“You can experience new year’s eve in a completely different world”

Solemn meeting of the New year – long tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. But the Liturgy of the Church Charter provided not as often as they are done now. In “Evenings on a farm near Dikanka” on Christmas night all evil spirits to fly freely, the pious inhabitants of the village is not involved in pious deeds; and only in the morning, with the first stroke of the bell, all going to Church. So is the case with the service in the new year’s eve. No one is obliged to celebrate the New year in the Church to the sounds of powered pyrotechnics. The Serbs usually say “Christ is born” and respond “Truly he was born!” – and what else is happening in churches in the Christmas night and in the run up to Christmas, says the Regent of the vysoko-Petrovsky monastery Alexei Lubimov.

Photo: vpmon.ru

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Before the holiday should not be the feeling that we have “all revealed”

– Are there any special songs in the Christmas post?

– Yes, but the mood of these songs is difficult to call the guards. They are infused primarily by the anticipation of the holiday, prepare us with the angels, shepherds and wise men to take part in this celebration. Unlike Easter, which is preceded by the passion of the Christ, before Christmas we expect nothing tragic. None of this, and in the liturgical texts. That is, it is appropriate to speak not about “the hymns of lent”, and joyful “holiday songs”.

Tell us about some of the most famous Christmas songs.

– First of all, I remember the famous chant, which most of us are familiar with the hymn “the Russian Land”, – it was originally self-similar (i.e., of liturgical singing that has its own characteristic melodic pattern and acting as a model for others) the”House Evgrafov,” which originally was used only on Christmas eve, and then in his sample began to develop hymns with other texts for other holidays.

How different Christmas songs in different churches and monasteries?

– Here again we must understand that these particular songs do not so much as, for example, during lent, where almost every week has its own chants, which in its entirety is displayed penitential feeling. This difference is explained by the fact that, in contrast to Catholicism, in Orthodoxy, Christmas is not a peak of the Church year circle. We have a major holiday is definitely Easter.

Therefore, during the first 35 days of advent (that is, until the evening January 1 – beginning of Predprazdnichnoy) Christmas theme is touched on in the liturgical texts are very locally. For the first time this happens on 3 December at the evening service on the eve of the feast of the presentation of the blessed virgin, when a cloud of chants dedicated to the future Mother of the Savior, the dazzling beam of the star of Bethlehem invade irmoses of the Canon for Nativity “Christ is born, glorify him” – they will sound and then during lent, in anticipation of the almost all more or less important holidays, but also in the very Christmas night.

Alexei Lubimov. Photo: vpmon.ru

It is very bright, meaningful chant, which immediately immerses us in the fun filled world of the upcoming Christmas. Irmoses, of course, may sound in the most diverse musical incarnation. Is the everyday, the most simple for the execution of the option, and there are more, more complex, among which I would highlight the irmoses of the Canon for Nativity Artemy Vedel and Dimitri by allemanov. And, of course, each large monastery existed and have their own song tradition in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra alone in Optina.

Ordinary Theotokos stanzas are replaced with Christmas – for example, on the feast of the Apostle Andrew or the feast of Saint Nicholas. The first major “harbinger” appears in two Sundays before Christmas – the week of the Patriarchs. Why they recalled the Church? Including because many of them are those through which Jesus Christ appeared on earth the way It was seen by the contemporaries, simply put, Its biological ancestors.

On the last Sunday before Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on the Sunday of the Holy Father – in the coming year it coincides with Christmas eve. Climbing the stairs leading up to Christmas, we are already moving foot on the last step. Although, as we have seen, long before, instead of standard texts praising the virgin, periodically there are personal, specific to the Christmas holiday hymns. They appear before Predprazdnichnoy, as if setting the stage for a conversation about the upcoming event from afar, but they already have the mention of the manger, the Magi, the Nativity scene; in the day of the Feast and later, the Christmas day of these texts, of course, not used. Predprazdnichnoy lasts 5 days, is a wide “gate” in the doorway of which clearly emerges the silhouette of the Holiday.

Can the chorus to predprazdnichnoy to do some more Christmas related songs?

In my opinion, this is not a testimony of good taste. Movement in the direction of the feast must have its correct “direction.” In the same way as during Great lent, there are signals of the coming holiday, feelings, milestones. But these milestones provided by the Charter where the relevant texts are entered, no more, no less.

Imagine that we are entering into some new, uncharted territory. While we were in it was not, we can only guess what it is. And with the Christmas holiday. Until he came, there should be the feeling that we have “all revealed”.

This is wrong both from the point of view of the Charter, and from the point of view of psychology. And then, from Christmas eve until the leave-taking of the feast, we will perform and listen to special hymns that any other age but this, not associated: the troparion, kontakion, involved verse and others.

You can enjoy this night in a completely different world

– Tell us about the tradition of celebrating the New year in the Church.

– In many Moscow churches, including those where I have been instructed to organize the Church and singing things, is held as a new year’s prayer, and the Liturgy of Christmas night. Last yet some members are old-timers in the new, but such churches are becoming more and more.

Solemn meeting of the New year – long tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church, even centuries ago to surprise foreigners. They believed the New year is almost our national holiday. You can read their detailed description of our Christmas celebrations, Dating back to the XVII century. In those days entry into the New year, our country celebrated the day of St. Simeon Metoprolola, or Simeon the Stylite (now September 14).

Under Peter I, the holiday was moved to January (1st number in the old style, 14-e – in the modern calendar). I must say that in those days he was drowning in the tide, in the joyful bustle of many visits, a few were lost in a series of festive days, opened Christmas eve. In our days the New year, “leaping over” 13 days ago, on the contrary, is at the forefront, “bulges”, but Christmas remains in some shade.

Generally, one of the tasks of the Church is to rethink what is happening in the secular, the secular world, and to direct it for the benefit of believers, that they felt no gap between present reality and the Church’s past in order to celebrate the New year lets their conscience and religious sense – that is, with prayer. It is therefore logical that in Soviet times, the tradition of serving a Christmas prayer moved to January 1, along with the occasion.

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And believers gathered that night?

– The Liturgy of the Church Charter provided not as often as they are done now. Even habitual service on Christmas eve – in a historical perspective, is not a mandatory attribute of the Holiday. Suffice it to recall, for example, “Evenings at Khutor near Dikanka”: there on Christmas eve evil spirits to fly freely, the pious inhabitants of the village is not involved in pious deeds; and only in the morning, with the first stroke of the bell, all going to Church.

So is the case with the service in the new year’s eve. No one is obliged to celebrate the New year in the Church to the sounds of powered fireworks that night. I think it is rather a pedagogical practice aimed again, that the faithful do not feel marginalized.

In our family the New year was not celebrated in principle. But sleep that night was impossible, the explosions of firecrackers, the noise in the courtyard, drunken screams. So father we were taken on new year’s eve Svyato-pafnutiev Borovsky monastery. It was in those days one of the few places where New year is held the night Liturgy. Service, then a modest, but still festive meal. A quiet, peaceful New year away from the city. This was not an act of misanthropy, contempt for others.

Just sad sometimes to see how people are so good in real life, not show himself from the best side in new year’s eve.

Of course, to visit relatives is important. People who love you can be offended if you don’t come. Perhaps for this noble purpose – not to offend loved ones – someone allowed to economicsa. But if you can’t make the types, you can plunge into the night in a completely different world – the world of worship. You can go somewhere out of town, but you can go to the nearest temple.

By the way, today the Christmas services in many churches is quite short. They end at about midnight, which allows a person to combine the Church with the secular celebration and humor to the holiday table. This is normal. We do not live in monastic conditions, we live in the modern world, and the New year should not become a reason to quarrel with our unbelieving relatives.

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The question of how to celebrate the New year, was dropped by itself

– Have you ever had to deal with the celebration of Christmas in other countries? How much attention there is paid to the musical accompaniment of the holiday?

Yes, very interesting to compare the approach to the Christmas celebration we have in other countries. Once I had to celebrate Christmas eve in Serbia, in Belgrade. The Serbs, by analogy with the Paschal greeting to say “Christ is born” and respond “Truly he was born!”

But in terms of the songs felt less thoughtful, less serious attitude to this long-awaited, special day: in the main, Patriarchal Cathedral of Belgrade, the Royal hours sung only one song, closer to the middle of the service was joined by another – there’s no celebration. It did surprise me. We imagine this is difficult – in the most ordinary parish churches on Christmas Eve aktiviziruyutsya all the best forces are involved for more singers, the more the service this day is quite complex, and even experienced the Regents, holding her from year to year, carefully prepared for it.

I think in other countries there is no such baggage original music, as we do; there is a lost relation to the Church singing as the valuable art form and the most important aesthetic component of worship.

Photo: vpmon.ru

But there were other impressions. In one of his trips, when I traveled through the cities of Poland and Belarus, new year’s eve found me in Krakow. The question arose: how to celebrate New year? On the main city square, surrounded by medieval buildings, but this evening turned into a giant dance floor where you feel against the will immersed in the atmosphere of a rock concert? No, it was not worth to come here.

Wandering aimlessly through the streets of the old town and suddenly notice that in one of the Gothic churches, the lights go out and the door ajar. I go and get the night divine Liturgy, headed by the local Bishop. The question of how to celebrate the New year, was dropped by itself. Particularly glad that you meet him surrounded by people who, like you, I try in this moment to mobilize the very best, the brightest inducements, apart from the momentary pleasures and thrilling bustle, turn with gratitude for the past year to Who “the times and the seasons in Their power to put”. And that’s fine.

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