Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen is the title for the head of a monastery in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, similar to the title of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called a ihumenia; the term means "the one, in charge", "the leader" in Greek. The title was applied to the head of any monastery. After 1874, when the Russian monasteries were secularized and classified into three classes, the title of hegumen was reserved only for the lowest, third class; the head of a monastery of the second or first class holds the rank of archimandrite. In the Greek Catholic Church, the head of all monasteries in a certain territory is called the protohegumen; the duties of both hegumen and archimandrite are the same, archimandrite being considered the senior dignity of the two. In the Russian Orthodox Church the title of Hegumen may be granted as an honorary title to any hieromonk one who does not head a monastery. A ruling hegumen is formally installed in a ceremony by the bishop, during which he is presented with his pastoral staff.
Among the Russians, the pastoral staff for a Hegumen tends to be of wood, rather than metal. The hegumen is awarded the gold pectoral cross by the bishop, as for an archpriest. During divine services the hegumen wears a simple black monastic mantle, while the higher ranking archimandrite wears a mantle similar to one worn by a bishop. An archimandrite wears a mitre similar to one worn by a bishop. A hegumen may carry his pastoral staff in processions and when giving blessings in the church, although it stands upright next to his kathisma; when outside the church, a hegumen may use a wooden walking stick similar to that used by a bishop or archimandrite, only not adorned with a silver knob. In the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria the rank is used in the capacity of an archpriest and is one; the name in the Arabic is Kommos, in turn a derivation of the Greek Ighoumenos and this honorary title is granted to both married priests and hieromonks without distinction and is not used in the capacity of an Abbot, although the monasteries' abbots used to be Hegumen until the beginning of the 20th century, but by the mid century, the Church of Alexandria started to appoint Bishops in the capacity of Abbots.
On the other hand, the rank of archimandrite fell into disuse in the Church of Alexandria from the late 16th century. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. 1906
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
The Christ Child known as Divine Infant, Baby Jesus, Infant Jesus, Child Jesus, the Holy Child, Santo Niño, refers to Jesus Christ from his nativity to age 12. The four Canonical Gospels accepted by most Christians today lack any narration of the years between Jesus' infancy and the Finding in the Temple when he was 12. Liturgical feasts relating to Christ's infancy and the Christ Child include: The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ; these are nativity scenes showing the birth of Jesus, with his mother Mary, her husband Joseph. Depictions as a baby with the Virgin Mary, known as Madonna and Child, are iconographical types in Eastern and Western traditions. Other scenes from his time as a baby, of his circumcision, presentation at the temple, the adoration of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, are common. Scenes showing his developing years are not unknown. Saint Joseph, Anthony of Padua, Saint Christopher are depicted holding the Christ Child; the Christian mystics Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Therese of Lisieux, along with the devotees of Divino Niño such as Mother Angelica and Father Giovanni Rizzo claim to have had apparitions of Jesus as a toddler.
The Christ Child was a popular subject in European wood sculpture beginning in the 1300s. The popularity of the Christ child was well known in Spain under the title Montanesino after the santero sculptor Juan Martínez Montañés who began the trend; these icons of the Christ Child was posed in the contrapposto style in which the positioning of the knees reflected in the opposite direction, similar to ancient depictions of the Roman Emperor. The images were quite popular among nobility, while some images were used to colonize kingdoms such of Spain and Portugal. Colonial images of the Christ child began to wear vestments, a pious practice developed by the santero culture in colonial years, carrying the depiction of holding the globus cruciger, a bird symbolizing a soul or the Holy Spirit or various paraphernalia related to its locality or region; the symbolism of the Child Jesus in art reached its apex during the Renaissance: the Holy Family was a central theme in the works of Leonardo da Vinci and many other masters.
Tàladh Chrìosda is a Scottish carol from Scotland. The Catholic priest Father Ranald Rankin, wrote the lyrics for Midnight Mass around the year 1855, he wrote 29 verses in Scottish Gaelic, but the popular English translation is limited to five. The melody, Cumha Mhic Arois, is from the Hebrides and was a sung as a protective charm for the fisherman away at sea; the rhythm mirrors the rhythm of the surf. It is sung in the Hebrides at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. In some apocryphal texts, the Infancy Gospels grew up with legendary accounts of the intervening period, these are sometimes depicted; these stories were intended to show Jesus as having extraordinary gifts of power and knowledge from the youngest age. One common pious tale has the young Jesus animating sparrows out of clay belonging to his playmates; when admonished for doing so on the Sabbath, he causes the birds to fly away. Several significant images of Jesus Christ as a child have received Canonical Coronations from the Pope, namely the Infant Jesus of Prague, the Santo Niño de Cebú in the Philippines, the Santo Bambino of Aracoeli in Rome.
In the seventeenth century veneration of the Christ Child under the title the "Little King of Beaune" was promoted by French Carmelites. In the late nineteenth century devotion to the Holy Child of Remedy developed in Madrid; the Christ Child Society was founded in 1885 in Washington, D. C. by Mary Virginia Merrick, as a small relief organization to aid local underprivileged children. Additional chapters were started in other cities. Taladh Criosta
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature". In this context, a "nature" is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets. While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas; the doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions. The word trinity is derived from Latin trinitas, meaning "the number three, a triad, tri".
This abstract noun is formed from the adjective trinus, as the word unitas is the abstract noun formed from unus. The corresponding word in Greek is τριάς, meaning "a set of three" or "the number three"; the first recorded use of this Greek word in Christian theology was by Theophilus of Antioch in about the year 170. He wrote: In like manner the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, His Word, His wisdom, and the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, man. While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, it was first formulated as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions; the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas. The Ante-Nicene Fathers asserted Christ's deity and spoke of "Father and Holy Spirit" though their language is not that of the traditional doctrine as formalized in the fourth century.
Trinitarians view these as elements of the codified doctrine. An early Trinitarian formula appears towards the end of the first century, where Clement of Rome rhetorically asks in his epistle as to why corruption exists among some in the Christian community. Ignatius of Antioch provides early support for the Trinity around 110, exhorting obedience to "Christ, to the Father, to the Spirit"; the pseudonymous Ascension of Isaiah, written sometime between the end of the first century and the beginning of the third century, possesses a "proto-trinitarian" view, such as in its narrative of how the inhabitants of the sixth heaven sing praises to "the primal Father and his Beloved Christ, the Holy Spirit". Justin Martyr writes, "in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, of our Saviour Jesus Christ, of the Holy Spirit"; the first of the early church fathers to be recorded using the word "Trinity" was Theophilus of Antioch writing in the late 2nd century. He defines the Trinity as God, His Word and His Wisdom in the context of a discussion of the first three days of creation, following the early Christian practice of identifying the Holy Spirit as the Wisdom of God.
The first defense of the doctrine of the Trinity was in the early 3rd century by the early church father Tertullian. He explicitly defined the Trinity as Father and Holy Spirit and defended his theology against "Praxeas", though he noted that the majority of the believers in his day found issue with his doctrine. St. Justin and Clement of Alexandria used the Trinity in their doxologies and St. Basil in the evening lighting of lamps. Origen of Alexandria has been interpreted as Subordinationist, but some modern researchers have argued that Origen might have been anti-Subordinationist. Although there is much debate as to whether the beliefs of the Apostles were articulated and explained in the Trinitarian Creeds, or were corrupted and replaced with new beliefs, all scholars recognize that the Creeds themselves were created in reaction to disagreements over the nature of the Father and Holy Spirit; these controversies took some centuries to be resolved. Of these controversies, the most significant developments were articulated in the first four centuries by the Church Fathers in reaction to Adoptionism and Arianism.
Adoptionism was the belief that Jesus was an ordinary man, born of Joseph and Mary, who became the Christ and Son of God at his baptism. In 269, the Synods of Antioch condemned Paul of Samosata for his Adoptionist theology, condemned the term homoousios in the modalist sense in which he used it. Among the Non-Trinitarian beliefs, the Sabellianism taught that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are one and the same, the difference being verbal, describing different aspects or roles of a single being. For this view Sabellius was excommunicated for heresy in Rome c. 220. In the fourth century, Arianism, as traditionally understood, taught that the Father existed prior to the Son, not, by nature, God but rather a changeable creature, granted the dignity of becoming "Son of God". In 325, the First C
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
The Novgorod Republic or Novgorodian Rus' was a medieval East Slavic state from the 12th to 15th centuries, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the northern Ural Mountains, including the city of Novgorod and the Lake Ladoga regions of modern Russia. Citizens referred to their city-state as "His Majesty Lord Novgorod the Great", or more as "Lord Novgorod the Great"; the Republic prospered as the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League and its Slavic and Finnic people were much influenced by the culture of the Viking-Varangians and Byzantine people. In the middle of the 9th century Novgorod was a name used to describe viking staging posts on the trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Byzantine Empire. There is a theory that in fact it was not Novgorod as misinterpreted by chroniclers, but Nevo Gardas - viking settlements on Lake Ladoga, as in one of Nestor's chronicles from the 12th century he mentions a lake called "the Great Nevo", a clear link to the Neva River and furthermore, to Finnish nevo "sea" or neva "bog, quagmire".
Novgorod was populated by various Slavic and Baltic tribes that were at war with one another for supremacy. However, these tribes came together during the beginning of the 9th century to try and form a negotiated settlement to end military aggression between each other; the Novgorod First Chronicle, a collection of writings depicting the history of Novgorod from 1016-1471, states that these tribes wanted to “Seek a prince who may rule over us and judge us according to law.” By transforming its governing institutions, Novgorod rejected its politically dependent relationship to Kiev. In 882, Prince Oleg founded the Kievan Rus', of which Novgorod was a part from until 1019-1020. Novgorod Princes were appointed by the Grand Prince of Kiev; the Novgorod boyars began to dominate the offices of posadnik and tysyatsky, which until about the mid-12th century had been appointed by the grand prince in Kiev. In 1136, the Novgorodians dismissed Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich and over the next century and a half were able to invite in and dismiss a number of princes.
However, these invitations or dismissals were based on who the dominant prince in Rus' or Appanage Russia was at the time, not on any independent thinking on the part of Novgorod. Cities such as Staraya Russa, Staraya Ladoga and Oreshek were part of the Novgorodian Land. According to some accounts, a vicar of the archbishop ran the city of Staraya Ladoga in the 13th century; the city of Pskov part of the Novgorodian Land, had de facto independence from at least the 13th century after joining the Hanseatic League. Several princes such as Dovmont and Vsevolod Mstislavich reigned in Pskov without any deference to or consultation with the prince or other officials in Novgorod. Pskov's independence was acknowledged by the Treaty of Bolotovo in 1348. After this, the Archbishop of Novgorod headed the church in Pskov and kept the title "Archbishop of Novgorod the Great and Pskov" until 1589. Novgordian Rus' and its inhabitants were much influenced by Vikings culture and people; these cultural and ethnic Scandinavian imprint shaped the society of Muscovite Rus' and whole Russia.
In the 12th -- 15th centuries, the Novgorodian Republic expanded northeast. The Novgorodians explored the areas around Lake Onega, along the Northern Dvina, coastlines of the White Sea. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Novgorodians explored the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the West-Siberian river Ob; the Ugric tribes that inhabited the Northern Urals had to pay tribute to Novgorod the Great. The lands to the north of the city, rich with furs, sea fauna, etc. were of great economic importance to the Novgorodians, who fought a protracted series of wars with Moscow beginning in the late 14th century in order to keep these lands. Losing them meant economic and cultural decline for the city and its inhabitants. Indeed, the ultimate failure of the Novgorodians to win these wars led to the downfall of the Republic. Soviet-era Marxist scholarship described the political system of Novgorod as a "feudal republic", placing it within the Marxist historiographic periodization. Many scholars today, question whether Russia really had a feudal political system parallel to that of the medieval West.
The city state of Novgorod had developed procedures of governance that held a large measure of democratic participation far in advance of the rest of Europe. The people had the power to elect city officials and they had the power to elect and fire the prince; the Chronicle writer goes on to describe a “town meeting” where these decisions would have been made, which included people from all social classes ranging from the Posadniki, to the Chernye Liudi or the lowest class. The precise constitution of the medieval Novgorodian Republic is uncertain, although traditional histories have created the image of a institutionalized network of veches and a government of posadniks, other members of aristocratic families, the archbishops of Novgorod; some scholars argue t
The Valaam Monastery, or Valamo Monastery is a stauropegic Orthodox monastery in Russian Karelia, located on Valaam, the largest island in Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe. It is not clear; as the cloister is not mentioned in documents before the 16th century, with dates from 10th to 15th centuries having been expounded. According to one tradition, the monastery was founded by a 10th-century Greek monk, Sergius of Valaam, his Karelian companion, Herman of Valaam. Heikki Kirkinen inclines to date the foundation of the monastery to the 12th century. Contemporary historians consider this date too early. According to the scholarly consensus, the monastery was founded at some point towards the end of the 14th century. John H. Lind and Michael C. Paul date the founding to between 1389 and 1393 based on various sources, including the "Tale of the Valaamo Monastery," a sixteenth-century manuscript, which has the monastery founded during the archiepiscopate of Ioann II of Novgorod; the Valaam monastery was a northern outpost of the Eastern Orthodox Church against pagans and a western outpost against the Catholic Church from Tavastia and Karelia Province.
The power struggle between Russians and Swedes pushed the border eastwards in the 16th century. The monastery was desolate between 1611 and 1715 after another attack of the Swedes, the buildings being burnt to the ground and the Karelian border between Russia and Sweden being drawn through Lake Ladoga. In the 18th century the monastery was magnificently restored, in 1812 it came under the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1917, Finland became independent, the Finnish Orthodox Church became autonomous under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Valaam was the most important monastery of the Finnish Orthodox Church; the liturgic language was changed from Church Slavonic to Finnish and the liturgic calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. These changes led to bitter decade-long disputes in the monastic community of Valaam; the territory was fought over by the Soviet Union and Finland during World War II. Due to the Winter War, the monastery was evacuated in 1940, when 150 monks settled in Heinävesi in Finland.
This community still exists as New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi. Having received evacuees from the Konevsky Monastery and Pechenga Monastery, it is now the only monastery of the Finnish Orthodox Church. From 1941-44, during the Continuation War, an attempt was made to restore the monastery buildings at Old Valaam, but the island served as a Soviet military base. Since the original Valaam Monastery was bequeathed back to the Orthodox Church in 1989, it has been enjoying the personal patronage of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, who frequented the cloister when a child; the monastery, whose buildings have been meticulously restored, has gained significant legal power over the island, in a push to return to a state of spiritual seclusion. After years of fruitless legal proceedings with the monastery, many residents of the island chose to leave, though a few still remain; the present Father Superior of the community is Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk. The monastery of Valaam has a unique tradition of singing, called the Valaam chant, that combines some features of Byzantine and Znamenny chants.
As in Byzantine chant, the singing is always 2-parts, comprising a melody and an ison, but, as in Znamenny chant, the scale structure is always diatonic, the ornamentation is simplified in comparison with Byzantine chant, the melodies are more similar to that of ancient Znamenny Chant, at the edge of being considered a local variety of this tradition. This relative simplicity became one of the reasons for the experimental introduction of Valaam chanting in various parishes across Russia by the end of 20th century; the monastery has a professional five-strong male-voice choir which tours the world to raise money for the ongoing restoration of the buildings. Some of its music can be heard at the monastery's website. On the morning of 1 May 2016, Orthodox Easter Sunday, a blaze covering 800 square metres erupted on the monastery's property, inside the “Winter Hotel", constructed in the 1850s, a national heritage site. Belonging to the Valaam monastery, the building is right next to the monastery's main cathedral.
There were no casualties in the incident, emergency services reported. New Valamo The Valaam Monastery – Official website The New Valamo Monastery in Finland – Official website The New Valaam Monastery Pictures