rule, if the service – that is possible too, not to miss anything. But I believe that it’s not even mistakes, and some experience, which for me was very important.

Archpriest Andrew Rassanov. Self portrait

– What for you was the most difficult thing in Ministry?

– I can say that I have the most joyful there is in the Church the celebration of the Liturgy.

The hardest part is the confession, because people often do not confess, and share the most secret, the fact that it hurts the most, and often come to no help of the priest, and the help of the therapist. And you also have some of his thoughts, feelings that do not always coincide. But you know what the Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with them that weep” (ROM.12:15).

– When to you come the people with the tragedy, said, “the Lord let this happen?” – what do you tell them?

– The priest cannot speak on behalf of God. Trying to support a person. Recently often come women who lost their husbands and who still have small children. And if the adult still understands that death is inevitable, he must go through every person, how do you explain that? Probably the most difficult. Try to speak the language in which the child may understand, to comprehend, but still it will not complete true.

Hour the Russian heartland. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Sometimes I explained: “Imagine that your dad just moved from your city abroad. But not in America or Japan, and abroad the world. And it was not from him but from God, God saw that dad was ready to move. It with you there, but he continues to love you.”

“Would you like to see the picture of Christ as He was in life?”

– How your life has been?

– Pictures I began when my first child was born and godparents gave the camera “Zenit”. First his family, but gradually began to desire something more and began photographing the world around us. I wanted to show not just the trees, clouds, walls and roofs, namely the value of human life. Attempt to see the man, to capture and keep.

Some say that here, the father always takes pictures, plays the fool, always goes with the camera. But now look, some of the people I photographed ten years ago, no longer here with us, but the memory of them left these pictures.

I will never give up, they are like good wine – the more exposure, the better the taste. Give years five to ten.

A person is usually happy and nice. He had forgotten what was so many years ago, I forgot about the fact that someone photographed.

Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

– There are different people in different cities of Russia and abroad, when you look at them through a camera lens?

– In appearance only – may be different skin color, different hair color, someone kinky, someone straight, someone points at someone no points, some people prefer such clothes, and someone another. But really man – it is man everywhere. And when you travel, you see people in different countries understand the value of human life is the same everywhere and everyone is the image of God. No matter what kind of environment he grew up was brought up…

For example, Japan is a completely different lifestyle, a different culture. But you know what there is between people no difference, for example, when we see people rejoice in life, rejoice in the sun, rejoice in the fact that they this day came to Fuji or some kind of floral Park.

Japan. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Interestingly, the Japanese are the lessons of the contemplate: children whole class bring in a flower garden, or ocean shore, or to the foot of the mountain, and they spend so a certain time, just sit and watch, watch, contemplate.

Japan. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

– And the photo winning the contest “My Japan” from “National Geographic Russia” – it is solely about Japan?

– On the one hand, this photo, of course, about Japan, about Japanese society. I took a photo of the person suitable to subway to Shinjuku station. Most likely, it came from one of the offices, which in this district very much. Before you go to the metro, the man took off his tie and put it in his pocket. This gesture became for me a symbol of freedom of the little man in the huge world of strict rules and discipline.

Portrait of a stranger. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

To some extent this is just a portrait, but this portrait – certain problems that affect human existence in society, his attempt to be free, which manifests itself in small movements. The man is taking this tie violates the dress code, which is needed at work, without which it will not.

But, on the other hand, all over the world everyone is trying to be individual, each of us trying something different from other people, and everyone is trying to make his own way. Someone makes piercing someone a tattoo, someone is trying to be different expensive machine, cool sneakers. And for some the difference will be that the person finds Christ, and he begins a new life, different from the life of the world.

Japan. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

– You said that the purpose of photography is to capture the person, to preserve the memory of it. And unless Christians, it is important to keep everything local?

– Would you like to see the picture of Christ as He was in life? In fact, we live in space and time, and Christ, when he ascended, ascended with a body, and therefore we do not reject the material world entirely. We are talking about the fact that besides the fact that everyone lives to everlasting life, some measure needs to leave a mark in this life. For example, the fact that the believers made Holy fathers, leaving a sort of spiritual example, prayer, teaching.

We can leave a trace not for himself, but for the sake of the other person through it became something more. For example, it is very interesting to look at the photos that were taken on the island in the nineteenth century, to compare the difference of modern life in the monastery and as it was little more than a hundred years ago.

Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

When I was in Japan at the Tokyo Museum of photography, I was interested to see portraits of real samurai warriors taken in 1861.

As the picture affects the spiritual life? Maybe, and no. Can’t say that through it man can come to God, but sometimes photography as discovery. We talk a lot, but you know the adage that it is better to see once than hear a hundred times.

The image transmitted through the photographic image can impress a man is much more than a lot of words that he hears.

For me, the image of St. Hilarion Troitsky the photo is of a special way, because, looking at the light in his eyes, you know that it was during the life of a Holy man. Even the icon is difficult to convey this reality of Holiness…

– What is the especially important for you a series of photos.

– Some of the series and the project removed more than ten years. “Christianity. The view from the inside”, “Citizens of Heaven”, “Watch Russian heartland”. But for me, a person who lives in Vyatka, the most important spiritual event – the Velikoretsky religious Procession. This is probably the highlight of my photographic life.

The procession is not just photography – it is also spiritual path, it is six days of prayer, is marching in time and space of the Church.

Velikoretsky religious procession. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Next year for me will be the twentieth Procession.

If I tried to take a picture, treat immediately and put on public display on the Internet, now postponed for six months to a year, precisely in order to all the senses, the emotions, the memory of the event had settled down and was a sober look at the picture itself, the image and composition. I try to keep feelings do not interfere with the right choice.

Every Procession he is kind of special, different, and in each there are interesting subjects that attracts the attention of people. Look at them, someone has the face of an angel, someone, on the contrary, exhausted or lost.

Velikoretsky religious procession. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

The most vivid emotions are when the Procession coincides with severe weather conditions. You can see how the person overcomes the difficulties of the way, as he struggles with the temptation to leave the Procession, trying not to become embittered by other people.

When it is difficult, all the feelings are exposed, people know himself what he really is. There are times when there is torrential rain for six days, blowing wind, hail, – all these conditions add to the extreme and at the same time give the opportunity to see the person not external, but something inside of him. Probably, the most difficult, the most important thing is to show the soul through the photograph.

Velikoretsky religious procession. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

– Remember your photos of those where really able to show it is the inner movement of the soul.

– For example, “Faith and despair”, made in Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The photo shows the woman with two hands touching the column, from which, according to tradition, came the Holy fire. Beside her, in the corner sits a crooked man, grabbed his head. And in this contrast is a believer and a person in despair.

Faith and despair. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Photo “Reflection of the human soul”, which took first place at the international and Russian competitions. In this pictures are trying to show not only the portrait of the man and his inner state.

The reflection of the human soul. Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

“Baptise me cross”

– Priests can sometimes hear complaints that the congregation often meet first extension of the approach to the faith. If it was, or became more conscious believers ever since you came to faith?

– When I spend catechetical talks before the baptism, always ask certain questions in order to know what type of audience communicate. I can say that 95-98% of people who come to catechetical conversation in order to baptize the children, never in my life had not been to confession, not communion. When you ask who the house is the Bible, 20 per cent raise their hand when I ask who has read, no one. Very rarely, when present at the interview 40-50 people, one or two raise their hands that they read something from the Scriptures.

Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

Often at the most inopportune moments, such as during Communion, people come up with a request: “Father, sanctify me cross”. Or even: “I will Baptise the cross.” If you ask: “And when you last had consecrated, when people went to confession and took communion?” – the answer will often be “never”. They are people who are actually very distant from Church life, absolutely nothing about the temple do not know, except that it is necessary to go to consecrate the cross that purchased in a jewelry store.

– Why is this happening? Here in the nineties, the people rushed to the temple, were baptized EN masse, but many did nothing about faith not understand?

– I believe that this is a problem of the Church, the problem is us, the priests. Probably, when the Church ceased to be persecuted and people rushed to be baptized, and they all loved this event, rejoiced that finally the ban lifted, and began to baptize all in a row, without explaining how important it is, you need not only to baptize, but to continue to live a Christian life.

Here we see that those people who once was baptized in the Church do not go. It often happens that a person is a Christian is in Church twice in my life: for the first time, when he was brought for baptism (or he comes), and the second time when it is already at the funeral. That’s the whole Church life.

Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

So catechetical conversation in all the dioceses is simply necessary. It is important that the person is consciously doing everything to get closer to Christ. I am happy sometimes, when, after catechetical conversation, a person comes to be baptized or to baptize a baby the next day, not a week and a month. He, his godparents, or the godparents of his child this month read the gospel, prepared to confession, to Communion, and when they come, on behalf of the baby read the creed by heart, and this baptism I feel very happy.

Conversely, get upset when I spend a catechetical conversation, saying that people thought that they were in no hurry, and they hurry: “We need tomorrow.” That is, they need to baptize the child for some its far from the meaning of the sacrament. And this is sad.

– Parent online communities can be just to meet the questions: “How to find a priest to less catechetical talks, and it is better without them – there’s no time to go.”

Due to the fact that we live in a consumer society. People used to consume, consume, consume. And for that, the person is not aware and does not understand.

Ask people why they want to baptize a child is generally referred to as such reasons are: that the child was not sick, that the child is not jinxed, the child was calm, and the fourth reason – just in case.

I’m trying to tell you that baptism is the birth of God, birth into the Church, the birth to Eternal Life. This is similar to how man is born in this life and becomes a citizen of the state, for him, comes new life, he becomes a person with rights and responsibilities.

Photo: Archpriest Andrei Rusanov

If he does not comply with the laws and regulations of this life, then gets in trouble. The same when a person receives baptism and is born for Eternal Life, becomes a citizen of Heaven, for him, as well as for the citizen of the Russian Federation, there is a Constitution, there are certain laws, certain rules that are spelled out in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition.

– What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of modern Christians?

– Perhaps now that distracts us from Christianity – a lot of information, and if earlier for a man the only source of information was the Psalter, the New Testament, which were at home, now the information flow is so strong that man the time he could devote to the same Holy Scripture, devotes completely different things. More nourishes your mind, rather than nourishing his soul, his heart.

Hour the Russian heartland. Photo: Andrew Rassanov

On the other hand, the availability of information – it is good. If earlier it was difficult to get the Holy Scripture, the interpretation of some of the teachings of the Holy fathers, but now, even if you don’t have a book at hand, almost any you can find on the Internet. You can listen to the lectures you are interested in priests who are in the public domain.

That is, for a Christian, you receive the opportunity to continue to develop if he learns to filter the information flow.

1 October in Moscow on Nikolskaya opened the exhibition, which will see the works sent to the contest “My Japan”, including a photo of the winner Andrew Rassanov.

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