Glossary

Russia's Catacomb Saints

Glossary
Abbot: The spiritual father and superior of a monastery, orginally not in
priestly rank.
Acolyte: altar boy
Akathist: A special group of hymns of praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother of God or a saint, sung standing (the word is derived from the Greek “not sitting”).
Altar: Refers to the part of the church behind the Iconostasis where the Consecration and Preparation of the Holy Gifts take place. Often the word altar refers to the Holy Table itself in the middle of this area.
Analogion or Analoy: An icon stand or a stand upon which the Book of the Holy Gospels is placed or read.
Antidoron: The loaves remaining from the Proskomedia after the piece which is to become the Body of Christ, together with other particles used for commemorating the living and the dead, have been cut out of them; these loaves are cut up and distributed to the faithful at the end of the Liturgy; the word means “instead of the Gifts.”
Antimins: A cloth representing the Saviour’s shroud in which His Body was lain. This cloth contains a piece of relic and upon this the Divine Liturgy is celebrated.
Apodosis: Giving-away or leave-taking. The final day of a feast or a festal period.
Apostoltc Succession: The continuity of the “laying on of hands” from Christ Himself through the Apostles to the bishops of later centuries so that the bishops of the Orthodox Church today are ordained in an unbroken succession from the Apostles.
Archdeacon: The main deacon in a cathedral or one who assists a bishop.
Archbishop: A high ranking bishop who rules over an important diocese or more than one diocese.
Archimandrite: A hieromonk who, theoretically, is in charge of one or more monasteries; or an abbot in priestly rank; in practice in recent times it is often no more than a title of honor for a hieromonk.
Athos: (Mount Athos): A rocky peninsula in northern Greece comprising 20 monasteries and hundreds of sketes and other monastic communities. The Church in Russia had close spiritual ties to this bastion of the Orthodox Faith where many thousands of Russian monks dwelt before the Revolution.
Bear Mountain: A concentration camp near Petrozavodsk, in north European Russia.
Bolshevik: A member of a political party which arose before the Russian Revolution and later became the Communist Party.
Canonization: (see Glorification)
Canon: A set of hymns and verses sung to a particular saint or in honor of a feast. A rule or decree of an historic Church council.
Catacomb Church: The Church comprised of those bishops and their flocks who were forced underground by the persecution of the Soviet Govern ment and the church politics of Metropolitan Sergius, beginning in 1927.
Chalice: A liturgical vessel used to contain the wine which is transformed into the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit during the Divine Liturgy.
Cheka: (see GPU)
Chotki: (see Prayer Rope)
Chrismation: The Sacrament of the sealing with holy oil (Chrism) giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who are baptized.
Consecration: The transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit during the Divine Liturgy. The Sacrament of the laying on of hands on a priest by bishops who elevate him to the rank of bishop.
Diaspora: A body of believers dispersed outside their native land; often used to refer to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Diocese: An area comprised of parish churches, missions, and monastic dwellings under a bishop who rules it.
Diskos: The liturgical plate used to hold the bread, called the Lamb, which is to become the Body of Christ during the Liturgy; particles used to commemorate the living and the dead are also placed upon it.
Divine Liturgy: A divine service of the Orthodox Church in which bread and wine are consecrated to become the Body and Blood of Christ, and at which the faithful partake of these Holy Gifts.
Doxology: Praise of God. A hymn sung or read during Matins praising the Holy Trinity.
Ecumenical: Universal.
Ecumenical Council: One of the seven great universal councils of the Church in which the teachings and dogmas of the Church were set forth and various heresies were condemned.
Elder: A spiritual father and guide to a large number of monastics and believers, renowned for being filled with the Grace of the Holy Spirit. He need not be a priest.
Epitrachelion: A vestment which hangs from the neck of the priest and is the one indispensable vestment for all priestly ministrations.
Ezhov Purge: (see Yezhov Purge)
GPU: The Soviet Secret Police known during different periods as the NKVD, Cheka, MVD, and currently, as the KGB.
Glinsk: A major monastery in central Russia where many holy monks lived in the 19th and at the beginning of this century, in direct continuity from the disciples of Elder Paisius Velichkovsky.
Glorification: The formal proclamation by the bishops of a local Orthodox Church that a certain righteous man or woman is a saint and is to be venerated and honored as a heavenly intercessor.
Great Entrance: A moment in the Divine Liturgy that symbolizes Christ offering Himself up for the world. The priest enters the altar through the Holy Doors at this time with the Holy Gifts.
Great Lent: The great forty-day fast which precedes Pascha (Easter).
Hegumen or Igumen: (see abbot).
Heresy: A different or wrong teaching about Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church in opposition to divinely-revealed truth.
Hermitage: A monastic community in a wilderness area of smaller size, often characterized by austere asceticism; it is frequently a dependency of a larger monastery.
Hesychasm: The “quiet” life of those cut off from the world who devote them selves entirely to God by means of the Jesus Prayer with a heart which burns with love for God.
Hierarch: A bishop, archbishop, Metropolitan or Patriarch.
Hierodeacon: A deacon who is also a monk.
Hieromartyr: A martyr of priestly rank.
Hieromonk: A monk who is also a priest.
Holy Communion: The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which the faithful who have prayed, fasted and confessed their sins receive at the Divine Liturgy.
Holy Gifts: The bread and wine which are offered to God by the faitnful at the Divine Liturgy which are to be placed on the altar and consecrated
Holy Night: The famous night in 1932 when thousands of clergy and be lievers.were arrested in Petersburg.
Icon: A holy image of Ou Lord Jesus Christ, a feast or a particular saint painted in traditional manner and style.
Iconostasis: A partition between the altar and the main portion of the church upon which holy icons are placed in a specific manner.
Industrialization: The accelerated efforts of the Communist government beginning in the 1920’s to make “backward” Russia an “advanced” industrial nation like America and the countries of Western Europe.
Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” This prayer expresses the true relationship of man to God. It is said by many Orthodox Christians, and especially monastics, who repeat the prayer from the depth of their soul aflame with love for God.
Josephites or Josephite Church: Those bishops and their flocks who refused to cooperate with the policy of Metropolitan Sergius as set forth in his “Declaration of 1927”.
Karlovtsy: Refers to the Russian Church Abroad because of the fact that the first Council of bishops outside of Russia after the Revolution met in Karlovets in Serbia.
Kathisma: A section of psalms (20 in number) read from the Psalter during the Divine services when the congregation sits (from the Greek word for “to sit”).
Klobuk: Head-covering worn by monastics.
Komsomol: Young Communist League
Kulichi: Sweet traditional Russian Pascha breads
Lavra: A large monastery often comprised of many monasteries, sketes and caves. In Russia there were four such lavras: the Kiev-Caves Lavra, the Pochaev Lavra, the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, and the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
Little Entrance: At this moment in the Divine Liturgy the priest or bishop enters into the altar through the Royal Doors with the Gospel Book. Shortly after this the Epistle and Gospel are read.
Liturgizing: Celebrating the Divine Liturgy.
Liturgy: (see Divine Liturgy)
Living Church: A sect formed in the 1920’s in Russia, under Communist influence, of “liberal” Orthodox believers who wished to “modernize” the Church in a Protestant direction. The Communist government gave it many large church buildings in return for cooperating with the Soviet regime. In the twenties it was recognized by the Patriarch of Constantinople as the official Russian Church.
Local Church: A self-governing group of dioceses headed by an archbishop, Metropolitan or Patriarch. For example: the Patriarchate of Jeru salem, the Orthodox Church in Greece, and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Locum Tenens: A bishop who in the absence of a Patriarch guards his throne. Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, and Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich were appointed Locum Tenens by Patriarch Tikhon before his arrest (See p. 114 above).
Mantia: Mantle; the pleated outer robe worn by monastics who have been tonsured.
Matins: One of the daily services which takes place late at night or early in the morning. This service is comprised chiefly of psalms and a canon of hymns to the saint who is commemorated on that particular day
Medvezhdaya Got-a: (see Bear Mountain)
Metochion: A dependency of a monastery usually near or in a large city for the economic needs of a monastery.
Metropolitan: A bishop who rules over many dioceses, bishops, and arch bishops, often being the head of a Local Church.
Modernist: (see Renovationist) One who seeks to make Christianity “up- to-date” or “modern” in accordance with the fashions prevailing in the intellectual world.
Moleben: A prayer service in which the faithful ask for heavenly help or give thanks to God.
Monastic Habit: The dress of a monastic consisting of robes, mantia, and klobuk.
Moscow Patriarchate: The official church body recognized by the Soviet government, dating from the “Declaration” of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927; it is forced to obey all demands put upon it by the Soviet authorities, including the closing of churches and monasteries and the open denial of the persecution of believers.
Mount Athos: (see Athos)
NKVD: (see GPU)
Name-worshippers: Doers of the Jesus Prayer who, in their simplicity, mistakenly thought that the very name of Jesus itself was divine. The movement began on Mt. Athos among Russian monks just before the Revolution and continued after the Revolution in the Caucasus.
Obdorsk: A wilderness area near the mouth of the Oba river in the far north on the Artic Sea, where many, including a number of Orthodox hierarchs, were exiled without hope of return.
Oblation Table: (see Table of Preparation)
Old Believers: A sect which originated during the time of Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century. It is characterized by a narrow-minded preoccupation with the external customs and traditions of the Orthodox Church.
Omophorion: A stole worn by bishops during the Divine Services.
Optina: An outstanding monastery in Central Russia where a famous hermitage was located in which dwelt a long chain of Spirit-filled elders known throughout the empire for giving spiritual counsel.
Ordination: The setting apart for liturgical service of priests and deacons.
Panagia: An oval medalion or icon of the Mother of God which a bishop wears on a chain around his neck signifying his rank.
Panikhida: A service of prayer for those who have reposed.
Pascha: The feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (“Easter”).
Patriarch: The title given to a bishop who is the head of a large Local Church called a Patriarchate.
Petrograd: The Russian name for Petersburg, called Leningrad by the Soviet government.
Phetonion: The large stiff vestment worn by a priest at certain times in the Divine Services.
Plaschanitsa: Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ lying in the tomb, representing His Shroud, placed on a large representation of a coffin in the center of the church on Holy and Great Saturday.
Podvig: The Russian word for an ascetic feat, spiritual labor or simply Christian struggle.
Prayer Rope or Chotki: A knotted rope commonly used by monastics and many Orthodox Christians in saying the Jesus Prayer.
Prelest: Spiritual delusion
Proskomedia: The service of “preparation” for the Divine Liturgy. During it, the “lamb” that is to become the Body of Christ during the Liturgy is cut out of a prosphora, and the living and dead are commemorated.
Prosphora: A small round loaf of bread especially prepared for the Divine Liturgy.
Protopresbyter: A married priest who has received official recognition of his service in the Church and is in most cases the pastor of a large parish or cathedral.
Rasaphore Monk: A novice who wears an outer monastic robe (ryassa or rasson) but has yet to be tonsured a monk or nun.
Relics: Pieces of the bones or objects associated with a particular saint which are venerated by the faithful.
Renovationist: A person who follows the ideas of the Living Church in Russia.
Royal Doors: The central doors that lead into the altar through which the priest or bishop enters at certain points in the Divine Services.
Schema-monk: A monk who leads a life of seclusion and interior prayer.
Sergianism: The doctrine or practice of cooperating with the policies of the Soviet government in its attempt to establish Communism and atheism in Russia. This doctrine was first expressed in the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927.
Shroud: The cloth in which Christ was buried.
Skete: A monastic family of just a few monks; the middle or “Royal Path” between coenobitic and anchoritic monasticism.
Skufia: A cap worn by monks outside of church.
Solovki: A monastery in the Solovetsk Islands in the White Sea which was turned into a concentration camp in the twenties. This was the site of the martyrdom of numberless Church hierarchs and faithful.
Starets: (see Elder)
Synod: A group of bishops gathered together in council. This term is often used to refer to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Table of Preparation: A side table in the altar where the Proskomedia is performed.
Temnikov: A concentration camp near the Sarov and Sanaxar Monasteries. Its authorities were responsible for destroying the holy shrines in and around Sarov and Diveyevo.
Buchenwald, Dachau and Auschwitz took this and other Soviet concentration camps as their ideal and model.
Tonsure: The rite whereby a novice is clothed into the monastic habit and becomes a monk or nun.
Tropar or Troparion: A hymn used in the Divine Services composed in honor of a particular saint or feast.
True Orthodox Christians: (see Catacomb Church)
Typicon: The order of Divine Services. Also, the rules and ordinances of a particular monastery.
Ukaze: A declaration made by a ruling bishop or a council of bishops.
Uniats: Roman Catholics who use the outward rites of the Orthodox Church while remaining “united” to the Pope of Rome.
Valaam: An enormous monastery on Lake Ladoga on the Russo-Finnish border which existed even before the Baptism of Russia (988); there thousands of righteous monks worked out their salvation. After twenty years of sorrow caused by Bolshevik persecution and the reforms of modernist bishops, the monastery and its sketes were destroyed in the ‘40’s.
Vespers: A church service sung in the late afternoon, consisting of psalms, hymns and verses composed in honor of the saint or feast commemorated on a particular day.
Vicar: A bishop in submission to the ruling bishop of a diocese and who helps him in its governance.
Vigil: A service sung on the eve of a special feast; it is composed of Vespers and Matins.
Viadika: A Russian word with an affectionate connotation, used to address an Orthodox bishop; literally, “master.”
Yezhov Purge: A merciless persecution of the Church and clergy instituted by the chief of the secret police, Yezhov, in the mid-1930’s; it produced the near liquidation of the visible Church by 1940.
Zyransk: An area in north-eastern Siberia with an extremely harsh cli mate, where the Soviet authorities sent many Christians into exile.