Institute Director participates in conference on ‘Entry into the Church’ in United Kingdom
From 31st May – 2nd June 2013, the Institute’s director, Archimandrite Irenei, took part in the annual conference of the Diocese of Sourozh (Moscow Patriarchate) in the United Kingdom. Chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, the conference theme was ‘Entry into the Church’, and its main speakers were the V. Revd. Pavel Velikanov, Associate Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy, Chairman of the Scientific and Methodological Council of the Moscow Theological Academy; the Revd. Deacon Andrei Psarev of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville; and Archimandrite Irenei.
The conference, which attracted clerical and lay participants from across the United Kingdom for its meetings in the Wycliffe Centre outside of London, focused on the way that the Orthodox Church approaches entrance into the full life of the Church. The first main lecture, by Fr Pavel Velikanov, focused on the concept of a ‘churched’ life (in Russian, воцерковление), and what this means in practical terms both inside and outside of Russia. Fr Deacon Andrei Psarev then spoke on the question of reception of those previously baptised in non-Orthodox churches by Holy Chrismation, raising the question of whether the concept of ‘filling up what was lacking in the bare form’ of a sacrament performed outside the Orthodox Church has a basis in the patristic and liturgical traditions. Archimandrite Irenei’s culminating lecture examined the question of how those desiring to be brought into the Church are catechised in our day, comparing this to the example of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and asking whether the rather different example witnessed in the saint’s testimony might offer guidance for a better way to catechise today.
Engaged discussed was had in both a formal panel discussion with all the speakers, as well as in informal conversations over the weekend. The conference culminated in the celebration of the Divine Services in a chapel created in the conference centre for the event. Following the full All-night Vigil on Saturday evening, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, together with the visiting speakers and clerics from across the Diocese of Sourozh.
The annual conference of the Diocese of Sourozh was a tradition established by the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, which continues to this day in the dicoese he shepherded for half a century.
A photogallery is also available.