Церковные ВѢХИ

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. For salvation is the revelation of the way for everyone who believes in Christ's name. This revelation is to be found only in the Church. In the Church, as in the Body of Christ, in its theanthropic organism, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of the "two natures," indissolubly united, is continually accomplished. -Fr. Georges Florovsky


§ 20. For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils. This fearful anathema, brethren and sons beloved in Christ, we do not pronounce today, but our Savior first pronounced it (Matt. xii. 32): Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. St. Paul pronounced the same anathema (Gal. i. 6): I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir of God-serving fathers pronounced. All, therefore, innovating, either by heresy or schism, have voluntarily clothed themselves, according to the Psalm (cix. 18), ("with a curse as with a garment,") whether they be Popes, or Patriarchs, or Clergy, or Laity; nay, if any one, though an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Thus our wise fathers, obedient to the soul-saving words of St. Paul, were established firm and steadfast in the faith handed down unbrokenly to them, and preserved it unchanged and uncontaminate in the midst of so many heresies, and have delivered it to us pure and undefiled, as it came pure from the mouth of the first servants of the Word. Let us, too, thus wise, transmit it, pure as we have received it, to coming generations, altering nothing, that they may be, as we are, full of confidence, and with nothing to be ashamed of when speaking of the faith of their forefathers. - Encyclical of the Holy Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество
«Кто еси мимо грядый о нас невѣдущиiй, Елицы здѣ естесмо положены сущи, Понеже нам страсть и смерть повѣлѣ молчати, Сей камень возопiетъ о насъ ти вѣщати, И за правду и вѣрность къ Монарсѣ нашу Страданiя и смерти испiймо чашу, Злуданьем Мазепы, всевѣчно правы, Посѣченны зоставше топоромъ во главы; Почиваемъ въ семъ мѣстѣ Матери Владычнѣ, Подающiя всѣмъ своимъ рабомъ животь вѣчный. Року 1708, мѣсяца iюля 15 дня, посѣчены средь Обозу войсковаго, за Бѣлою Церковiю на Борщаговцѣ и Ковшевомъ, благородный Василiй Кочубей, судiя генеральный; Iоаннъ Искра, полковникъ полтавскiй. Привезены же тѣла ихъ iюля 17 въ Кiевъ и того жъ дня въ обители святой Печерской на семъ мѣстѣ погребены».

Sunday, February 28, 2010



No, not under a foreign sky,

no not cradled by foreign wings –

Then, I was with my people, I,

with my people, there, sorrowing.


Instead of a Preface

In the dreadful years of the Yezhov terror I spent seventeen months in prison queues in Leningrad. One day someone ‘identified’ me. Then a woman standing behind me, blue with cold, who of course had never heard my name, woke from that trance characteristic of us all and asked in my ear (there, everyone spoke in whispers):
- Ah, can you describe this?

And I said:

I can.

Then something like a tormented smile passed over what had once been her face.

1st April 1957

Note: Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD from 1936 instituted a savage purge, akin to the Cultural Revolution in China, involving denunciations and show trials. He was in turn denounced in 1938 by Molotov, executed, and replaced by Beria. People in the Soviet Union came to call the Great Terror: Yezhovshchina (the time of Yezhov).


Before this sorrow mountains bow,
the vast river’s ceased to flow,

the ever-strong prison bolts

hold the ‘convict crews’ now,

abandoned to deathly longing.

For someone the sun glows red,

for someone the wind blows fresh –

but we know none of that, instead

we only hear the soldier’s tread,

keys scraping against our flesh.

Rising as though for early mass,

through the city of beasts we sped,

there met, breathless as the dead,

sun low, a mistier Neva. Far ahead,

hope singing still, as we passed.

Sentence given…tears pour out,

she thought she knew all separation,

in pain, blood driven from the heart,

as if she’s hurled to earth, apart,

yet walks…staggers…is in motion…

Where now my chance-met friends

of those two years satanic flight?

What Siberian storms do they resist,

and in what frosted lunar orb exist?

To them it is I send my farewell cry.

March 1940


Those days, when only the dead
smiled, glad to be at peace,

and Leningrad, unneeded, swayed,

throwing wide its penitentiary.

When legions of the condemned,

maddened by torment, passed,

brief the songs of parting then,

the locomotives’ farewell blast,

Dead stars hung above us,

and blameless Russia writhed

under boots stained with blood,

and the Black Marias’ tyres.


They took you away at dawn,
as though at a wake, I followed,

in the dark room weeping children,

among icons, the candle guttered.

On your lips, the chill of a cross,

on your brow a deathly pall.

I’ll be, like a woman to be shot,

dragged to the Kremlin wall.



Quiet flows the silent Don,
yellow moonlight fills the home.

Fills it, and falls askance,

yellow moon-ghost in its glance.

A woman there it is, makes moan,

a woman there, she lies alone,

Son in chains, husband clay,

pray for her, O pray.


No it is not I, someone else is suffering.
I could not have borne it otherwise, all that’s happening,

let them grant to it a dark covering,

and let them take away the glittering…



They should have shown you, little teaser,
little favourite, friend of all,

sylvan princess, happy charmer,

what situation would be yours –

as three-hundredth in the line

you’d stand, beneath the cross,

and let your tears’ hot brine

burn through New Year’s ice.

See the prison poplars sway,

without a sound – oh what a crowd

of innocent lives all end today…


Seventeen months I’ve pleaded
for you to come home.

Flung myself at the hangman’s feet,

my terror, oh my son.

And I can’t understand,

now all’s eternal confusion,

who’s beast, and who’s man,

how long till execution.

And only flowers of dust,

ringing of censers, tracks just

running somewhere, nowhere, far.

And deep in my eyes gazing,

swift, fatal, threatening,

one enormous star.


Lightly the weeks fly, too,
what’s happened I can’t understand.

Just as, my darling child, in prison,

white nights gazed at you,

so now again they gaze,

hawk-eyed, passionate-eyed,

and of your cross on high,

of death, they speak today.


7. The Sentencing

It has fallen, the word of stone
on my living breast, now.

No matter, I was prepared, you know,

I’ll get by, somehow.

I’ve things to do today:

I must crush memory down,

I must turn my heart to stone,

I must try living, again.

And then….Hot summer whispers,

as if for a Black Sea holiday.

Long, long ago, I foresaw this

this empty house, this shining day.

Summer, 1939.

8. To Death

You’ll come regardless – why not today?
I await you – life is very hard.

I’ve killed the lights, cleared the way

for you, so simple, such a marvel.

Take on any shape you wish,

burst in like a poisoned shell,

sidle in like a slick bandit,

or a typhus germ from hell.

Or a fairy-tale you’ve invented,

always sickeningly familiar –

where I see policemen’s heads,

and a concierge white with fear.

It’s all one now. The Yenisey swirling,

while the Pole star’s alight.

And in final terror closing

blessed eyes, blue and bright.

19th August 1939

The House on the Fontanka,



Already madness hovers
obscuring half my mind,

I drink its wine: its fires

bring on darkness, blind.

I realise, I must yield,

the victory to it now,

must listen to it speak,

strange fever on my brow.

And I must take nothing

with me that’s my own

(how I am begging,

how I am disowned!):

not my son’s fearful eyes –

suffering, turned to stone,

not the day, that storms rise,

nor the prison meeting-room,

nor the blessed cool of his hands,

the lime-trees’ shady agitation,

nor the slender distant sounds

of his final consolation.

4th May 1940

The House on the Fontanka.

10. Crucifixion.

‘Mother, do not weep for me,

who am in the grave.’


Angelic choirs, the mighty hour of glory,
and heaven confused in the fiery deep.

To the Father: ‘Why hast thou forsaken me!’

But to the Mother: ‘O, do not weep…’


Magdalene beat her breast and wept,

the beloved disciple turned to stone,

but there, no one dared, no one looked

where the Mother stood, still, and alone.




I learned to know how faces fall apart,
how fear, beneath the eye-lids, seeks,

how strict the cutting blade, the art

that suffering etches in the cheeks.

How the black, the ash-blond hair,

in an instant turned to silver,

learned how submissive lips fared,

learned terror’s dry racking laughter.

Not only for myself I pray,

but for all who stood there, all,

in bitter cold, or burning July day,

beneath that red, blind prison wall.


Once more, the remembered hour draws near.
I see you, I feel you, and I hear:

you, they could barely carry into line,

and you, whom earth claimed before your time,

and you, who shook your lovely head of hair,

saying: ‘As if this were home, I’m here’.

I’d like to summon you all by name,

But the lists are lost, un-found, again.

I’ve woven a great shroud for all, here,

out of poor words I chanced to overhear.

Remembering them always, everywhere,

unforgotten in each new terror’s care,

and if they shut my tormented lips, shut my

mouth where a hundred million people cry,

let them remember me, as well, today,

on the eve of my remembrance day.

And if ever in this my native country

they think to erect a statue to me,

I agree to that ceremonial honour,

but only on one condition – not there

beside the sea-shore, where I was born:

my last ties with it so long outworn,

nor in the Imperial Garden, by that dead tree

where an inconsolable shade looks for me,

but here, where I stood three hundred hours,

where no one ever opened the doors,

lest I forget in death’s blessed oblivion

the Black Maria’s screaming hum,

forget the terrible clang, the gates that hail

like a wounded beast, the old woman’s wail.

And from my eyelids, bronze, unmoving,

may snowflakes fall like tears, melting,

and the prison pigeons coo far from me,

and, on the Neva, ships sail silently.

March, 1940

Anna Andreevna Akhmatova (Gorenko)


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