Alaskan Old Believers Reunited with the Church

Fri, 05/19/2023 - 17:28
Priest Nikola and deacon Vasily

There is now one more Old Ritualist parish in America in the bosom of the Russian Church. The Old Believer community of Nikolaevsk, Alaska, consisting of Fr. Nikola Yakunin, his son Deacon Vasily Yakunin and about 20 Old Believer families have decided to join ROCOR MP preserving their liturgical rite. Services in the new congregation will henceforth be conducted in English. Let us recall that a similar situation occurred at one time in the Pomorian community of Erie, Pennsylvania. The congregation had become largely Americanized, and praying in the now nearly forgotten and little-understood Church Slavonic language was problematic. In the Old Ritualist Congregation of the Nativity of Christ in Erie, Old Orthodox worship is now completely translated into English, including the Znamenny hymns.

Father Nichola and his son, Vasily, will be with the Erie congregation on Ascension Day. They will be received through chrismation and ordained by Bishop John of Caracas and South America. Currently there is an intention to build a new church for the community near Nikolaevsk, in the town of Homer, since the old church building will remain under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church according to the American laws.

We wish the Orthodox Old Believer community of Alaska to continue to stand firmly on the Holy Fathers' positions and to preserve the Old Orthodox faith on their difficult path to unity with world Orthodoxy.

An example of an English translation of the Znamenny chant by the community of the Nativity of Christ in Erie

Photo of the parish - 

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