Metropolitan Feofan: ''Christ is peace, love and harmony''

Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter

In all Orthodox churches, there were processions and Easter Matins at night on 27 April. One of the places where believers traditionally like to celebrate Easter is the Raifa Monastery of the Virgin Mary. Realnoe Vremya correspondents also attended the event.

“We need to help everyone”

At the time, the Raif monastery became attractive to the flock through the efforts of its Deputy Archimandrite Vsevolod, who passed away in August 2016. Fortunately, the new governor, Abbot Gavriil, a native of the Optina desert, keeps what was done by his predecessor and develops the monastery in the same direction.

On Easter night, as always, the monastery security service worked perfectly, it was helped by the police and for the first time were attracted by the young soldiers — young guys in beautiful uniforms and red berets. On the outskirts of the monastery, police officers made the usual inspection.

The Trinity Cathedral, where there was a shroud, was full, so many of the newcomers went to the Georgian Cathedral, where they could safely put candles and write notes about the health and the repose. And, of course, to venerate the miraculous Georgian image of the Virgin — the main shrine of the monastery.

Photo: Maksim Platonov

The monastery yard was decorated with lights, the bell tower was illuminated. Next to the steps leading to the Trinity Cathedral — there was the Easter tree decorated with coloured decorative eggs and artificial flowers. The tradition of decorating trees with painted decorative eggs, ribbons and flowers originated in Germany and from there migrated to Russia.

The Easter tree is a symbol of spring and the resurrection of Christ. In Europe, for example, it is customary to decorate the trees near the houses with such decoration, making them bright and festive. Here is the tree that will delight the eyes of the Trinity Cathedral during all Easter holidays.

Half an hour before midnight, Metropolitan Feofan of Kazan and Tatarstan came to the journalists — it was a traditional press scrum, for which the bishop always finds time, even with the greatest fatigue and workload.

The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya asked: “What the Lord can tell those people who buy cakes, paint eggs, but do not know the meaning of Easter?” The answer was detailed.

Photo: Maksim Platonov

“What can I tell them? They began to buy kulichs, paint eggs — a symbol of Easter, they gradually need to learn the meaning of this holiday. The greatest event is the Passover of Christ, that is, the Resurrection of Christ. What is the Resurrection of Christ? Christ is risen. He was killed by the crucifixion, but was resurrected by his own divine power. I want to remind all believing Christians that Christ has risen not only as God, God cannot be killed. He has risen in our human flesh. And our human flesh is healed of the genetic contagion of sin. Through the Resurrection of Christ we have a seed, and this seed must be watered with good works. In order to rise and ascend to God the Father by the example of Christ. And all of us, without exception, will rise. And all of you, my dear, I congratulate you on the feast of the Resurrection of Christ.”

Christ is love, Christ is peace, Christ is sacrifice, Christ is consent. And I want you all, especially my Orthodox flock, to love each other. Respect each other. And keep in our dear Tatarstan peace and harmony, which is so important for the fullness of human happiness. Where there is peace and harmony, everything can be, and where there is unrest — there is trouble and sadness. Help each other. On this day of the Resurrection of Christ hurry to do good deeds and do not look whether a person is Orthodox or not. You see someone in need — help. When you see someone upset — comfort him or her. And then the Resurrection of Christ will have a special meaning in your soul. Because we are all followers of the risen Christ. Happy holidays! Christ is Risen,” Bisho Feofan concluded his small sermon.

To the sounds of fireworks

Bishop Feofan proceeded to the Trinity Cathedral, and after a while a procession was drawn from there, headed by the Regent of the Bishop's choir Dionysius Rogov and his choristers. “Thy Resurrection, O Christ Our Savior, the Angels in Heaven sing...” and the choir sang, and the priests, and the monks and the parishioners. The monastery yard was filled with the sound of bells.

Photo: Maksim Platonov

By this time, the priests changed the black dress on white. Next to Bishop Feofan, there was the superior of Raifa monastery Abbot Gavrill and Governor of the Kizichesky monastery of Kazan, Archimandrite Pimen. During the procession, the wind died down, which, according to the parishioners, always happens, “and it seems that the world happily stood still, listening to the important event — the Resurrection of Christ.”

The procession rounded the Trinity Cathedral and returned to the doors of the Church, which at this moment are closed. On the top steps there were standing hegumens Gavriil, Pimen and Bishop Feofan. The metropolitan declared, “Christ is Risen!” and a huge crowd in unison replied, “Truly he is Risen!” The sky over Raifa shone with the fireworks, and people repeatedly saying, “Truly he is risen!” The doors of the church opened, and the priests, and behind them the parishioners, entered the Trinity Cathedral. Here began Easter Matins — one of the most solemn services of the year.

By Tatyana Mamaeva