The Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God in the Tatarstan village of Klyachino saw its first signs of spiritual life in 85 years with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on its patronal feast day on August 10.
The village was allowed to gradually decline under soviet rule, and the church was closed and partially destroyed, according to the site of the Tatarstan Metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The solemn Liturgy was celebrated by Archpriest Vladimir Chibirev, the dean of the local deanery and rector of the St. Nicholas-Elias Church in Verkhny Uslon, and other local clergy who had been instrumental in reviving the liturgical life in the village. About 50 Orthodox faithful from Klyachino and other local villages attended and prayed at the Liturgy.
The Liturgy was followed by a moleben of thanksgiving and a festal procession around the church.
All worshipers were then invited for a festal meal at a local country club, where a cultural and musical program was offered.
There has been a parish in the village of Klyachino since the middle of the 18th century. A single-altar stone church was built in 1848, and a stone bell tower was completed in 1882. In 1904, the parish had 1,336 parishioners on the books.
Though the church was partially destroyed during soviet times, two crosses were preserved by local residents. The church stood in ruin for more than 80 years, until villagers decided to take up its restoration in 2016. It is hoped that the bells of the church will soon ring out again for all to hear.
The church also has regular molebens, and weekly Akathists on Saturdays, which gather Orthodox faithful from throughout the Verkhny Ulson region.
Similarly, the Divine Liturgy was recently celebrated in the Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Veliky Ustyug in the Vologda Province, founded in 1212 and closed in 1918 by the godless communists, for the first time in a century, and the patronal feast of the Church of St. Elias in the village of Sobolekovo in the Nizhnekamsk Region of the Tatarstan Republic was celebrated for the first time in nearly 80 years on August 2.