Info

published penetrating studies of the art.49 Both painters were members of the Moscow exarchate in Paris. Ivan Gardner, one-time bishop of the Church Abroad, studied and performed the choral music of the Russian past. He, too, produced a panoramic survey of his field.50

Among the emigration's numerous choirs, few were as influential as that of the Institut Saint-Serge. Under the guidance of I. K. Denissoff and the Ossorguines, father and son, Saint-Serge revived the Russian tradition of the monastic male-voice choir. The singers shared the icon-painters' aim, which was to play a vital role in worship. But their work also made its impact on a wider public through the choir's recordings and its tours. Whether it was choral singing or icon painting, the diaspora sought to preserve and enhance a tradition which was effectively eclipsed at home.

Worship

Ultimately, it was something less evident that helped to reveal the emigration's worth not only to the outside world but also to itself. None of its structures would have mattered, nor any other way in which it sought to make its contribution to the public good, had not its life been based on fundamentals in the eucharistic sphere. Without the worshipping community, so many of its theologians felt, all the rest was merely decor. This decor might be justified by reference to a complex of inherited traditions, but no more than that. By contrast, it was the vitality with which the faithful worshipped that showed how 'Holy Russia' might be treated as a prospect and a programme, rather than as a pious myth. Their readiness to reshape simple sitting rooms and shabby barracks into churches transformed such settings into 'Thresholds of the Kingdom'. Many were convinced that it was worship that undergirded the diaspora's life and bound its members firmly to each other. At this level, reminders of 'the one thing needful' (Luke 10:42) took precedence over the question of 'jurisdictions'. For such worship could involve a more authentic revelation of the church than any patriarchal edict. 'Where the Eucharist is,

49 L. Ouspensky and V Lossky, The meaning of icons, trans. G. E. H. Palmer and E. Kad-loubovsky, third English edition (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1982); also L. Ouspensky, Theology of the icon, trans. A. Gythiel, 2 vols. (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992).

50 Johann von Gardner, Russian church singing, trans. V. Morosan, 2 vols. (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1997-2000).

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment