The Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church is an Orthodox Christian church located in Ottawa, Canada. It is part of the Montreal and Canada Diocese of ROCOR, and serves the local community.
The parish was established by a small group of Russian Orthodox Christians in Ottawa in 1965. Initially the community met in the home of Claudia P Gitalenko, one of the founding members.
The History of the Church
Orthodox worship centers around adoration of God, prayer and communion with Him. This is expressed in the Church’s liturgical prayer, which derives from ancient Jewish services that were taken over by early Christians and shaped in light of Christ and His resurrection.
The Orthodox Church is firmly rooted in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, though it rejects all modalistic interpretations. It teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in nature and honor, and that they proceed eternally from the Father.
All of these churches are independent in their administration, but they are in full communion with one another (with the exception of the Church of Rome which separated from the others in 1054). In faith, doctrine, Apostolic tradition, sacraments, and services they are exactly alike.
The liturgy is the sacramental life of the Church and is an essential means by which we experience the presence of heaven on earth. It is a living treasury of the Church’s rich liturgical tradition handed down from the earliest centuries of Christianity and helps us to experience the spiritual grandeur of the mysteries of our faith.
The parish celebrates a variety of liturgical services throughout the year including all-night vigils and divine liturgies, ONE Liturgy, 9th Hour / Vespers, and Holy Communion. The parish also publishes a newsletter that provides information on upcoming events, spiritual readings and articles about Orthodox faith and life.
On Thursday, January 12, Fathers Vadim Arefiev and Alexis Pjawka, who are studying at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, visited the Parish to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The service was concelebrated by Archpriest George Larin, Rector Emeritus; Archpriest Elias Gorsky, Acting Parish Rector; Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis; Deacon Serge Arlievsky from Novo Diveevo and Deacon Panteliemon.
Confession is the most ancient sacrament, a sign of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. In the early Church, it was a public act before the entire local Christian community, but in time it developed into a private action between a Priest and the Penitent.
It is important to confess one’s sins in order to keep the spiritual life sane and on track. It is also necessary to make amends for sins committed against others.
The Orthodox believe that this Sacrament brings the peace of God into one’s heart and soul, allowing the sinner to be reconciled to the Church and his or her fellow man. This is accomplished through the Priest’s prayers for forgiveness of sins and by the absolution offered by the Priest.
The Orthodox Church has a rich tradition of sacraments that are administered by priests and deacons. They are administered in accordance with the Scriptural teachings of the Church.
In the sacrament of Holy Chrismation, which is celebrated in remembrance of Christ’s baptism, God imparts His Spirit to a person. It is a sacrament that allows the unregenerate to become Christian by a simple gesture of faith.
Likewise, in the sacrament of Holy Unction, God heals infirmities. Moreover, it allows the Christian to confess his sins and receive forgiveness in the presence of a Bishop.
The sacraments, along with the Church’s faith and doctrine, Apostolic traditions, and liturgies, unite the Eastern Orthodox churches in full communion. But that union was broken in 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church separated from the Orthodox.
The music of the church is a strong statement of faith and expression of prayer. The choirs of the church perform a wide variety of works by Russian composers and are well-known for their singing.
The hymn “Virgin Pure” by Peter Tchaikovsky is particularly popular among the choral community of the church. It was first performed at the Simonopetra Monastery of Mount Athos in Greece in 1905 and has become a widely-used recessional hymn in parishes across the United States.
This collection of sacred choral music includes works by Tchaikovsky, Bortniansky, Gretchaninov, Kastalsky, Kalinnikov, and Ippolitov-Ivanov. It also features many lesser-known composers, including Alexander Nikolsky and Nikolai Kedrov. The collection is arranged with a special focus on the stichera, which are sung at Vespers (Litya, Aposticha, Troparia and Kontakia).