The Russian priests, parishioners miss the disciplined services

this Saturday — the Trinity — the churches of Moscow will open to the faithful their doors for the first time since April 13. And some parishes have imposed restrictions before the epidemiological situation in the capital was so alarming that the abbots began to impose restrictions in the vicinity of services before the quarantine and the official circular, signed by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. In Moscow in the Church can come from 2 June. Other diocese took the decision to limitations depending on the situation in the region.

the Closing of temples on the eve of the resurrection of Christ, Easter Orthodox took hard, with great emotional pain, often accompanied by a rather loud expression of feelings. And understandably so: the inability to be witnesses to the Central events in the life of every Christian, to participate in the Eucharist (the main Sacrament of the Church) perhaps the greatest spiritual tragedy.

this is not surprising: in the document approved at the bishops ‘ meeting in February 2015, the year there is a bill in the wording, which leaves no ambiguity of the sacrament and regular participation in the Eucharist was necessary “for salvation and eternal life.”

the Salvation and eternal life. For them on Easter, Easter week and then the Orthodox laity in all ways tried to get inside the temples, demanding the opportunity to partake. And the priests with tears in their eyes told how they have to close the doors before the believers.

Understanding and empathizing with the pain, the priests were willing to make a sacrifice. Daily life, family, children, household chores were left for believers. Someone wrote in social networks, other ads were hung on the fence of the Church that are willing to come to communion those who feel the need. Not necessarily the sick or the dying — all.

For those without participation in the sacrament with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow group of sick priests have been trained and received instructions “how to perform religious rites for quarantined or infected with the coronavirus”. From April 2 to present a group of 15 chaplains left and leaving “on call” in any district of the capital.

two months Passed, and the correspondent of the site Вести.Ru decided to find out how truly great need for the sacrament in a country where the Orthodox itself classifies 80 percent of the population.

the respondents were 40 priests from different regions of Russia from South to North and from West to East, and several servants abroad. The questions all asked the same: “beginning with the Annunciation or earlier were closed Orthodox churches. Then there were the first complaints of the faithful: how can we do without the service, without communion. To support people in Moscow was established the chaplains ‘ Department. In addition, many priests have repeatedly declared that if a person feels that he should take communion, it is necessary to call-write. And it will come. Was there appeal to you in those two months? A lot? If it was, then about how they were distributed before and after Easter.”

forty-three chose not to answer. The first answers were oppressed by their predefined predictability. But in the end (as often happens) the result was unexpected.

the 37 answers I had to post in three groups. Addressed. Not addressed. More.

In group “, there were no requests to communion” contains 17 replies. It turns out that in some dioceses churches are not closed, only introduced the requirements to visit the temples in masks and gloves. The communion of disposable spoons.

Five of the priests responded that they were asked, whether they should try to come to the temple, meetiboralis was the answer that the temple is closed. “Asked to come to the hospital once, but were not allowed there doctors. Several people 65+ come on weekdays, they received communion. Others simply watched the stream from the temple and Classmates,” wrote one Respondent.

From the other answers: “the Announcement in the temple, we hung up and I waited for requests, appeals. But! None did.” “Well, I tell you I miss you. But I somehow still disciplined took. At other times, the sacraments, and especially don’t ask”. “We have a small parish. Thank God, the emergency over this period, and we did not go, and chaplains are not treated. This week we start to go to the members who belong to the group 65+ and chronic diseases.” “On one ward, such appeals were not. But the most responsible parishioners, I received communion at the temple with respect. On the other four times the communion of the old women, who in infirmities, and so would the temple is not reached. Total: no healthy person suffering from home without communion, in all that time to make such a request, our priests have not requested”.

Seven priests answered that it received requests to give communion to 1-2, a maximum of 5 times… in two months. “For all of lent I only had two or three such visits (one before any isolation). It should be noted that in our region the temples were closed only for three days (17-19 April). And of course people mourned that I can’t normally meet in the Church at Easter, but all who wanted to partake come to Light (I served every day). People signed up to more than 15-20 people to gather. In the end, it was only a few times when we were 20, and most often about 10 people. It should be noted that those who really wanted to get at Easter in the temple — even novomacedonia and generally happens in the temple is rare. I would like to say about the elderly. For many of them the usual visit to the temple.mA is such a light that they haven’t die yet (for)live. Very afraid (rightly so) “droop really.” So here it was hard to convince, and continued to come, but I’m glad that now at least understood how to come, not to “all at once together.” About “novorochennyh” (wanted to see) — I meant that for them, Easter is exactly a certain way day (and night). That is, the experience of Easter continues no, not grown. And the deprivation of this opportunity was sensitive — there is nothing to replace.

“Closer to Easter with all precautions (and very quickly — within 20 minutes) in-home communion were three parishioners. In the middle of the post once was anointed by several families with children in the apartment. No one got sick.” Here, apparently, it is necessary to clarify that the request for the sacrament at home or in the hospital is small, but is always there. Mostly, of course, is elderly and seriously ill patients, or patients before and after severe operations.

five wrote that weekly communion and receive communion from 1 to 6 people. “The arrival of about 50 people, I cleanse 5-6 a week before Easter. After less”. “For two months been less requests (than usual). We have the arrival of the middle, the constant backbone of three hundred. Four full-time priests + the Abbot. Served every day the Liturgy. On Sunday reduced from two to one Liturgy. Received communion on Sunday with all the sanitary requirements, were the approaches of believers 5 times for 10 people. We can say that it is because of the quarantine Communion at home are not addressed at all. Just a regular request, as always, are regularly due to chronic diseases, not for the crown, took communion at home — was. I have five people to receive communion with all the regulations, but they were not sick crown”.

Many of the clergy noted that the desire to be in communion with Christians much more often expressed in the beginning of the post: “a Young colleague to receive communion mostly old women and the sick. Somewhere in the two or three people a week. Most were only in the first week of fasting.” That is, until the prohibition to go to the temples and priests that they are ready to come. Perhaps this is due to the fear to infect the clergy or something to hide, to get infected themselves, but the fact remains”.

of Course, the most important responses were in the group “other”. Although, of course, they are very difficult to call radically different. Because requests to the priests to come sounded negligible. The Abbot of the monastery, explained the unconverted pilgrims to him that everyone knew “about the ill janitor and quarantine.” They say that people are afraid to take risks. However, on Easter the faithful, not afraid to get infected, literally besieging the temples, tried to take them by storm, just to get the service.

One of the most important answers came their diocese, where the temples were not closed, “but we were asked not to go. We with the great Environment, live broadcasts are people watching who really need to receive Holy communion, sometimes in the temple has come.” Please give communion to a patient with coronavirus there was one. But another thing is interesting: “the Number of parishioners fell in 7 times. Home also to all that were invited almost every day, and not one person. But now, apparently afraid of contact with the priest, he is in their view to all walks, and some of them may be infected. I know for sure that elderly parishioners were forbidden to call a priest to the house of their children in isolation and fear of being infected by him.”

I Must admit that the information about children, family, forbidding to go to work or call a priest to the house met up to this answer. But — once. Now, however, several respondents said that inviting the priests are not at risk from a fear of Contracting: “I Quote one of the neighbors: “They are there in the templeOh sick, there is nothing to bind”.

Several priests otherwise explained “nemysova” their home. It turns out many believe that “can’t wait to be in the Liturgy”. And it may happen that the “father will not come or when to tear off from Affairs”. In short, the “house of communion only in the most extreme case solved (exactly when the temple will not be able to get). What is decisive is hard to say. Could be “why for me it’s everything.” Or maybe unwillingness to take the house (untidy)”.

But there is another explanation for failure from the main Christian values: “In General, people didn’t want anything and was confused that no one was calling”. Depression, confusion, powerlessness has been a constant companion all the time and isolation are some of the symptoms COVID-19.

Perhaps we should also mention almost funny foreign response. While in some countries the churches were not closed, and everyone could come to the service, while in others it was tough quarantine, the Orthodox from the parish came up with the solution: “there was a small (10 people) setochka “hunters” for Communion, the perceived, apparently, as a “magic pill” looking for, where to get and where to “give” (the Serbs, Hamburg). People healthy 20 formally organized groups at home — I went and received communion a disposable litsami. Original — from Russia/Kazakhstan/Ukraine/Belarus.”

Another group of responses fell into the “different”, although it can be in a separate segment podgotovka: “the request was, but the priest did not come.”

“I received communion, 2-3 people in a week, was anointed too. If the suspected kovid, I do not presume, as servant to the community not to expose”, explained one priest.

the Rest who are “taken”, also told about the failures: “you know what “order” of the priest’s house was almost impossible. Temples receding was told that all vacation. Or do farther. From myself I will say that, of course, in the temple much easier and “safer” to serve than to go somewhere in the house where you don’t know what, who and how.” Another case was told by a hospital priest: “Call for dying at home (not coved). Pray and Prigashaem: after a few seconds dies. Daughters say: “we are 10 temples (and monasteries) walked-called — everywhere disclaimer: not working, home not leave, someone will just output”…

Before “to disclose” the response of the chaplain on his visits, and the details of the Synodal Department for Church charity and social service on how many queries to call the priest at home or in the hospital, we should distinguish two cases.

Such a tradition is not at home to receive Holy communion. And when you offer the Liturgy at home to serve, even the eyes on the forehead.

– I’m Afraid that will have to pay? Not used to paying for “services” in the Church, and perhaps no money.

As wrote Orhan Pamuk: the Qur’an — to lay on the top shelf.

the Second incident occurred when the churches preparing for closing. During the Liturgy Bishop said soulgasm priests at the altar: “If you’re a virus and need to give communion to the sick at home, then we will, what are the monks (having a mind himself), and family priests guard against this.”

According to the information of the Synodal Department for Church charity and social service of the chaplains consisted of 15 priests. “All were committed 341 exit. Of these, 227 on the house and 114 in sickItza”. I went not only all over Moscow, sometimes in Moscow oblast.

And the story of the chaplain: “Today, all on the run: service — donation (voluntary blood donation). Donor centers are also not simple: today, of the 23 signed up for the donation came about 10 people. In April, I must say, it was worse: at the same time of donation, the graduation of our son — funeral — service. What can I say: every day on average 10 calls (peak number of calls — 13). In some cases, the call was in the family — the number of communicants could reach two or three dozen people.”

341 leaving the city with a population of 15 million people is less than one percent. Much less.

10 calls a day — a considerable number. Huge. But if otherwise: all who wished to partake, to participate in the Liturgy and the Eucharist, participated and took communion.