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Is there information available about services or how to contact the nastavik? My ancestors were Russian Orthodox Old Believers.

The priested Old Believer church of nativity in Erie doesn't look Old Believer on their social media pages and streamed services. For example, there are no old believer icons visible in the church (based on their photo albums). The services are in English. They are active in secular politics, invite politicians , don't wear traditional clothing, there is cell phone use during Liturgy on their YouTube videos, and have no information about old believer saints on any of their websites or social media.

There is a priestless group called Russian Orthodox old believers holy Trinity church. I can not find any contact information (worst case I figured I could mail a letter).

I am looking for the authentic old believers. The church of the nativity is not an old believer parish despite the website.

I don't mean to be picky. But I've been looking to reconnect with the religion and way of life of my ancestors.

Does anyone know what group of old believers are from the Scythia/Novgorod region and know how to contact them?

Thank you smile

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Christ is in our midst!!

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
247 E Front St, Erie, PA 16507
Phone: (814) 454-8618

The Russian Old Believers Church of the Holy Trinity is located on the corner of East 3rd and Holland Streets in downtown Erie, PA. The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1984.

Welcome to the forum.

Bob
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Originally Posted by museofhistory
Does anyone know what group of old believers are from the Scythia/Novgorod region and know how to contact them?

Hi Muse,

Off the top of my head, I can only offer that most priestless Old Believers from the Novgorod region were Pomorian, how those broke down among various confessions, I don't recollect. I'll have to go back through a series of posts (stickied at the top of this forum) that I made about a decade ago to see.whether I identified any particular confession as localized to Scythia. Will try to get some time this weekend to check.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Hello. We have just created a web site for our Church of the Holy Trinity Church in Erie PA.

Churchoftheholytrinityeriepa.com

You can email us there with any questions you have. We currently have services in Slavonic every Saturday at 5 PM, some Sunday mornings, and on Church holy days according to the old calendar.

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Also the correct address is:

Church of the Holy Trinity
227 Holland St
Erie, PA 16507

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I did asked a catholic bishop of the byzantine rite about it.

He explained me that the old believers there is 2 groups.

The schism which is eastern orthodox.
Nor all Russian greek rite but those of the old believers thst werre previously eastern orthodox joined the russian greek rite, the old believers as well as nikonian that returned in communion with Rome are part of the Russian greek rite.

That is as far as I was able to gather.

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Dear OldBelievers,

Just a quick question. Does your Church venerate Andrei and Semen Denisov of the Vyg Community? I've seen an icon of them and other Vyg Elders.

Also, does your Church sell any publications by Andrei Denisov in defense of the Old Rite traditions?

Alex

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No we do not venerate them, nor do we have any publications about them.

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Thank you for that reply!

Now I have one book of saints that does list them as "Old Believer saints." Also, a book on the Vyg Community does have an icon of them and they are referred to as the "Saints of the Vyg Community" I have also come across icons of them with haloes. Certainly they have not been formally canonized or glorified as saints since the Bezpopovtsy do not have bishops. But would they not enjoy some private veneration? a Bezpopovtsy calendar I've seen refers to them in the highest possible terms, stopping short of calling them "saint." But popular veneration is a kind of equivalent. Does your Church honour any of the Old Believer Martyrs? The 500 martyrs of the Solovetsky Monastery perhaps? Also, do you publish any literature defending the Old Rite - like that written by Andrei Denisov?

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According to one Master's thesis on this matter that I've read, the Bezpopovtsy Old Believers did have days of commemoration for Andrei and Simeon Denisov and other Vygowsky worthies, if not saints. I do have a book of Saints where they are listed as "Old Believer Saints."

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I asked this question to our spiritual advisor and this is his response,

“ The Vyg Monastery, the largest center of the Old Faith, was founded in 1690 on the Vyg River in the White Sea region of northern Russia. (hence the name "Pomortsy") and destroyed by order of the government in 1850. Andrei and Simeon Denisov are one of the most authoritative abbots of this monastery. Their books (Their most famous work is “Pomorskie Otvety”) are being published and are now being studied. At that time, services were composed for the Old Believer martyrs and abbots as for saints, since people hoped that sooner or later an Old Believer bishop would be found and the priesthood would be restored, then these services would take place. But since we were left without the priesthood, these services and icons were never used in worship.
Currently, we just commemorate all the Old Believer martyrs during memorial services, they are listed in the book ‘Synodik’.”

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That is a wonderful response - just what I was looking for!

One could probably say that they await formal glorification. I have their icon and do privately venerate them. Just one further question, where could one obtain a copy of the Pomoskie Otvety? Has it ever been published in English? If not, no matter, I wouldn't mind having it in Slavonic, if it is available.

Thank you once again.

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We do not have a copy but you could try contacting the Grebenshchikov Church in Riga. There is a phone number listed online if you search their church.

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Thank you for that lead!

And as for your comment about the Russian government doing what it did to the Old Believers - hard to believe! (smile)

What is even harder is that it is still doing that to others today and on a massive scale.

We will leave it all in God's Hands.

Alex

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One further question though: Could you describe the use of the Old Believer woven belt?

Is it worn all the time by the members of your parish? Is it worn on the outside around the waist with a rubashka? Is it also worn underneath one's clothes?

Finally, as the Son of the Church directs, the neck Cross - do Old Believers wear it continually? May one wear it outside of one's clothing?

Forgive me, but when you use the Lestovka, how do you hold it in the left hand when counting the Prayers? Do you hold it between the ndex and middle fingers? Do you take it to bed with you to continue saying the Jesus Prayer? AND do you fall asleep holding your right hand in the form to be ready to make the Sign of the Cross?

Thank you!

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