The Russian Orthodox Church of All Saints celebrates its centenary this year. This celebration has brought about a number of changes in the way its diocesan organisation is set up. Some of these include the creation of the Sisterhood of the Protection of the Theotokos, and the achievement of its aims. Additionally, this celebration has involved a range of cultural and educational activities.
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Celebrates 100 years
All Saints Orthodox Church in Hartford, Connecticut celebrated its centennial anniversary. The parish, which was reorganized under omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, has been in existence since 1894. Several events were held during the celebration.
On Sunday, May 3-4, parishioners gathered for a feast of love and honor. They were joined by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the head of the Diocese of America. At the banquet, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh spoke of his experiences as Metropolitan. He also highlighted the centennials of twelve Pittsburgh Metropolis churches.
During the feast of faith, a number of priests and parish rectors received liturgical awards. Also, a bound book of greetings was presented to the parish. In addition, jubilee medals were awarded to parish rectors of Patriarchal Parishes in the United States.
One hundred years ago, there were rival factions within the Russian Orthodox community in Hartford. These competing groups clashed with each other, especially in the 1920s. Later, the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled in favor of All Saints. However, a conflict with the diocese continued.
Changes in diocesan organisation after the reconciliation with the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
When the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (also known as the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) was established, a number of changes took place in diocesan organisation. During this period, the Church in North America was divided into four jurisdictions, each of which claimed to be the legitimate successor of the Russian Orthodox Archdiocese in America. These jurisdictions were the Metropolia, the Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the American Orthodox Catholic Church.
The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad was formed in 1922, based on a decree from Patriarch Tikhon. It was intended to address the difficulties that the Orthodox faced in their dioceses after the Civil War.
After the czarist regime fell, the Provisional Government of Kerensky replaced it. In 1917, the Bolsheviki led by Lenin took over. This put a great burden on the Church.
A group of priests claimed that they were the Supreme Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church, and they called for a “psuedo-sobor” to be held in 1923. This was held in Moscow.
Achieves aims of the Sisterhood of the Protection of the Theotokos
The Russian Orthodox Church of All Saints is a non-dogmatic Church, characterized by the highest quality of mystic life. Mystical life emphasizes infused virtues, as opposed to acquired ones. It is a holistic lifestyle which emphasizes the general grace of God as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In the Orthodox Church, we celebrate “Pokrov”, a feast of the Tsar-Martyr, Nicholas II Alexandrovich, on 14 October in most parts of Northern Russia. He changed the fate of the created world. His Holiness was sometimes put in prison.
Another great event was the appearance of the Queen of heaven and earth, who prayed for all people. She appears in church history in numerous ways.
The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church. This is one of the most significant events in the history of the Church. However, the words “Pokrov” and “Theotokos” were not part of the traditional Twelve.
Cultural and educational activities
The Russian Orthodox Church of All Saints in Garfield, New Jersey, is one of the oldest churches in Bergen County. This historic church has been a part of the parish community since 1898. Through the years, the parish has experienced many significant events that shaped its history.
First, the Russian parish was a center for cultural and educational activities. It hosted classes for Russian language, math, and literature. In addition, it had a choir that sang responses in Russian and Church Slavonic. A library was also established. Other groups were organized such as St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Beneficiary Society and St. Mary’s Sorority.
After the Bolshevik Revolution, the mission lost its support base. Many church leaders supported the losing side. Still, a large number of families sought a parish closer to their new homes.
During this time, Father John of Kronstadt sought to revitalize the Orthodox faith, focusing on Christian living. He supervised Russian language classes and prepared booklets on Orthodoxy.