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SFI Representatives visit Helsinki

As part of a two-day trip, the Rector of St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute, Fr Georgy Kochetkov, met with Metropolitan Ambrosij of Helsinki and Russian-speaking priests of the Finnish Orthodox Church to discuss questions of liturgical revival, including the use of Russian language in worship and various aspects of brotherhood and parish life.
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The two-day trip took place on the 27th and 28th of April, at the invitation of the Metropolitan of Helsinki, and was timed to coincide with the conference on the question of contemporary liturgical language in the Orthodox Church, which was taking place in that city. Vladika Ambrosij highly values the contributions of the Transfiguration Brotherhood and St. Philaret’s Institute in the field of liturgical translation and Russian language for worship.

During the course of meetings, SFI representatives spoke of another upcoming conference, entitled “Eucharistic Ecclesiology Today: How We Perceive, Apply and Develop It”, which was due to take place on 10-12 May of this year, as well as the upcoming Transfiguration of the Lord Orthodox Festival, which this year bears the title “Time for a new Sobornost”, and is dedicated to the hundredth anniversary of the local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church which was held in 1917 and 1918.

“It was a very short trip, and we discussed many different topics. During the course of discussions, quite a few interesting thoughts and proposals were raised,” said the SFI Rector. “We spoke of the new sobornost in general, as well as in relation to the ongoing conference with its topics. Discussions centred on liturgical renewal,” added Fr Georgy.

During the course of the trip, SFI representatives also visited a chapel dedicated to the memory of new martyr Mother Maria Skobtskova. “It is remarkable that one of the newest chapels, which was dedicated but two years ago to the memory of the Russian nun Mother Maria Skobtsova, is one of the greatest examples of Christian service – and amongst Roman Catholics and Protestants, too,” said Fr Georgy, underscoring the significance of Mother Maria, who is a 20th c. Russian thinker and witness to Christ, who died in the 2nd World War in a fascist gas chamber.

The delegation also visited one of the oldest churches in Helsinki, the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was built at the beginning of the 19th c., directly after the annexation of Finland to the Russian Empire.

First Vice-Rector of SFI, Dmitry Gasak, and PhD in Theology Yulia Balakshina, the Institute’s Academic Secretary and member of the State Expert Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles, also took part in the trip.