MOSCOW — On a current snowy Sunday, the 17th-century Dormition Church ended up being evening that is drawing to a detailed. The ethereal chants which had for two hours entranced a congregation that is standing echoed from the intricately painted walls as Father Aleksy Gomonov retreated to your sacristy to remove their vestments.
But his sizeable, surprisingly young flock stayed. The crowd began to mingle as tables were brought in russian brides real and arranged in neat rows among the ancient icons and golden candelabra. Down came the winter that is thick, and away arrived the smart phones. Figures had been exchanged, eye contact held or averted, and an atmosphere that is subdued of provided option to flirtation and giggles.
It had been the latest gathering of this Peter and Fevronia Club, a kind of speed-dating evening for Moscow’s Orthodox Christians. Each Sunday, following the week’s last solution, Gomonov includes the men that are single ladies of their parish, and other people keen to join. He dispenses relationship advice mixed with church teachings as they chat over cucumber sandwiches and black tea.
Many come to find their partner, the conventional method. Other people look for a friend for walks, church events, or pilgrimages. And Gomonov, a joyfully hitched dad of two? He is simply killing time.
” We have absolutely absolutely nothing easier to do, ” he stated, their eyes scanning the area over a set of cups perpetually balanced from the tip of their nose. “together with youth have absolutely nothing to complete either. “
At 67, Gomonov sports a remarkable beard that is white a mane of strawberry-blond locks. Into the two decades he has fostered a community like few others in Moscow since he took charge of the Dormition Church. Parishioners have a separate summer time camp and a scheduled system of civic engagement. They organize ballroom-dancing classes and pilgrimages to sacred Orthodox internet sites.