PARISH AND PARISH LIFE
The parishioner takes responsibility for everything that happens in the church
Bishop Panteleimon (Shatov). "Russian line". 04-12-2013
РУС    РУС-ENG

[The Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service, manager of the Eastern Vicariate of Moscow Orehovo-Zuevsky Bishop Panteleimon talked to the webb site "Parishes" about the organization of contemporary life of the parish community].

[An active parishioner – is obviously a person who regularly attends the church. I think that attending the church every Sunday is a must. To participate in a worship – not to come just to stand, but to participate with all one's heart and mind in the celebration of the Liturgy, to know its meaning, and not only to know, but also with all his life to immerse into it, to constantly explore the worship. In the words of St. John of Kronstadt, "Our living participation in the Liturgy is very limited."]

[But, on the other hand, one cannot say that the good parishioner – is someone who just comes sometimes to the church receives the grace, and then goes home as a mouse with a piece of cheese into his burrow, and is empowered by this grace until next Sunday. Parishioner takes responsibility for everything that happens in the church. He even financially supports his parish, making his tithing: by money or works, depending on his own capabilities].

[Parish – this is parenting of children, this is caring for the needy, it is attracting people who do not know anything about God, to the church, it is meeting new members and establishing good relations with them. A person enters into a parish family and begins to live its life. After all, love in the community, begins, grows and endures only when, just as in the family, each member takes care of its growth].

[We receive many benefits from the community ourselves: love, material support, or even help in our everyday life, for example, finding somebody to sit with a sick child, but at the same time we also try to help our brothers and sisters. We refer to each other in the church this way, and it's not just a polite form of address like "ladies and gentlemen" or "dear friends", but a representation of the essence of our relationship in the parish family].

[Of course, it is very important that your family, your children and your spouses become a part of the parish family. You have to attend the church together as a family – bring your children, parents, even if the spouse is an unbeliever, you can ask him to help, so he will get involved, at least partially, in the life of the community. And if the "second half" rejects the faith, be sure to pray so that the Lord will bring the wife or husband to the Church].

[On the one hand, such a life can seem more difficult – since everybody already complains about the constant lack of time. But in fact, it will not be difficult, and even easier, since you'll obtain many friends, like-minded people, helpers – what all of us lack so much in everyday life].

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