II. VIDEOS OF DIVINE SERVICES IN RUSSIA
"Totally awesome" you will say when you view these truly beautiful videos! The up-close videotaping of these magnificent Divine Services allows you to feel present in the middle of them, easily entering into the prayerful mood, and is the next-best thing to being there. The splendid exteriors are shown during the opening titles. The high quality of this all-digital production will maximize your viewing experience. You will witness the devotion of the Siberian people of all ages in the large city of Irkutsk, capital of Eastern Siberia, and you will marvel at the universality of Orthodox Divine Service half a world away.
For the Vigil (Vespers and Matins) you will be in the large Bishop’s Cathedral in the Znamensky (Icon of the Mother-of-God-of-the-Sign) Women’s Monastery, in the presence of the precious relics of St. Innocent, first bishop of Irkutsk. (You will even view them up close with the reliquary lid opened.) At the end of Matins you will be inspired by the Procession with the Holy Cross, carried by Bishop VADIM around the entire church, and you will be overwhelmed by the awesome rite of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, during the singing of the famous 100-Lord-have-mercy’s. Although you may be familiar with this musical composition, few in America have experienced its liturgical use during the awe-inspiring Cross-Elevation—which only bishops may perform—in Matins for the feast. Bishop VADIM does it magnificently! Equally as beautiful as the liturgical action is the marvelous singing by an excellent four-part cathedral choir, augmented by a small monastery antiphonal choir. Both choirs are up front, on either side of the solea. Assisting Bishop VADIM are 3 priests, 3 deacons, 3 sub-deacons and a 10-year-old staff-bearer. The camera moves around to show the liturgical action from the best position. Being mindful not to disturb the liturgical flow and prayerful mood, this video has been very carefully edited down to 2 hours by editing out extended chanting. [You will notice that, because Bishop VADIM works well with the local media in order to promote knowledge of the Church, and Divine Services are frequently televised, the faithful and clergy are used to video-cameras.]
For the Divine Liturgy you will be in a totally different environment—at a parish church celebrating its feast-day. It is a Monday morning, but the church is full of school-children. Although very tall, the church’s interior space up front is limited, and it is packed. As a result, you get to experience this magnificent service extremely up-close, from the front center. You can almost reach out and touch the bishop, priest or deacon on the solea, or the children in the front, and you can even see the words in the Gospel book. Because of the ideal location of the camera, you can easily participate in all the liturgical action at the altar, and you have a perfect, full view of the entire ordination of a priest and a deacon. Bishop VADIM serves beautifully, with a loud, clear voice, assisted by his own archdeacon and his 2 sub-deacons, the 2 parish priests, a parish sub-deacon and server, plus the deacon who is ordained a priest, and the sub-deacon who is ordained a deacon. You will marvel at the excellent choir that resonates through the church from the small balcony. You will experience this magnificent service in its entirety, with only the priest’s sermon and part of Bishop VADIM’s sermon edited out. You will love this video set!
Tape 1: VIGIL: Great Vespers & Litia, Matins, Cross Procession & Elevation (2 hrs.)
Tape 2: HIERARCHAL DIVINE LITURGY, with Ordinations of Priest & Deacon (2 hrs.)
Chief Celebrant at both services: Vladyka VADIM, Bishop of Irkutsk