St. Nicholas Russian Old Believer Сhurch in Marianna, PA

В городе Марианна, штат Пенсильвания с 1906 года существует община старообрядцев-поморцев. Старообрядцы приехали в этот город из России, чтобы трудиться на местных шахтах. К 1910 году община насчитывала уже от 500 до 700 человек, и руководство шахты выделило староверам деньги и строительные материалы для постройки церкви.

 Этот храм, возведенный из типичного для Марианны желтого кирпича, носит название Никольского и существует по настоящее время. Сейчас старообрядческая община в Марианне насчитывает от 75 до 100 человек.Ниже приводим статью фрилансера Dave Zuchowski о старообрядческой общине в Марианне. Несмотря на некоторые чудачества (старообрядцы – это противники модернизации, которую проводил царь Петр 1 в 1741 году 🙂 ), в остальном статья содержит вполне достоверную информацию.


Sect from 1741 Russia maintaining church as Old Believers

Sunday, June 25, 2000

By Dave Zuchowski

 While quaint old churches with onion-shaped domes are not all that uncommon, the one on a hilltop in Marianna is a rarity.

 The place of worship serves a congregation of about 75 to 100 Old Believers, Russian Christians who refused to adapt to the modernization efforts of Czar Peter the Great in 1741. Instead, they steadfastly clung to their traditional religious beliefs, and split off from the Russian Orthodox Church.

 The severe persecution that followed in the 18th century saw many of their bishops, priests and worshippers killed. Some managed to escape into the forests and remote areas, but the religious group’s organizational structure was shattered and its monasteries and seminaries closed, which eliminated the chance that a new generation of clergy might emerge. But the faith survived.

 In 1906, a large group of Old Believers immigrated to Southwestern Pennsylvania in answer to Pittsburgh-Buffalo Coal Co. advertisements in European newspapers that sought workers for its thriving Marianna mine. Even though a cataclysmic mine explosion in 1908 claimed the lives of many Old Believer miners, the congregation of between 500 and 700 people was large enough to warrant the building of a church in 1910 with bricks donated by the coal company.

 St. Nicholas Russian Church of Orthodox Old Believers in Marianna is the first of four in the country built to serve the religious community. The others are in Erie, Detroit, and Millville, N.J.

 Violet Lenosky-Coviello of Cheswick attended services in the picturesque church often as a child on visits to her grandmother’s house in Marianna. She still makes the 140-mile round trip trek to attend services along with a core of about 20 area worshippers, mostly 55 and older.

 The daughters of a deceased priest lead the congregation during Saturday evening and Sunday morning services, which consist primarily of a chanting of Scripture in Slavonic, an ancient Russian language. Because the congregation no longer has a resident priest, the only time they receive the sacraments is during the Easter season when a priest from Erie or Detroit hears confession and baptizes newborns.

 The church’s dietary regimen requires strict fasting during Lent and Advent, which includes the avoidance of meat and dairy products. The women avoid the use of makeup during services and are required to hide their hair under a babushka. Similarly, the men are forbidden to shave their face, in tribute to the likeness of Christ.

 The congregation stands during most of the service, women on the left, the men on the right, and the church is devoid of pews because, during part of the service, the congregation prostrates themselves on the floor.

 «Like the Amish, we have our own ways,» says Lenosky-Coviello. «It’s difficult to change a restriction and remain an Old Believer.»

 Constructed in a Byzantine-style of architecture, the church has retained its original tin ceiling. Near the back wall, a staircase winds its way up to the bell tower, and a series of multicolored, abstract-patterned, stained-glass windows line the walls.

 Only those leading the services are permitted in the raised sanctuary, where religious icons depicting scenes from the Old and New testaments line shelves mounted along the back wall. Some of the icons are paintings on wood; others are etched brass plates in wooden frames or ornate Orthodox six-pointed crosses with a slanting bar at the bottom. Each icon, donated to the church by families in the congregation, is fronted by a beeswax candle that’s lit when the congregation assembles for veneration.

 The centerpiece of the sanctuary is a large gold and purple velvet-covered Gospel that’s displayed in an upright position on a table. Other old Bibles brought from Russia also are displayed.

 Once a month, Lenosky-Coviello publishes the church bulletin that informs parishioners about upcoming religious feast days and contains a social calendar that lists events such as parishioner birthdays and anniversaries.

 In the past, members of the four American churches met periodically to discuss the problems of Old Believers living in the modern world, especially the complications arising from mixed marriages.

 «We haven’t had a conference for about five years now,» says Lenosky-Coviello. «But we do visit one another’s churches for weddings and funerals, so the congregations continue to know one another on a personal basis.»

 Even though the congregation has dwindled and is made up of mostly the elderly, every now and then a baby is baptized into the faith. The newer generation, however, is unfamiliar with Russian, let alone church Slavonic.

 «There are now so many opportunities to learn other languages in school, I hope some of our children decide to study Russian,» Lenosky-Coviello says. «We could also translate our texts into English, if need be, provided we could locate someone qualified to do it for us.»

Dave Zuchowski is a free-lance writer.


Об авторе old believers

Old Believers and Old Ritualists Join us if you want to make our Old Believer and Old Rite Church pure! Paul, Max and all our faithful team
Запись опубликована в рубрике Old Believers, USA. Добавьте в закладки постоянную ссылку.

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