Bells ring out at Georgian parish in Moscow for first time in a century
November 23 was a joyous day for the Georgian diaspora in Moscow for several reasons.
Not only did the parishioners of the St. George’s Orthodox Church celebrate their beloved patron saint with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy, but the occasion also marked the 270th anniversary of the parish, and for the first time in nearly a century, bells rung out at the Georgian representation church.
The Divine Liturgy for the feast of Giorgoba—the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. George—was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Nikoloz of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo and Kari of the Georgian Orthodox Church, together with representatives of the Russian Church and other Local Churches, reports the official Georgian Church site.
The Metropolitan spoke of the important role the church has played in the life of Georgians in Moscow, in particular mentioning His Grace Bishop Lazar of Borjomi, a recently-reposed Georgian hierarch, who was ordained to the priesthood at St. George’s in Moscow in 1992, not long after the church was reopened.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and priests processed with icons and banners, blessing the church and its territory with holy water.
Moreover, on the same day, the bells of the church’s renovated bell tower rang out for the first time since 1922.
As Georgian diaspora spokesman Andro Ivanov told Sputnik, all the valuables were removed from the church that year by the Bolsheviks, and in 1930, the church was closed altogether. It is not known exactly what year the bell tower was dismantled.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, part of the church territory was returned, and in 2015, the entirety of the territory was returned to the Church.
Now the bells are engraved with the date 11/23/20, marking the restoration of the bell tower, which was completed with the support of concerned parishioners.
“It is very important that Georgians living in Moscow can hear the services in their native language, and the restoration of the bell tower has become a real celebration. This is a historic event for the Georgian diaspora,” Ivanov said.