Wednesday, January 19, 2005

True Orthodox News. Thanksgiving Prayer Service Held for First-Stage Completion of Moscow ROAC Temple During Christmas Week

(Vertograd: Moscow)

Public prayers of thanksgiving were held during Christmas week, January 9, in the Moscow Temple of St Nicholas the Tsar-Martyr and New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia Parish, situated in Golovinsky cememtery, presided over by the rector of the St Nicholas Parish, archpriest Michael Ardov and assisted by Deacon Alexey Sokolov. In a sermon held before the molieben, Fr. Michael sounded a call to the parishoners to thank the Lord for the successful and timely completion of the first stage of work on the Temple building.

What was once a funeral hall for the Golovinsky cemetery is now the site of the only Free Russian Orthodox Church in the capital and spans across 62 square meters. The temple lacks a cupola, belfry, apse, and other distinctive features of Orthodox Church buildings, save for the icons and artistic lattices on the windows, designed in cross form. In 1991, this building, built in the 1950's, was given to the brotherhood of St Job of Pochaev (ROCOR), and in 1992 passed over to the Suzdal Diocese of the Free Russian Orthodox Church. For almost twelve years Fr Michael has been the rector of this Church, and other clergy of the parish include Hieromonk Arcady (Ilyushin) and Deacon Alexey Sokolov. The parish has about 100 members.

After a great deal of painstaking effort, the community of the parish was able to obtain official permission from the city authorities to renovate the building both to increase space for worship and give it the external features of an Orthodox Church, along with construction of auxiliary accomodations for the Temple. Work on the reconstruction began during July of 2004 and in scheduled to be completed by December of 2006. SMU, a state enterprise, is contracted to complete the work and the project is being developed by the "Restoration Center" scientific and industrial enterprise, with the goal of redesigning the Temple on the model of a classical urban Church of the 19th century.

During the first stage of reconstruction, which was completed this Christmas, a new northern wing for the temple was built along with a basement. The second stage consists of building a southern wing and the three-layer belfry, which is scheduled to take up the rest of 2005. Next year a main cupola and altar apse will be built. As a result of the reconstruction, a second southern entrance will be built. The total worship space will be increased to one and a half times its current size and will be 98 square meters. As it currently stands, it can hold 120 worshippers. With the architecture being designed using the pre-revolutionary standards, it will be sufficient to hold 400 people. The estimated cost for the project will be 3.8 million rubles, of which the parish had only collected 5%, according to Sergei Suvorov, the parish warden. However, with God's aid, the necessary means to cover the expenses are being drawn proportionately to the work completed.

The temple on the cemetery, after reconstruction, will be almost 18 meters high, with the basic arches at 8 meters. There will be three vestibules - western, southern, and northern, choir space, small rooms on the second floor and in the basement.

The temple of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia is located at Golovinskoye highway, house 13, structure 3, Moscow. The telephone number is (095)-450-59-18.