On November 26, 2023, the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, a solemn divine service was held in the Nikolsky Edinoverie Church of Kuznetsk. Ten years ago, on November 26, 2013, an event significant for the entire All-Russian Edinoverie took place - Bishop Seraphim (Domnin) of Kuznetsk and Nikolsk (now Metropolitan of Penza and Nizhnelomovsk) consecrated the Edinoverie church in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker in the city of Kuznetsk and ordained Hierodeacon Varsonophy (Yashin), who became the rector of this church, a priest.
Today the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Priestmonk Varsonofiy (Yashin) and Priest Sergiy Borovikov. The choir under the direction of Vasily Sorokin sang during the service. At the end of the service, Archpriest Rostislav Rebrovsky, dean of the Kuznetsk district, congratulated the rector and the community of fellow believers on a significant event in the life of the parish.
For ten years of existence of the church, the Kuznetsk community has become a regional center of Edinoverie, uniting the holders of Old Russian church piety, living both in the city itself and in the surrounding settlements. Many Old Believers joined the Old Ritualist community. Also its ranks were replenished by those who had not previously visited other churches, and this parish became a spiritual home for them.
The increase in the number of believers led to the need to expand the church. In the period from 2018 to 2020, extensive construction and beautification of the church was carried out. Now the renovated temple can accommodate twice as many worshipers as it was in 2013. The vaults of the church were painted by an isographer from Sergiev Posad Daniil Biryukov, and its walls are decorated with many ancient and recently painted icons.
The St. Nicholas Edinoverie community has its own traditions. Every year on the day of the Nativity of St. Nicholas, the church brings together under its vaults admirers of Russian church old traditions from all over Russia. Representatives of about ten dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church serve on this day in the Kuznetsk Edinoverie church, and many of these services were led by the ruling bishops of the Kuznetsk diocese - Metropolitan Seraphim and Bishop Nestor (now Togliatti and Zhigulevsk). These services are a remarkable testimony to the unifying significance of Edinoverie, for they are attended by both Edinovertsy and representatives of ordinary Orthodox parishes.
The rector of the church is active in educational activities. For those wishing to learn more about Old Russian church culture - singing traditions, book traditions, statutory features of worship Father Varsonofiy is always ready to share his deep knowledge in these areas, to show old books and old icons, singing manuscripts for the Znamenny singing used in the old ritualist church. During the days of the regional stage of the Christmas Readings, the church welcomes all those interested in Old Russian church customs and traditions.
Text: Priest Eugene Sarancha.
Photo: Julia Borovikova.
According to the materials of the website of the Kuznetsk diocese