More media coverage by the Second Russian State TV channel “Vesti,” as Vladimir Gorbik leads Festal Vigil in honor of Our Lady of Kazan held in Tel’ma, near Irkutsk.
November 4, 2015 — The Kazan icon of the Mother of God was commemorated and Minin and Pozharsky were remembered, as a hierarchal Divine Liturgy was held at the church in the village of Thelma, Usolsk district, near Irkutsk.
The Hierarchical service started early in the morning, but at dawn the church was already filled by many hundreds of believers. They came not only from Tel’ma and Usol’ye-Sibirskoye, but also from Angarsk and Irkutsk, in order to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Kazan, and also to remember Minin and Pozharsky [the Russian heroes from the war against the Poles during Time of Troubles of 1611-12, whose monument stands on Red Square in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral].
This particular church was consecrated in 1816 in honor of the victory over the French. According to legend, the church was built by Italian architects. An exiled master-clockmaker by the name of Klimov installed a unique clock mechanism in the bell tower: every hour, as the musical clock played different tunes, alabaster angels danced along the parapet. The church was closed in 1936, but the head of the local administration, who was a believer, preserved the building despite the orders to destroy it: he filled the church to the ceiling with grain. And thus it stood through the entire Second World War. Restoration work on the church began a decade ago, and in 2011 iconographers from Ivanov finished painting the frescoes.
On the eve of the feast day, the hymns were sung by the Male Choir of the Irkutsk Diocese. Said one worshiper: “Today was very good. There were many priests, and the atmosphere was somehow grace-filled. The singing was beautiful.” This is Vladimir Gorbik. For the past eleven [seventeen] years, he has been choirmaster at the Moscow Representation (podvor’ye) of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery.
He came to Irkutsk especially to show local Siberians how to sing sacred liturgical hymns. For two days they prepared for the service. The choirmaster was pleased with the results. “The choir, in my opinion, sang on a very high level. The singing was fresh, musical, and spiritual. This is very important on a festive occasion,” said Choirmaster Gorbik.