What is the parish, its meaning in the life of a Christian
The concept of parish came from Greece. The Greek word "parikia" means "near the house", the territory around the temple with a population that was part of its guardianship. For her secured the bishop, who performed the sacred rites for the parishioners. This name was common in Russia, especially in the western regions.
Over time, the meaning acquired a slightly different meaning.
What does the word "coming" mean now?
Now there are many temples, and transport allows you to quickly get to the service or holiday, not only in the church, located next to the house. Strict consolidation of parishioners on a territorial basis does not exist.
The parish consists not only of the inhabitants of the neighborhood, but also of those who like the way services, sermons are conducted here, those who find a priest for spiritual nourishment.
A community of people who regularly attend one church constitutes its church parish, although each believer may have several such favorite temples.
But the parishioners did not always use this freedom of choice.
Previously, parish churches were metric books. They recorded the dates of birth and death, the wedding. Every citizen applied in accordance with his faith in the synagogue, the mosque, the church to which he was assigned at his place of residence.
There were also taken into account the contract of sale, travel, characteristics of the parishioners, information about reliability. This form of accounting existed until the Revolution of 1917, then these functions were transferred to the registry offices.
All the requirements were fulfilled strictly in their own parish, and they could get married in the church of the bridegroom’s parish.
Church parishes were formed directly at the place of residence, without personal wishes.
At the parish of less than 700 people there was a priest and a psalm reader, and if there were more parishioners, then a deacon also relied.
In ancient times, parishioners could choose the clergy, then only recommend to the bishop.
At the general meeting, the community elected the elder who was entrusted with the management of the church economy. What was the parish in terms of territory? The bishop himself claimed the boundaries between the churches of the diocese. Fraternity members of the community were created to conduct charity
What were the parishes after the Revolution?
What is the coming after the Revolution? In connection with the historical changes in Russia, many churches were closed, the priests were shot or sent to camps. The concept of "church parish" gradually began to change its original meaning.
People prayed in the catacomb churches, made demands secretly. Houses buried the dead and baptized babies, served prayers and read akathists. This life was hidden from the world by a veil of secrecy, because believers were punished, expelled from educational institutions, dismissed, imprisoned.
The churches were destroyed, converted into warehouses, houses of culture, sports halls. The parish did not gather around a certain place, but held on to a certain priest.
By that time, when churches began to open again, the concept of community became synonymous with the word "parish", which is made up of both those Christians who live near the temple and those who visit it constantly, at the call of the soul.
Ward Organizations Now
Despite the fact that the parishioners could not choose a priest, the communities still report to the bishop about their desire to see the abbot of a particular priest.Often these requests are taken into account when appointing the abbot, especially in small towns.
What is the arrival in our time?
All communities of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia must hold parish meetings, adopt a new parish charter revised in accordance with the model, and approve it from the diocesan bishop. Each parish must approve its charter and register it with the Ministry of Justice.
The bishop makes a decision on the creation and abolition of the parish in his diocese, appoints the composition of the Parish meeting, the head.
The chairman of the parish council, which is usually the prior, has the right to first sign on financial and banking documents.
Each parish must have a Sunday school, participate in religious processions, hold public talks for those wishing to be baptized and godparents, engage in charity work, and publish newspapers.
Parishes are being created in new districts, restored churches, hospitals, colonies and prisons, hospices.
What is the arrival in the lives of the sick and prisoners? They can confess and take communion, rethink their lives, talk heart to heart with a priest, get mentoring.
The opportunity to receive communion in different churches, go to services in different churches sometimes carries away believers. In one temple, the choir is good, in the other - sermons, in the third - murals are beautiful.
Imperceptibly, love for change becomes almost socially entertaining. Pilgrim, getting acquainted with various parishes, we must remember that the main thing for which a person goes to church is prayer and repentance, peace in the soul.
Of particular importance are Orthodox parishes abroad. Parishioners from different cities gather in them for the holidays, for them it is an island of their native land.
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh advised that the parishioners should be given an opportunity to determine how actively they want to participate in the life of the parish or not to participate in it altogether.
He suggested that parishioners fill out a questionnaire and indicate the desired degree of activity in the parish life: whether a person wants only to come to pray, to participate in events, charity, in the organization of parish life.
Participation in parish life makes it possible to find friends and acquaintances by faith, with whom you can travel together to holy places, organize leisure activities for children, and share the joy of Christian holidays.Communicating with other parishioners, one must beware of gossip and condemnation, which are often carried away by the old habit.