The Religion of Russia: A Study of the Orthodox Church in Russia from the Point of View of the Church in England 9781593335663, 1593335660

G. B. H. Bishop was an Anglican priest who was killed in action in the First World War. His legacy to the ecumenical mov

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Table of contents :
The Contents of this Book
List of Illustrations
The Religion of Russia. Introduction
I. History of the Russian Church
II. Public Worship
III. Faith and Practice
IV. The Hierarchy
V. The Laity
VI. Personal Impressions
VII. Foreign Relations
VIII. Inter-Communion
Appendices
Index
Recommend Papers

The Religion of Russia: A Study of the Orthodox Church in Russia from the Point of View of the Church in England
 9781593335663, 1593335660

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The Religion of Russia

The Religion of Russia A Study of the Orthodox Church in Russia from the Point of View of the Church in England

GEORGE B . H . BISHOP

GORGIAS PRESS

2007

First Gorgias Press Edition, 2007

The special contents of this edition are copyright © 2007 by Gorgias Press LLC

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without the prior written permission of Gorgias Press LLC. Published in the United States of America by Gorgias Press LLC, New Jersey

This edition is a facsimile reprint of the original edition published by The Society of SS. Peter and Paul, London, 1915

ISBN 978-1-59333-566-3

GORGIAS PRESS 46 Orris Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA www.gorgiaspress.com

T h e paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standards. Printed in the LTnited States of America

THE RELIGION OF RUSSIA

THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK INTRODUCTION

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H I S T O R Y OF T H E R U S S I A N C H U R C H

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PUBLIC WORSHIP

(1) Ornaments of Church and Ministers (2) The Liturgy and Divine Office .

F A I T H AND P R A C T I C E THE HIERARCHY THE LAITY

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P E R S O N A L IMPRESSIONS

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FOREIGN RELATIONS .

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INTER-COMMUNION

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APPENDICES

A. Russian Orthodox Missions . . . -83 B. The Central Portion of the Anaphora, or Canon of the Mass 85 C. The Council of Florence, 1438-9 . . .88

INDEX

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS T O FACE PAGE

CHURCH OF T H E R E S U R R E C T I O N , P E T R O G R A D .

Frontispiece

T H E L A S T M O M E N T S OF S . P H I L I P T H E H E A R T OF RUSSIA

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T H E P A T R I A R C H N I K H O N AND T H E T S A R ALEXIS

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T H E USPENSKY SOBOR, M O S C O W .

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T H E LITURGICAL VESTMENTS

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A M O D E R N IKONOSTAS

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T H E G R E A T E N T R A N C E DURING T H E H O L Y L I T U R G Y A F I N E E I G H T E E N T H C E N T U R Y IKONOSTAS .

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T H E C E L E B R A T E D IKON OF OUR L A D Y OF K A Z A N

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T H E TROITSKY LAVRA

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T w o OLD P E A S A N T S OF T H E U K R A I N E .

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TCHOUTOVKA :

The Old Wooden Church The Ornaments of the Altar Father Johann . . . The Village Altar T H E M O N A S T E R Y OF LOUBNY

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52 . 5 2 56 56

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A M O D E R N IKONOSTAS IN T H E C H U R C H OF S . SAVIOUR, MOSCOW

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TCHOUTOVKA :

Girls dancing on the Feast of S. Boris Peasants resting at mid-day . .

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T H E LAST M O M E N T S OF S. P H I L I P , M E T R O P O L I T A N OF

Moscow (,c. 1568).

See page 12.

W o o d c u t e n g r a v e d by W . M . R . Q u i c k . by N o v o s k o l t z e f F .

A f t e r the painting

CHURCH

OF THE

RESURRECTION,

PETROGRAD

See page 64. W o o d c u t engraved by W . M . R . Q u i c k .

HE RELIGION OF RUSSIA. A STUDY OF T H E

ORTHODOX IN R U S S I A , m jg; FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE CHURCH ^iwvtWIN ENGLAND. BY G. B. H. BISHOP, VICAR OF CARDINGTON, SALOP, AND AN HON. DIOCESAN SECRETARY fif LECTURER FOR THE ANGLICAN AND EASTERN ASSOCIATION. DEDICATED BY PERMISSION TO THE RIGHT REVEREND F A T H E R IN GOD, ARTHUR FOLEY\ LORD BISHOP OF LONDON, PRESIDENT OF T H E A F O R E N A M E D A S S O C I A T I O N "JCHURCH

ut

Loquere Filiis Israel

proficiscantur

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GORGIAS PRESS 2007

THE RELIGION OF RUSSIA

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INTRODUCTION

H E Russian nation has been frequently described as the most religious in Christendom. Whether the statement be in all respefts true or not, there can be no doubt that in no other country do the people give a more whole-hearted allegiance to the Catholic Church of Christ in its local embodiment. T h e Orthodox Church in Russia is not merely national in the technical sense of being the sole historic representative in that land of the one Apostolic Church, but it is also national because it enshrines the deepest convi6tions of an overwhelming majority of the Russian people. It is a striking testimony to our insularity in religious matters that so few of us know anything of the greatest national church in the world. T h e average intelligent Christian in these islands surmises that the religion of Russia is Greek Church, a term which is vaguely associated in his mind with venerable bearded priests, nasal chanting, gorgeous churches, and elaborate ceremonial. Of the history, dogma, and present condition of Russian Orthodoxy he knows absolutely nothing. At the present time, when the exigencies of international politics have resulted in an alliance between Great Britain and Russia, it is more important than ever that efforts B

T H E RELIGION OF

RUSSIA

should be made on both sides to acquire a better understanding of our respective religious positions. It is not too much to say that we have a great deal to learn from each other. T h e Russians are essentially a race of country folk. T h e y have comparatively few large towns, and these are so far artificial in chara£ler that, but for the churches, a visitor could hardly believe himself to be in a Slav country. This is notably the case with Petrograd. By a stroke of the pen the Tsar can indeed translate the German name of his capital into Russ; but the only way to nationalize the city itself would be to raze it to the ground and build a village among the ruins. It is not surprising, therefore, that town life generally spoils a Russian, for he is not in his proper environment; and it follows from this that those who desire to know the real Russia must seek her not in the large towns, but in the more congenial surroundings of the countryside. It was my good fortune in 1 9 1 1 , when a layman, to spend five months in a remote district o f " Little Russia the Blessed," about one thousand miles distant from Petrograd. In so short a time it was possible to gain only a superficial knowledge of the people and their national institutions, but even a superficial knowledge of Russia is more than most of us possess, and it is with the desire to interest others in a most fascinating subjed: that I have collected the following impressions of the Church in Russia, recently contributed, by request, to the Scottish Chronicle. If it be true that he who would form a just opinion in any matter must approach it with as much sympathy and as little prejudice as possible, then I claim that nobody is better qualified to estimate Russian Orthodoxy at its proper value than an

INTRODUCTION

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English Churchman. To a Roman Catholic the Orthodox Church is schismatic, an unnatural rebel against the Holy See; in Protestant eyes she is a decadent mummy, swathed in the musty wrappings of a Byzantine creed and ceremonial; but a thoughtful Anglican discovers that beneath her strange outward aspeil there is life, devotion, and a steady adherence to many great truths which he values for himself, and for which he believes the Church of England also stands. Accordingly he is able in a unique degree to understand and appreciate the religion of Russia. From such a point of view this little book has been written. One thing more. For the sake of clearness I have spoken of the various subdivisions of Catholic Christendom as churches or communions; but the use of these terms must not be taken to indicate adherence to the " branch theory," or indeed to any other theory which seems to acquiesce in our unhappy divisions. Christ founded but one Church, one Communion, and there can be no other. It is an unhappy fadt that within the one Church human infirmity has erefled barriers which effeilually limit our vision and hinder our work. There is no duty more pressing than to labour for their removal. That this book may accomplish a little to that end is my earnest desire. #

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For much valuable advice and criticism my best thanks are due to Mr. W . J. Birkbeck, the best English authority on the religion of Russia. I have also to thank the Reverend H. J. Fynes-Clinton, General Secretary of the Anglican and Eastern Association, for the loan of seven photographs here reproduced.

I HISTORY OF T H E RUSSIAN C H U R C H IN order to appreciate the present position of the Church in Russia it will be helpful to recall briefly some familiar points in the early history of Christianity. Most people will agree that our Lord founded a Church, within the fold of which all his followers, without exception, were to be gathered. To this Church he committed for all time the supreme task of bearing authoritative witness to the Truth. Moreover before his ascension Christ instituted a hierarchy in the persons of the Apostles, whom he commissioned to rule and guide the Church as his representatives. It was from the first a necessary duty of every faithful Christian to continue in the Apostles' doSirine and fellowship. DEVOLUTION OF T H E M I N I S T R Y

At first the Christian society was small and compact, but in the course of a few years congregations were established in towns and villages over an area too wide for regular apostolic ministrations. In consequence the Apostles, by an exercise of the authority they had received from Christ, instituted the lesser orders of deacons and presbyters orpriests, 1 1 It would perhaps be more accurate to say that the Apostles admitted the deacons and priests to a share in their own funftions. O f course the apostolate included from the first all the other ministerial offices.

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H I S T O R Y O F T H E RUSSIAN C H U R C H

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of whom some were permanently stationed in each community as its pastors and teachers. For a time the Apostles exercised a general supervision over these clergy and their congregations, but as the Church expanded and their own numbers decreased, it became evident that a third order of ministers was required to assist and later to succeed them in this work of supervision. Such men as Timothy and Titus were chosen from among the presbyters, and were further commissioned to rule the Church of God, to set in order the things that are wanting, and to appoint presbyters in every city, to teach, exhort, and reprove with all authority. The title of bishop, which at first had been more loosely used, soon became restri