On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated a Memorial Service for the victims of the 1917 Russian Revolutions and their aftermath and opening prayers for a major exhibit at Villanova University.
Titled “Blood and Soul: The Russian Revolutions of 1917,” the exhibit in part marks the 100th Anniversary of Saint Patriarch Tikhon’s enthronement as Patriarch of Moscow. See related story.
The Memorial was celebrated in the University’s Corr Hall Chapel. Serving with Metropolitan Tikhon were Archpriest John Perich, co-curator of the exhibit; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; Archpriest Steven Hutnik, President of the Philadelphia Clergy Brotherhood; and Archpriests Dennis Bradley, Martin Browne, Timothy Hojnicki, Nicholas Solak, Daniel Ressetar, and James Weremedic. Liturgical responses were sung by a joint choir of students from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY under the direction of Christopher Rakowski of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.
At the conclusion of the service, Metropolitan Tikhon offered a reflection on the life and ministry of Saint Patriarch Tikhon during his years as Bishop and later Archbishop of North America and after his return to his homeland in 1907. The complete text of his reflection is available on-line.
Following a reception, Metropolitan Tikhon offered a prayer officially opening the exhibit. Dean Adele Lindenmeyer of Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Co-Founder of the Russian Area Studies Concentration Program welcomed the attendees on behalf of the University community.
“The Russian Revolutions of 1917… enacted on the grandest stage possible the implementation of Marx’s philosophical scientific atheism, first by intimidation and then by raw terror,” reads the exhibit’s vision statement. “This exhibit instructionally portrays the secularization process by which the politically motivated Bolsheviks sought to replace the prior monarchist, divine right, religiously founded culture of Russia with the Marxist/Leninist utopian worldview possessing its own ‘salvation’ incentives, cultural expressions (calendar of holidays, artwork, clothing styles, service decorations, etc.) and communist order. But, as the Commissar of Enlightenment intimated in 1928, ‘Religion is like a sharp nail, the harder you hit it, the deeper it goes.’”
Throughout the course of the exhibit, which runs through September 1, several other presentations on related topics will be available to the public.
Photo Credit: Subdeacon Roman Ostash