Things you don’t say in a Russian Orthodox Church…

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Russian Orthodox Church in Vancouver (rear).
Russian Orthodox Church in Vancouver (rear).
Well, today was a neat day.

I’m doing this story about Vancouver’s Russian community for this Russian magazine. It’s a cool gig – I’m getting to know a section of Vancouver’s community that I probably wouldn’t have engaged with if it weren’t for this article. I love being a journalist.

Today I attended a service at a Russian Orthodox Church which the priest, Reverend Father Serge Overt, describes as “a bit of old Russia in Vancouver.” He thought it’d be a good way to get a feel for the Russian Orthodox community.

When he told me it was standing room only I thought he was just trying to say how busy the place is, but no. He was talking literally – there are no pews!

The rituals, chants and “incantations” (correctly called prayers) were transcendent. I felt as though they were going to open up a portal to heaven behind the altar screen (iconostasis). When I told the priest this he said that’s exactly what they are trying to do. I really felt like I “passed the test” at that point.

Russian Orthodox Church in Vancouver (interior).
Russian Orthodox Church in Vancouver (interior).

I didn’t understand the Russian words, songs, bows and so forth, but I do recognize the feelings they roused within my spirit. It was profound.

Oh yeah, things you don’t say in the church: “You wanna talk about chastity,” I tell father Serge after the service. “I’m pretty darn chaste, I haven’t been laid in a year!

“You musn’t say such things,” he tells me in the most gentle tone possible. “We’re in a church.”

My bad!

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.

2 Comments

  1. fuck yeah!! i am so glad i found your blog!!! well, i had looked for it a few times recently and found stuff about Jo-Anne. which is obviously important too, but c;mon. i need to get my daily dose of nathaniel!! i think i might start my blog on word press. can you guide me through it? can i post audio and video?

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