Consecration of the restored bell tower
On September 1, 2020, on the feast of the Don Icon of the Mother of God and the Day of the Russian Cossacks, the Head of the Don Metropolitanate, Metropolitan of Rostov and Novocherkassk Mercury, consecrated the restored bell tower of the Starocherkassk Army Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection. The celebration was attended by the governor of the Rostov region Vasili Golubev, the head of the Aksai district Vitaly Borzenko. The Cossacks of the Great Don Army gathered on the Maidan.
His Eminence was co-served by the vicar of the Rostov diocese, Bishop Artemy of Taganrog, the senior priest of the cathedral, archpriest Valery Voloshchuk, the senior priest of the Patriarchal Ascension military cathedral of Novocherkassk, archpriest Georgy Smorkalov, acting the governor of the Don Starocherkassk Efremov convent, hieromonk Sergiy (Kolomits) and the clergy of the diocese.
The consecration was accompanied by the bell ringing of our parish bell-ringers under the leadership of Olga Shevchuk. The chants were performed by a male choir, regent – Ashot Palandjyan.
At the end of the meeting, the head of the Rostov region, Vasily Golubev, addressed the audience on the square. He noted the importance of this day and the event for the entire Don Cossacks, whose representatives this year celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Cossacks’ service to the Russian State.
“For us, it is essential to work on the preservation and revival of shrines. In 2019, the restoration of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, which was consecrated by Patriarch Kirill, was completed. The government of the Rostov region is taking part in the revival of shrines. More than 31 million rubles were allocated from the regional budget for the restoration of this bell tower. We are proud of the preservation of shrines in our region,” – Vasily Golubev said.
The head of the Don Metropolitanate welcomed those gathered on the feast of the Don Icon of the Mother of God and, noting the role of the Cossacks in the history of the Don and the country, in particular, said: “Today on this Maidan we testify that everything that our holy ancestors lived with, high ideals and the goals they set for themselves in their lives are also close to us. We are not only witnesses, but also living participants in the continuation of this great sacred history of our Don region …
The years of hard times did not pass by the village of Starocherkasskaya. The bell tower was silent for over 90 years. It was in desolation, there were no bells. And today it appeared before us in the grandeur and splendor that our ancestors intended for her. And this is the work of our contemporaries, this is our history. These are our shrines, and we do everything to ensure that they are not just museum artifacts in display cases or in storage. We do our best so that these shrines tell the people the truth of God, testify to the greatness and glory of our history and our ancestors …
May our land and great Russia flourish with its national shrines. Let them be reborn not only externally, but also, most importantly, within our hearts, awakening our consciousness to love for our Fatherland, common sense and understanding of where the lie is and where the truth is. So that no one from the outside or from within could influence our consciousness, destroying our historical memory, telling an untruth and lies about the feat of our ancestors. We are talking about this today here on this Don Maidan at the restored shrines, at the Starocherkassk Army Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection, which is the image of our common resurrection.
Let God grant that together with our deeds and thoughts, our Don land and Fatherland rise from strength to strength. Long live our great Motherland Russia! Glory to the Don Region and the Don Cossacks!”
The consecration of the restored bell tower of the Starocherkassk Army Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection has become a landmark event in the history of this historical and cultural monument of federal significance. The capital restoration work began a year ago and was supported by the government of the Rostov region. The project of restoration of the ensemble of the Army Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection with a bell tower was made within the framework of the federal target program “Culture of Russia”. In the course of the work, it became clear that there was a need to make additional changes to the original project. So, the roof of the bell tower was originally planned to be made of ordinary tin, but experts considered that such an architectural monument of federal significance is worthy of the roof being made of pure copper. And now the shine of the roof of the bell tower can be seen even at the entrance to the village of Starocherkasskaya.
It is worth noting that since our parish took care of the Army Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection (since 2016), a lot of work has been done to preserve the first stone church on the Don. The stylobate part of the cathedral was put in order, the basement rooms were cleaned, the gutters were restored, and the painting work was done inside the cathedral gallery. The territory around the cathedral was ennobled: trees were planted, flowerbeds were organized, the area around the cathedral was paved with tiles, a playground was equipped, a public toilet was built.
In 2019, “ROSIZO” employees restored and fixed the crumbling painting on the altar, as well as the paint layer in the iconostasis. Last year became a jubilee for the cathedral – 300 years from the day of its foundation. For this event, a Eucharistic set in the style of the 18th century was purchased, and the cross-relic, which was once presented to the cathedral by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, was restored. Especially for the chapels of the Resurrection Cathedral, the Vatopedi Icon of the Mother of God “Joy and Consolation” was written and consecrated on Mount Athos, and the icon of Alexei the Man of God (the heavenly patron of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich) was painted in our parish icon-painting workshop.
The exhibition with museum expositions was made in the cathedral: historical Cossack and historical church. The gallery contains thematic stands dedicated to the history of the cathedral and telling about the architecture, interior decoration, historical facts of the village of Starocherkasskaya.
Before the introduction of restrictive measures to prevent the spread of new coronavirus infection, a free parish bus from Rostov to Starocherkassk regularly ran for parishioners wishing to attend Sunday services.
Also, excursions for pilgrims and guests were conducted by the senior priest, clergy and staff of the cathedral. With active cooperation with the Southern Military District, more than five hundred servicemen visited the cathedral last year.