Monday, August 17, 2015

International meeting of Old Believers takes place in Buryatia

Every year without fail I get to post a couple of Old Believer stories. They're fascinating to cover and severely underreported on. I still have not made it to a community in the US (but hope to visit Erie someday soon). Also, they are an important reminder in many ways of pre-Nikonian Orthodoxy. It is not uncommon at all for someone to say that this or that practice has "always" been done only to do some research and find out that it only dates back to the changes of Patriarch Nikon or some of the Westernizing or modernizing influences in the decades after those changes. Sometimes a thing is not done in one tradition because they never added it on and other times a thing is not done because a group removed it. Let the person of many opinions beware lest he claim one way is the "right" way without doing sufficient study to support that assertion.

( - On 7-10 August 2015, an international meeting of Old Believers took place in Ulan-Ude, marking the 250th anniversary of the arrival in Buryatia of the first Old-Rite settlers. As part of the meeting called “The Path of Avvakum”, a number of events were held, such as an International Research and Application Conference “The Old Belief: History and Modernity, Local Traditions, Relations Inside Russia and Abroad” and an ethnic forum “The Old Believers’ Congress.”

On August 7, an opening plenary session took place at the premises of the Government of the Republic of Buryatia. Among the speakers were Mr. Vyachslav Nagovitsyn, head of the Republic of Buryatia; Metropolitan Savvaty of Ulan-Ude and Buryatia; Metropolitan Korniliy of Moscow and All Russia (Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church); Archbishop Alexander of Moscow and All Russia (Russian Old Orthodox Church); and Dagba Ochirov, Did Hambo Lama of the Republic of Buryatia (Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia).

On August 8, the ethnic forum was held at the National Library. As part of the forum, a meeting of the Old-Rite clergy took place. Among those who took an active part in the discussions was archpriest Ioann Mirolyubov, head of the Patriarchal Center for Old Russian Liturgical Tradition, secretary of the Commission for Old Rite Parishes and Cooperation with the Old Rite Community. Next day, he delivered an address on the Old-Rite Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church and Problems of Their Formation.

During the meeting, numerous guests from the Old-Rite communities of Russia and other countries, as well as scholars and representatives of governmental and public organizations had an opportunity to discuss a number of topical issues pertaining to the preservation and development of traditional culture of Old Believers.

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