At our parish, complaints began to be received against candlesticks: they say, rudeness, rudeness and all that. So I approached the abbot once: “Father,” I say, “appoint me, so good and wonderful, with this candlestick of yours: I’ll fix everything for you in an instant.”
“Or fix it yourself,” the priest said. – Forward – on the embrasure! Just do not blame anyone!
– No, I will only teach them to live.
– Oh well. The poor fellow is half a whisper, compassionate and after.
Fiasco first. Discipline
From the first hours of standing behind the “box” I remembered this fatherly compassion. And not suddenly. If quite good-natured, business and familiar parishioners approached the beginning of the service, they smiled a little surprised, seeing an old acquaintance in a new place, spoke clearly and clearly, took candles and retreated to their usual place in the temple, then by the end of the service there was an increase in people nervously late . Those who are always late and consciously. There was no silence in the temple, it was not possible to disassemble the poor reader’s attempts to convey the prayers of the Communion to the prayers after the hysterical news that filled the church, the election discussions and plans for “now-from-the-church-come-out, where will we go?” who came out of the altar and called the flock to heed the words of the prayers and remember that we are preparing for the great sacrament, only worked for three minutes. The fourth came the new late, not yet had time to share the news.
One way or another, the service is over. There were prayers and dirge, the temple was empty. “But now the hardest will begin,” the modest girl Natasha repeated three times, helping me deal with candles, prosfors, notes, etc., looking at my crazed physiognomy. “What could be harder,” I thought with the remnants of the brain, “idle talks at the liturgy and the inability to hear prayers?”
Fiasco second. People
They are known to be different. Most often – good and kind. Most often, in their own way. After the service, it was necessary to defend the temple from the street children who were trying to steal money from donation circles or the circles themselves. It was also necessary to try to drive away from the church the foul-smelling, criminal-looking homeless people who defeated the walls of the church and spoke foul language.
“They are collecting alms here,” said kind-hearted Natasha, “someone will take pity on them.”
– So after all they drink it up!
Then an aunt came in boots and earrings, which urgently needed to “exchange five pieces of goods” (and said “pieces”).
“Excuse me,” I say, “this is not a bank here, and there is no such money.”
– Is it in your ROC ?! Yes, you have money is not measured! You should have everything here for free!
The position was saved by Natasha; She put out some papers: “Here are the bills for heating and electricity. Impressive, right? Pay them once a month – and you will definitely receive candles without any fee. ” Impressed, after all, you see, the leaves: the lady even apologized. “I specifically asked to copy the accounts,” explained the wise Natasha. “It helps a lot, by the way.”
Then came a young man. Long stood at the icon. Cruelly baptized. Then he went to the “box”. “I have a candle, please,” he uttered deafly. He took the candle, went back to the icon, set it, stood again for a long time. Approached: “I came from the Caucasus. Sniper I. And he began to tell – the warrior needed to speak out. I will not pass on the whole conversation, but the words in my memory hit: “You know how you feel when you see an optical sight, how the“ spirit ”of your soldier cuts, and you cannot get it from a rifle – too far. “Told a lot. Then he went back to the icons (“I know – the Virgin saved me. And not just me – many”), he asked me to drink holy water, then I sat on the bench – I was waiting for the priest. Fortunately, the father came in time – went to confession. “More“ Afghans ”are coming,” Natasha said quietly. – Police, it happens, special forces. Firefighters who saved children from the fire. Our first-aid kit is always full – you never know what will happen to “…
Fiasco the third. Recipes for success and salvation
– Who needs to pray for the daughter to go to college? – The woman asked, seriously concerned about the formation of a daughter, but, alas, not very versed in Christianity.
– How to whom? To god – I answer.
“God alone, actually,” I say (Natasha turned away and seemed to be smiling).
– Young man, I specifically ask you: what god should I pray for my daughter to go to college ?!
It is ridiculous to whom – even cry …
… “Which is better: simple or custom liturgy? And the truth is more effective than a memorial service? And for what kind of note do they give prosphora? ”- and so on and so forth. I have had enough of such questions for all the days while I was a candlestick. And in any way, well, I could not learn how to answer them. One of my colleagues, who replaced Natasha, managed to answer in such a way that people chose those donations that were the most.
– And what is it for? – asked naive candlestick.
– The majority of people who come here do not need any reasoning – the majority needs to “invest money” quickly and correctly, do you understand?
Drink tea prevented the request to sell twelve identical candles. Well, please – twelve so twelve. I was headed to the tray with candles, but my colleague suddenly stiffened: “And you, forgive me, why?” She asked the young woman.
“Grandma told me so.”
– Excuse me, grandmother or grandmother?
– Well, Grandma, so what? She told me to buy these candles, light them, and then bring them to her — she would take damage from me.
– What do you mean? Well this is dangerous. This is a betrayal!
– Whom? Someone betrayal something?
And the candle for forty minutes with a young woman talked. That candle still bought. But she said that they would put them in the temple. God forbid!
– I have a hundred candles. Quickly! – throwing an interesting and rare color bill on the counter, through the corner of the upper thick lips filtered sparkling uncle. – Quickly, I said. I’m crying that money, got it? Who consecrates your home here? You all live with my money here, okay?
– No, not clear. Who are you?
– I?! Who?! – here it was impossible to stop the uncle.
If the temple were full, everyone would know who he is, this uncle, “there is such a person”, “what can he really decide” and “he can do much better” and how many bells “should be called from the next world” – so many He has already reprimanded. On the other hand, there is no small benefit: you better understand the bitter irony and pain of Pushkin, who wrote about how Kirila Petrovich Troyekurov bowed humbly and earthly, while serving in the service, when the deacon during the litany proclaimed “… and about the benefactors of the holy church.” Every time has its own Kirila Petrovich Troyekurov …
Fiasco fourth. Cellulite and bosses
Not only candles should be sold for the “box” and memorial notes — you need a good book to help you choose or something else you need. I went terribly intelligent kind of couple, asked to pick up something from good children’s literature. And, to my shame, I didn’t have time to get to know her for real, well, and blurted out: “Here, they say, children’s verses are good. Look, maybe they will? ”They opened the book, flipped through it. Began to read. Turned the page – smile, look, stopped. Hands trembled, my eyes began to water. The lady sat on the chair, a man came up to me and tactfully called me aside. “Excuse me,” he says, “but how can one sell and offer such things in church?” “What is this?” I innocently ask. He realized that I was mistaken, and just started quoting something from a children’s Orthodox book. The further he read, the more I wanted to fall through the ground. There was something about a pious church mouse that lived somewhere in the basement, about the bumblers with whom the pious watchman fed her, about the impious cat and the pious detective Bobby with a wrinkled smart forehead.
“Stop,” I say. – Sorry, wrong. I did not want to offend you.
“It’s not about you,” he says so sadly. – I just can not understand: what, in Russia there are no good books? Why does the church allow Christian children to read this? What are we – Orthodox ignoramuses need, tell me?
– Not sure. I can offer in compensation Leskov, Pushkin. Do not want?
– Even as I wish! And “Winnie the Pooh” is? The one, the real one, Zauder?
It was hard, oh, hard, after such questions (several times people sincerely wondered at the lack of good children’s, and even adult literature in Orthodox churches). Try – prove now that we stand for a good education. And, by the way, what do we call this good if we sell all sorts of pious-soplive masterpieces for kids?
But not only books interest people – icons, rosaries, and more are needed. I don’t even want to talk about the quality of the icons of our “box”. Some Serbs came in somehow – they looked and wondered, turned in their hands: “But are there any real icons that are not stamped? Any other production? “-” No, bratushki. Sorry again. ” But the frantic hysteria of the little brothers began when they saw plaster, porcelain and plastic angels, angels and angels standing “made in China” standing separately on the shelf: “Look,” they screamed, “cellulite.” Catholic Cellulite. “I approached them, so that from their point of view, this happiness was to see: m-da-a. Pink angels look great in Orthodox churches, capable of plunging into a hysterical persistent Serbs, and at the same time completely kill the sense of beauty from their Russian brethren!
“While you are going to be outraged here and about the loss of the sense of the beautiful to grieve, the temple will become impoverished,” they explained to me. – And still problems with the administration will be added.
– Yes, everything is simple: first, people buy what they like. They like your cellulite monsters with wings – please. Pay the same? – Pay. Secondly, none of us, too, like a book, nor this is a miracle. But the community has to buy them: you can’t buy anything more in the diocesan administration! And to buy candles, icons and other community has the right only there, in the management. In other places – no, no. So all your claims about taste, the level of literature and everything else should be sent to those who supply such a thing, sorry for the expression, “grace”. There will not be a community to buy goods in “justice” – expect righteous anger and sanctions from the authorities. The salary, which is already low, will decrease, and the dear father’s superior father will have more difficulties. Go, in short, to the diocesan administration, and do not touch us. Although we understand you and silently support, of course. “
Fiasco fifth. Fatigue and questions.
A few days in a row of 10–12 hours on my feet, a simple and quick lunch at the church refectory, as I found out, constant tension, frequent insults and unfair accusations – all this, of course, contributes to humility. Or the appearance of thoughts about his absence. But tiredness, even exhaustion, is not a pleasant thing, believe me. Something even wanted to live. I approached the abbot:
– Sorry, sir, fool of an arrogant! Take me away from your mailbox. I could not do anything. People just looked.
– And How? Good many?
– Ah, well, then it was not in vain that there was a candlestick, man. And, as I understand it, we will no longer condemn, right?
In general, the priest pulled me out from behind a drawer, after which I spent 40 nonschere days. The days, filled, frankly, are not so much condemnation as I’m frightened and with questions to which I still have not received answers. Why, for example, we have been living for more than 20 years without any particular persecution, and we know practically nothing about Christianity. And, which is scary, we don’t particularly want to know. Grandmas with sorcerers, they say, they will tell us everything. Why do we think that God is simply obliged to give us this and that, if we gave such a note or so many bells of “this ROC” were presented. Why is it in the Church so depressingly little attention is paid to really good books, preferring to frighten people with the end of the world or ruin children’s intellect with pious baby talk. About the angels I have already said. Why parishes do not have the right to buy what is necessary for them, and not to take the nightmarish and quality goods in the “boards” bought by not very enlightened, apparently, people- “specialists”. Why can not deal with hooligans and thieves. Why not deal with the homeless – who wants, let him work, get money, who does not want, let him go his own way, but does not urinate on the church. Why because of money for paying electricity bills, etc., we sacrifice an elementary aesthetic feeling. Why do we come to the temple not at the beginning of the service, but at the end of the Communion and chatting, chatting, chatting …
I have a lot of questions, a lot. But there are probably two main ones: what is more effective – a sorokoste or a dirge? And which notes are stronger – “custom” or “simple”?
So I would not condemn the working people behind the church “box” of people. I just visited their place. It is difficult for them!