MOSCOW — On a recently available snowy Sunday, the 17th-century Dormition Church ended up being drawing night Mass to a detailed. The ethereal chants which had for just two hours entranced a standing congregation still echoed from the intricately painted walls as Father Aleksy Gomonov retreated to your sacristy to remove their vestments.
But his sizeable, surprisingly young flock stayed. The crowd began to mingle as tables were brought in and arranged in neat rows among the ancient icons and golden candelabra. Down came the dense cold weather coats, and away arrived the smart phones. Figures had been exchanged, eye contact held or averted, and a subdued atmosphere of piety provided option to flirtation and giggles.
It absolutely was the gathering that is latest associated with the Peter and Fevronia Club, sort of speed-dating evening for Moscow’s Orthodox Christians. Each Sunday, following the week’s last solution, Gomonov includes the solitary guys and ladies of their parish, and other people keen to join. He dispenses relationship advice mixed with church teachings as they chat over cucumber sandwiches and black tea.
Many arrived at find their partner, the way that is old-fashioned. Other people look for a friend for walks, church events, or pilgrimages. And Gomonov, a gladly hitched daddy of two? He is just time that is killing.
” we have nothing far better to do, ” he stated, their eyes scanning the space over a set of eyeglasses perpetually balanced regarding the tip of their nose. “as well as the youth have absolutely nothing to accomplish either. “
At 67, Gomonov sports an extraordinary white beard and a mane of strawberry-blond locks. Into the twenty years since he took fee of this Dormition Church, he’s fostered a residential area like few other people in Moscow. (more…)