The present issue of SFI academic periodical comprises articles on liturgy, mission, church history.
SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 19
Academic periodical of St Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 19. 2016. 152 p.
The Rites on the Eighth Day after Baptism and their History in Church Practice
The present liturgical study analyses the rites administered to the newly baptised on the eighth day after their baptism. The author inquires into the origin of the rites and their sequence, structure and composition. The rites are considered in terms of actions and prayers as the final phase of the sacraments of baptism and chrismation and as a spiritual stage of the neophyte’s entry into the Church. Their textual correlation to the ancient Christian sources is also investigated. Taking into account the relevance of these rites today, particular attention is paid to the participation of the church gathering and of the newly baptised.
Keywords: baptism, washing off the Holy Chrism, seal, tonsure, eighth day, chrismation.
Liturgical Actions within the Process of Initiating Catechumens into the Church in the III–VI Centuries
In the III–VI centuries, from the moment of admission to the catechumenate till the end of the Bright Week, every significant order of service was accompanied by liturgical actions. In total, 48 different liturgical actions were identified. According to the correlation between the significance of an action and its liturgical text, these actions can be grouped into four categories: independent, equivalent to the accompanying prayers, auxiliary, and technical ones. In various local traditions and orders of service one and the same action can refer to different groups. The presence of such actions in orders of service impelled catechumens to stay sober and to see the connection between the learning and corporality.
Keywords: liturgical actions, liturgical gestures, catechesis, corporality, worship, III–VI centuries.
Representation of Church Gathering in the Anointing of the Sick Ordinances (as Exemplified by Today’s Practice in the Russian and Romanian Orthodox Churches)
The article addresses the current practice of administering the anointing of the sick in the Russian and Romanian Orthodox Churches. The author pays special attention to the fact that the meaning of this sacrament in the church people’s mentality was distorted, largely due to the loss of the interrelation between Eucharist and anointing of the sick. As a result, the individualistic, magical and consumerist attitudes towards this sacrament get widespread, producing a shift in emphasis from the church gathering to the substance of the sacrament. The liturgical sources suggest that without a church gathering the anointing of the sick, as well as the other sacraments, loses its initial meaning.
Keywords: anointing of the sick, church gathering, history of worship, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, liturgical sources, today’s practice.
The Russian Spiritual Mission in China in the Second Half of the XIX Century
The article deals with the missionary activities of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China, a country with a specific culture, in the second half of the XIX century. The author describes a six-year experience of the XIV Spiritual Mission led by Archimandrite Gury (Karpov) (1858–1864) and the attempts by the posterior missions to continue these efforts until 1900 when the mission was crushed by the Boxer Rebellion and then revived in the early XX century. Particular attention is paid to analysing the role of the missionary’s personality in relation to the success of mission.
Keywords: Russian Spiritual Mission, Beijing Mission, missionary work in China, catechesis, Albazinians, Archimandrite Gury (Karpov), Hieromonk Isaiah (Polikin).
Actual Problems of the Orthodox Mission among Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Religious Organization in Modern Russia
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a serious spiritual crisis among many Russians. Quite a few of them responded to the missionary activity of Western preachers including Jehovah’s Witnesses. Orthodox believers who were not properly established in their faith were among them. The Orthodox Church could not but respond to the proselytising activity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization. In this article the author considers the current missionary work of the Russian Orthodox Church among members of this religious organization and identifies reasons behind the failure of the mission and ways to overcome the present crisis.
Keywords: Jehovah’s witnesses, anti-sectarian struggle, proselytism, mission, dialogue.
Josephites and Followers of Metropolitan Kirill (Smirnov) Speaking on Sobornost in Church Administration and on the Eucharistic unity of the Russian Church
The article attempts to analyse and to compare the views of representatives of the two main branches of the rightist church opposition, Josephites’ and the followers of the Metropolitan Kirill (Smirnov), on the church policy of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky). The author demonstrates what exactly they considered as violations of the sobornost principle in Metropolitan Sergius’ church administration and why they broke Eucharistic communion with him.
Keywords: Metropolitan Sergius’ 1927 Declaration, rightist church opposition, anti-Sergianists movement, the ‘Josephites’, followers of Metropolitan Kirill (Smirnov), Eucharistic unity, sobornost.
Boris Talantov and the Brotherhood of Vyatka Christians as an Experience of Church Resistance to Khrushchev’s Persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church
The article deals with the ecclesiastical activities undertaken from 1954 to 1971 by Boris Talantov, a layman from the city of Kirov (Vyatka). Boris Talantov was the organiser and inspirer of the brotherhood of Vyatka Christians on the territory of the Kirov diocese. According to the “Regulations of the Brotherhood”, its apologetic, educational and charitable activities were aimed at gathering believers together to fight for their legitimate rights and to protect churches from closing down. Boris Talantov led a petition campaign, wrote open letters to Nikita Khrushchev and Patriarch Alexey I as well as to the editorial boards of various newspapers and magazines. He sharply criticised the position of the Moscow Patriarchate in the midst of Khrushchev’s persecution against the church. Boris Talantov also was the author of a church reform project.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, church resistance, Boris Talantov, brotherhood of Vyatka Christians, protecting churches from closing down, believers’ rights protection, church reform project.