On March 23, 2023, there was a meeting of students and teachers of the Department of Romance and Germanic Philology, with Mikhail Sarni, a researcher of Church history and long-time parishioner of the Holy Dormition Cathedral in London. The meeting was organized by the head of the Department, Lev Pisarev.
In the first part of his talk, Sarni spoke about his personal encounters with Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, whose writings are studied at the Department of Germanic and Romance Languages at STOUH as part of a course on religious vocabulary. It was a revelation to many students that Metropolitan Anthony did not write a single book: his talks and sermons were recorded and later transcribed and published. In addition, Sarni said that Metropolitan Anthony practiced “communion” with his spiritual children: in the evening, an hour of conversation was followed by an hour of silence, in which everyone prayed quietly. Then there was a general confession, which began with a confession by Metropolitan Anthony himself.
Sarni is a long-time researcher on the history of the Church in England, so the second part of his talk focused on Church history, particularly the difficult relationship between the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church Abroad. At the end of the talk students asked numerous questions. It was especially interesting to hear about how Orthodox parishes in England celebrate Easter.
The meeting was conducted in English, was very interesting, and the students had a feeling that they all really come into contact with people whose books they read and loved so much.
Text by Sofiia Posternak, 4th-year student of the Department of Romance and Germanic Philology.