Fr. Roman Lukianov
Please choose from the list of articles below, written by the late Fr. Roman Lukianov.
Last Updated (Monday, 07 September 2009 00:22)
History of the Holy Epiphany church.
After the Second World War hundreds of thousands of Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and other nationalities remained in the territories of West Germany and other countries of Western Europe, thus swelling the ranks of the post-revolution emigration. Starting in 1948 the opportunity appeared for a mass emigration to countries across the ocean, including the United States. Many families moved to Boston. In 1951, about 30 families joined together to establish a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in Boston.
Temporarily, the parish met for services in the baptismal chapel of the Greek cathedral in Boston. For this reason the parish was named Holy Epiphany, which means Baptism of Christ.
Fr. Adrian Rymarenko, former secret priest and restorer of the Pokrovsky Women’s Monastery in Kiev during the war, performed the first service in Boston. In America he established a women’s monastery, Novo Diveevo, near New York City. After becoming a widower, he was tonsured a monk with the name Andrew, and later he became an archbishop. He was the spiritual father of many our parishioners.
For a time services were performed by Fr. Sergei, who soon returned to Germany. Fr. Kosma Misuna, a Byelorussian from Poland, then became the true establisher of the parish. He was a priest by calling and was ordained after World War II. A kind and wise father, he united both old and young parishioners around himself. In 1953, the parish purchased an old Methodist church building in Dorchester, and by joined efforts, transformed it into a pleasant Orthodox temple where magnificent services were held. The choir sung prayerfully under the direction of Alexander Penchuk; the icons in the iconostasis were painted by Anna Bardova; candlesticks and many other items were made by the parishioners themselves. The superior of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, Bishop Averky, consecrated the temple. A lot of help to the parish came from a small, but very active sisterhood. The parish school was established in 1957. At the Christmas party the children performed The Story of Tsar Saltan, The Fisherman and The Golden Fish and other plays. Metropolitan Anastassy, Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishop Nikon and Archbishop Averky often visited and served at the parish. After the service, the archbishops always met at someone’s home for talks with the young people, members of the St. Vladimir Society. During that time, two young engineers, Sergei Cvikevich and Roman Lukianov, were ordained to readership and subsequently became subdeacons. Fr. Kosma developed stomach cancer; despite pain and weakness, he continued to serve until Forgiveness Sunday, but passed away two months later, during the Easter week of 1960. He was buried in Novo Diveevo. By that time the parish membership had grown to about ninety.
Fr. Alexander Kachinsky, member of the White Emigration and a former choir director at the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, became the next rector of the parish. Fr. Alexander, one of the best experts on church singing among Russian diaspora, together with the choir director, engineer Alexander Penchuk and a composer-pianist and psalm-reader, Sergei Conus, established amazingly prayerful singing and reading, and this was preserved in the choir for several years. During Fr. Alexander’s rectorship, a new iconostasis was built with icons painted by Dimitry Alexandrov, now Bishop Daniel (in retirement). On January 23, 1966, subdeacon Roman Lukianov was consecrated a deacon by Metropolitan Philaret, in order to help Fr. Alexander, who was weakened by illness.
The neighborhood where the church was located was now deteriorating quickly, and it was becoming dangerous to come to services; it thus became necessary to consider relocating to a different part of the city. A few church buildings offered for sale were considered, but they turned out to be unsuitable. Fr. Alexander was still sick, and Deacon Roman agreed to become a second priest to assist him. To everyone’s surprise, on the same day that Fr. Roman was ordained a priest, June 29, 1968, Metropolitan Philaret announced at trapeza that Fr. Alexander was retiring and a new rector had been appointed for the parish…
The search for a new location for the church continued, and in 1968 a house was found in Roslindale, located on a corner lot, with the remains of a tennis court, overgrown with trees and bushes. The local zoning regulations would allow the building of a small church in the place were the tennis court had been. A collection for a downpayment was announced, and when a sufficient amount of money was gathered, the parish bought the house. According to Archbishop Andrew’s instructions, first the three rooms on the right side of the first floor were joined together, a small iconostasis was built, and icons were placed on the walls; in this way a small nice church was ready. It was soon consecrated by Archbishop Andrew. Vigil began to be served on Saturday evenings, as well as feast day services during the week.
A Building Committee was established; it reviewed three proposed plans of the future church, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Philaret, accepted the project by architect Pavel Pavlovich Pavlov, a graduate of St.Petersburg Imperial Academy of Visual Arts. Again a collection was announced, this time to provide funds for construction. The old building was sold to a Spanish-speaking parish. The iconostasis and other church equipment were placed in storage. Unexpectedly, Alexey Ivanovich Panov, an emigrant from a village in Latvia and a Russian builder well known in Boston, offered his help. Vladimir Nikolaevich Malov, an engineer living in California, the father of the present Matushka Irina, made all the blueprints according to American standards.
After obtaining the necessary permissions, on December 9, 1970, the excavator began to dig the foundation pit. The parishioners, who were coming every week for services in the temporary chapel, could see the progress of construction, and thus the stream of donations kept coming.
On the feast day of the parish, the holiday of Epiphany in January of 1971, Metropolitan Philaret laid the foundation. Construction was put on hold from Palm Sunday until St.Thomas Sunday, so that the Paschal services could take place in the new, not even nearly finished, church. Donations continued to come in, but when the collected funds were almost exhausted, a bank loan was also taken out. Construction continued with only a small break for the wedding of the churchwarden’s daughter. The parishioners retrieved the iconostasis from storage and installed it in the new church, added a third tier of icons to it, and did other interior work. In November construction was finished except for the domes, and on December 12, 1971, 30 years ago, the first of the regular divine services in the new temple was celebrated. On the day of the altar feast, in January 1972, during a violent snowstorm, Metropolitan Philaret performed the Small Consecration of the temple.
Last Updated (Monday, 07 September 2009 00:22)
THE PATH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD
Observations and Thoughts of an Old Priest
(Translated and revised by the Author)
The First Guidepost was Ukaz (Decree) No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon, dated Nov. 20, 1920, paragraph 2: «In the event that a diocese, as a result of movement of the front lines, or changes of state borders, finds itself out of communication with the highest church authority, or that the highest church authority itself, headed by the Holy Patriarch, for some reason terminates its activity, the diocesan bishop should immediately contact the bishops of the adjacent dioceses in order to organize a higher level of church administration for several dioceses which find themselves in similar circumstances (in the form of a temporary church government or a metropolitan district, or in some other way)».
This Ukaz was formulated at the time of the Civil War in Russia, whose consequence was the departure abroad of a sizeable lay flock (estimated at over a million), and of a substantial number of clergy and bishops.
The Second Guidepost on the path of the ROCA were the early Sobors (Councils) of Bishops Abroad, presided over by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky): the First Sobor in Constantinople in 1920, in which 34 bishops participated in person or in writing; the First Sobor of representatives of the entire ROCA, held in the town of Sremskii Karlovtsi in Serbia in 1921; and the Sobor of Bishops Abroad on September 13, 1922, which estabilished a Temporary Synod of Bishops, based on the above-quoted Ukaz No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon. At those Sobors, which led to the formal establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, were represented parishes in Europe, the Balkans, the Near and Far East, North and South America, including the soon-to-be-separated Metropolitan Districts: one known as the Paris Metropolia, presently under the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the other known today as the Orthodox Church in America in the USA.
The Third Guidepost was the Resolution of the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCA, in September of 1927, which rejected the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and defined the following rule: «The part of the All-Russian Church located abroad must cease all administrative relations with the church administra-tion in Moscow…until restoration of normal relations with Russia and until the liberation of our Church from persecutions by the godless Soviet authorities…The part of the Russian Church that finds itself abroad considers itself an inseparable, spiritually united branch of the Great Russian Church. It does not separate itself from its Mother Church and does not consider itself autocephalous.» This Resolution makes it clear that the emigre Hierarchs, while rejecting what later became known as «Sergianism», did not separate the part of the church that was abroad from that in the homeland, thus showing compassion to those who did not withstand the terror. At about that time evolved the concept of the three parts of the Russian Church: the «Church enslaved», that is, the Moscow Patriarchate; the «Catacomb Church», i.e, the secret, persecuted, underground Church of confessors within the borders of the Soviet Union; and the «Russian Orthodox Church Abroad», which was the free voice of the whole Russian Church.
The Fourth Guidepost was the adoption of the Temporary Polozheniye (Fundamental Law) of the ROCA by the General Sobor of Bishops on September 22-24, 1936. Its first paragraph states: «The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which consists of dioceses, spiritual missions, and parishes outside Russia, is an inseparable part of the Russian Orthodox Church, which exists temporarily under autonomous administration». This Sobor, in effect, established an orderly administrative leadership of the ROCA for the entire period of its independent existence.
The Fifth Guidepost is defined by the Reply of the Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy in 1945, and of the Bishops' Sobor in Munich in 1946, in response to the address of the Patriarch of Moscow Aleksey I, who called for reunification after the Second World War. During this terrible period of manhunts by Soviet agents for displaced persons and non-returnees all across Western Europe, Metropolitan Anastassy, reasserting the necessity for the continued existence of independent ROCA, writes: «The bishops, the clergy and the laymen, subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Synod of Bishops Abroad, never broke canonical, prayer, or spiritual unity with their Mother Church.» The Sobor of Bishops in its message, writes to the Patriarch of Moscow: «We trust that…on the bones of martyrs a new free Russia will arise, strong in Orthodox truth and brotherly love…then all of her scattered sons, without any pressure or force, but freely and joyfully, will strive to return from all over into her maternal embrace. Recognizing our unbroken spiritual bonds with our homeland, we sincerely pray to the Lord that he may speedily heal the wounds inflicted upon our homeland by this heavy, although victorious, war, and bless it with peace and well-being.» This message was signed by Metropolitan Anastassy, three archbishops, and ten bishops.
The Sixth Guidepost, and probably the most important one in our days, is the Corporate Charter in the USA of our Church Abroad, which was signed by its most prominent Hierarchs, Metropolitan Anastassy, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop Hieronim, Bishop Seraphim, and Bishop Nikon, and registered in the State of New York on April 30th, 1952. It states:
«II. The principal aim and purpose of the corporation shall be to provide for the administration of dioceses, missions, monasteries, churches and parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church, which are located in the United States of America, the Dominion of Canada and other countries which are outside of the Soviet Union and the satellites of the Soviet Union, but including dioceses, missions, monasteries and churches which recognise the corporation as the supreme ecclesiastical authority over them.
«III. The corporation in its corporate functions and operation, and all of its trustees and officers, shall maintain no relations whatever with the Russian ecclesiastical authorities and organizations within the boundaries of the Soviet Union and the satellites of the Soviet Union, so long as the said countries, or any of them, shall be subject to Communist rule.»
Further on, the next paragraph of the Charter refers to Ukaz #362 of Patriarch Tikhon of November 20, 1920, and its acceptance by the Sobor of Bishops on November 24, 1936. This demonstrates that Metropolitan Anastassy and all Bishops, signatories of the Charter, just as, in their time, Metropolitan Anthony and the founding Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, accepted the fact that the validity of the Ukaz of Patriarch Tikhon, which, in effect, is his Patriarchal Blessing, is limited in time. In turn, they also Blessed the time-limited independent existence of the Russian Church Abroad until the fall of the Communist regime.
The Seventh Guidepost is again the Polozheniye (Fundamental Law) of the Russian Church Abroad, revised and approved by the Sobor of Bishops, presided over by Metropolitan Anastassy, in 1956. Its paragraph #1 states: «The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is an inseparable part of the Local (Pomestnoy) Orthodox Church, temporarily self-governing until the fall in Russia of the godless authorities, in compliance with the Decision of Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the Highest Church Council of the Church in Russia of 7 /20 November 1920, #362.» The same Paragraph is repeated word for word in the Polozheniye, reviewed and re-approved in 1964.
In 1956 the Reply of Metropolitan Anastassy was reprinted by Holy Trinity Monastery. The same themes were voiced by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) of blessed memory, in his work «Motifs of My Life». Archbishop Andrew (Fr.Adrian) used to refer to the Church Abroad as a temporarily self-governing Diocese of the Russian Church. Holy Archbishop John of Shanghai and San Francisco wrote: «The Russian Church Abroad does not separate itself spiritually from the suffering Mother Church. She offers up prayers for her, preserves her spiritual and material wealth, and in due time will reunite with her, when the reasons which have caused the separation will have vanished.» Similar statements were made by many other archpastors, priests and writers in the church press. It is from them that our generation, which came into the Church after the end of the Second World War in 1945, has acquired the understanding of the temporary existence of the independent Russian Church Abroad until the liberation of Russia from the Communist yoke. The calls of Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret of blessed memory to abstain even from conventional contacts with the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate had to do with the period of the 1960s and 1970s, when the Soviet government began to use the Church for its own ends througout the Western world. And Metropolitan Vitaly was completely correct when he said that we cannot declare that the Church in Russia is without Grace, but certain specific deeds of its clergy, performed on orders of the godless authorities in order to harm the Church, are, of course, graceless.
In 1991 the Communist regime fell and the totalitarian Soviet state ceased to exist. The leftovers of the Soviet mentality and even of the State government still remain, but the country and the Church consider themselves free and feel free, and there is no more party ideology to interfere with Church communications. Therefore, with the fall of the Soviet government and cessation of terror in 1991, there also ended the time span, blessed by Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the founding Archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for the existence of ROCA as a separate entity.
The Path marked by the abovementioned Guideposts began to be subtly changed with the secret (and canonically questionable) consecration of Bishop Varnava (Barnabas) in about 1984. A new ideology began to be evident, subtly but deeply russophobic. Under the guise of restoring the archpastorship of the Catacomb Church, new church bodies began to be created within Russia, subordinate to the Church Abroad. The old Catacomb Church, which was highly respected as the Church of true confessors, was soon forgotten. The new ideology promoted the idea that the Russian Church Abroad is the only true Church, and the bearer of the restoration of the Church in Russia. This led to estrangement and unnecessary confrontations between the Russian Church Abroad and the Mother Church, and then to a strange set of attitudes and actions on the part of some ROCA bishops, first in Russia, and more recently abroad. Now that these bishops and their followers have expelled themselves from the Church Abroad and created their own church organizations, the Church Abroad has regained freedom of opinion and an opportunity to return to the path blessed by Holy Patriarch Tikhon and the Founding First Hierarchs and Archpastors of blessed memory.
The new obstacles to normal relations that have been brought forward within our Church Abroad, such as the absence of repentance, failure to glorify the Royal New Martyrs, Sergianism, and participation in the ecumenical movement, have today ceased to be insurmountable. Back in 1993 His Holiness, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexey II and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed, before God and the Russian people, repentance for the sin of regicide. Their Epistle on the 75th anniversary of the murder of Emperor Nicholas II and his family states: «With augmented prayer and great pain in our hearts we commemorate this sad Anniversary… The sin of regicide, which took place amid the indifference of the citizens of Russia, has not been repented of by our people. Being a transgression of both the law of God and civil law, this sin weighs extremely heavily upon the souls of our people, upon its moral conscience. And today, on behalf of the whole Church, on behalf of her children, both reposed and living, we proclaim repentance before God and the people for this sin. Forgive us, O Lord! We call to repentance all of our people, all of our children, regardless of their political views and opinions about history, regardless of their attitude toward the idea of Monarchy and the personality of the last Russian Tsar. Repentance of the sin committed by our forefathers should become for us a banner of unity. May today’s sad date unite us in prayer with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, with whom we so sincerely desire restoration of spiritual unity in faithfulness to the Spirit of Christ... .» The call was, unfortunately, ignored.
The Royal New Martyrs were glorified, and Sergianism and ecumenism rejected, by the Jubilee Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in the year 2000. Sergianism, being in fact not a doctrine but a mode of behavior, was rejected in the chapter «Fundamental Conceptions of Society» in the published Acts of the Sobor, and ecumenism in the chapter «Fundamental Principles of Relations of the Orthodox Church to the Heterodox.» In October of 2001, in his «Brotherly Epistle to the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad,» His Holiness, Patriarch Alexey II again called for mutual forgiveness and restoration of liturgical communion. The answer of the ROCA Sobor of Bishops was only mildly encouraging.
Just as in the Church in Russia the veneration of the Royal New Martyrs was widely practiced by believers long before their official glorification, so it is that parishioners of the Church Abroad, when they visit Russia, pray, confess, and partake of Holy Communion in their beloved churches and monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate, and have humbly done so for many years, without making an issue of it. And after visiting Russia, many of our clergy, including American converts to Orthodoxy, state in private conversations that those who say there is no Grace in the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate do not know what they are talking about. As no one has wanted to provoke the ill winds of dissension within our ranks, it has been customary not to make such observations publicly. However, now that the bearers of ill winds have expelled themselves from the Church, showing no respect for anyone including the Sobor of Bishops, the possibility has arisen again, and perhaps for the last time, of restoring God-pleasing spiritual unity and normal relations with the whole Mother Church.
Sinful individuals and bad deeds have always existed, exist now, and will continue to exist both there, in Russia, and here in our midst. But a division which was lawful, must not be allowed to evolve into sectarian schism, a phenomenon much discussed and feared by many of our priests and parishioners, both, Russians and Americans. If the Russian Church Abroad is allowed to become «a broken-off vine», it will be doomed to a slow but inevitable drying out, an atrophy from which no collection of selected quotations from the Canons will save us. On the other hand, the restoration of Eucharistic and Canonical unity with the Mother Church, with an autonomous administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, appears to be the natural next Guidepost in the current History of the Church of the Great Russian Exodus into Diaspora.
Archpriest Roman Lukianov
December 11, 2001
New Martyr Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov) of St. Petersburg.
Emphases are the author’s.
References: Указ Патриарха Тихона № 362, 1920 г. [Ukase of Patriarch Tikhon No. 362, 1920.]
Положения ...1936, 1956 и 1964 гг. [Statutes… 1936, 1956, and 1964.]
Ответ Митр. Анастасия в 1945 г. Джорданвиль, 1956 г. [Reply of Metr. Anastassy in 1945. Jordanville, 1965.]
Corporate Charter of the Russian Church Abroad, 1952, New York, N.Y.
Русская З. Ц., Архиеп. Иоанн (Максимович), Джорданвиль, 1991 г. [The Russian Church Abroad, Archbishop
John (Maximovich), Jordanville, 1991.]
Обзор Истории Р.Ц., Проф. И.М.Андреева, Джорданвиль, 1952 г. [Survey of the History of the Russian Church,
Professor I. M. Andreev, Jordanville, 1991.]
Мотивы Моей Жизни, Архиеп. Виталий (Максименко). [Motifs of My Life, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko).]
Обращения Святейшего Патриарха Алексия II, 1993, 2001 гг. [Addresses of All-Holy Patriarch Alexey II, 1993, 2001.]