Metropolitan Alfeyev Hilarion: life, books, teaching
Most recently, the esteemed and well-known Metropolitan Hilarion turned 50 years old. During this time, he managed to very successfully show his writing, composition, diplomatic, oratorical and, of course, priestly and theological talents, which the Lord awarded him.
The life of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev forever bound him to Orthodoxy. Having taken the veil at 20, the future metropolitan did not even think about what he would be at 30 or 50 years. However, he had no doubts that he wanted to devote himself to the church. Never, not for one minute, Alfeyev Hilarion did not regret it.
Some people asked him: was it not better to do what he loved - to conduct an orchestra or write music? However, the ministry of the church of Christ always remained central to him, and then everything else lined up around this.
Meaning of life
For many years he preached Christ through the music, books, TV shows and films he created.But for himself, he constantly revealed the Savior of the world again and again. The whole activity of the metropolitan was motivated by the following factor: when he wrote or said something, he first opened and let it through himself and only then gave it to people.
Alfeyev Hilarion wanted to share his faith in Christ with people who were outside the Orthodox faith and for whom it was not the main motivating factor. He tried to reach out to their hearts and explain that life in Christ and in the church is very rich, informative and interesting.
Attitude to death
The theme of death for the first time excited him still in kindergarten, when Alfeev was 5 or 6 years old. One day, he suddenly realized that all children would die. So he, too. Then still quite insensitive boy began to ask questions to adults. True, he does not remember the answers now, but this thought pierced and tormented his heart for a long time. In his youth, thoughts of death again came to him. After all, the answer to the question of why a person dies depends on the answer, why he lives.
At that time, his favorite poet was Federico Garcia Lorca, whose main poetic work was dedicated to the theme of death.He did not know another such writer who thought so much and wrote about death. Through his poems, he predicted and experienced his tragic death. After graduating from music school, Alfeyev Hilarion, inspired by the work of this poet, prepared for the final exam a composition of the vocal cycle “Songs of Death” on his poems for tenor and piano.
And then it so happened that his coming to church service coincided with several deaths at once, which he very hard survived. The first tragedy that shook his young twelve-year-old mind was the death of his forty-year-old violin teacher Vladimir Litvinov. The teacher was an impeccable authority for him, an intelligent, subtle and restrained person who knew his subject wonderfully, which all his students and colleagues simply adored. He died suddenly: his heart stopped right at the lesson. Hilarion was at his funeral. And this was the first death in his still inexperienced life, which turned everything inside him.
Then, after a while, his grandmother died, followed by her sister and father Hilarion. Alfeyev wanted to understand what was going on around him, with people close to him.At one point, he realized that the answer could only be faith in God. Even if it strengthens us, our whole nature resists death. And all because the Lord created us not for death, but for immortality. The person may even protest against the inevitability of the end of the Earth days. However, it is important to comprehend and understand, which requires the death that awaits us in connection with it. Answers to these questions gives it the Christian faith.
Hilarion Alfeyev: "Orthodoxy" and other works
His new literary creation, The Beginning of the Gospel, was recently released. At least 25 years went to this work, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. Books are his valuable experience that he wants to convey to those who yearn to know the truth. He became interested in literary work ever since he became a lecture on the Gospel in the Holy Trinity Institute (1992-1993 gg.). Then he really came into contact with the study of the New Testament, which is read from childhood, as well as its interpretation and other literature. Required publications have always been scarce, and access to them was limited at that time.
Hilarion's theological activity revolved mainly on the teachings of the Holy Fathers.He wrote and defended his theses on Simeon the New Theologian and Issac Sirin. Then all his thoughts turned into the book Orthodoxy. At first he began writing his work with Christ, but then almost immediately for some reason switched to other topics. Then Hilarion Alfeyev realized that he had not yet matured to write about Jesus. Although Christ from the age of 10 occupied his whole mind.
Today Alfeyev Hilarion has collected a huge amount of material and has written six new books about Christ. That is quite recently the first book came out in circulation. With love wrote her Hilarion Alfeev. “Jesus Christ: life and teaching. The beginning of the Gospel ”is its name. It contains general information about the six editions, and then it deals with the state of the New Testament science, where the interpretation of the initial Gospel chapters is discussed and given.
The second book is entirely devoted to the Sermon on the Mount (a review of Christian morality). The third is the miracles of Christ. The fourth is called "Proverbs of Jesus." Fifth - "Lamb of God." This book is dedicated to all the material from the Gospel of John. Completes the cycle of books about Christ - "Death and Resurrection." All this was done in order to prepare the foundation for theological schools.And here the books of Hilarion Alfeev are a great help for them.
The daily routine of the metropolitan is subject to his official duties. He is the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, a permanent member of the Holy Synod, the rector of the Church-wide postgraduate school and the abbot of the church. And he heads many different commissions and working groups of various projects.
Hilarion himself believes that Orthodox worship is some kind of very unique and unique synthesis of art, which includes icons and frescoes, the architecture of the temple itself, music, singing and reading, prose and poetry, sounding in the temple, as well as a kind of choreography - during the procession entrances and exits, bows.
All sensory organs of a person are involved in Orthodox worship — sight, hearing, smell (frankincense), touch (attachment to icons), taste (taking the Sacrament, holy water and prosphora). Worship should cover the whole person. He is obliged to immerse himself in it with prayer, not to be turned off from worldly life and vanity. And for this it would be good for everyone to know the dogmas and the Bible.
Hilarion Alfeev: biography
In the world, his name was Alfeev Grigory Valerievich.The future metropolitan was born on June 24, 1966 in a family where grandfather G. Dashevsky was a historian. He wrote books about the Spanish Civil War, died during the Great Patriotic War in 1944. Valery G. Dashevsky - father Gregory. He was a doctor of physical and mathematical sciences who worked on scientific works. First, he left the family, and then an accident ended his life.
The biography of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeev says that he grew up in an educated and intelligent family. Mom Gregory Valeria Alfeeva was a writer who had the share of one engaged in raising her son. She baptized him when he was 11 years old.
School of Music
Many are interested in the question: Is Hilarion Alfeyev married? No, he has no spouse because he is a monk. From the age of 15, he was already a reader in the Church of the Resurrection of the Sister at the Assumption Vrazhek of the city of Moscow. He was predicted a wonderful musical career. Since 1973, he studied at the Gnesins music school in violin. Then he continued his education at the Moscow State Conservatory under the direction of A. A. Nikolayev. Behind her was a two-year army service in a brass band.Upon returning home, Alpheus became a novice of the Holy Spirit Monastery of Vilna.
Since 1983, the future Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev served as a subdeacon at the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Pitirim (Nechaev). His biography further tells us that in the summer of 1987 he was ordained a hieromonk. Then he served as rector of many churches of the Lithuanian diocese. Then he was appointed abbot of the Annunciation Cathedral of Kaunas. In 1989, Alfeyev graduated from the Theological Seminary, followed by the Theological Academy in Moscow. In 1993, his postgraduate study at the MDA was completed. From 1991 to 1993, Hilarion was a teacher of Holy Scripture, Greek, homiletics, and dogmatic theology.
Oxford and creative ideas
After some time, he was sent on probation to Oxford University, where he studied Syrian language and worked on his dissertation. He combined studies with the ministry in the Diocese of Sourozh. After graduating from university in 1995 with a PhD, he began serving as secretary of inter-Christian relations in the Moscow Patriarchate. From 1995, he taught patrology at theological seminaries of Kaluga and Smolensk.The following year, he lectured on dogmatic theology at the Alaska Theological Seminary.
From the beginning of 1996 he served in the church of St. Catherine of Moscow. In 1999, he defended his doctoral degree in theology in Paris. At the same time worked as a leading television program "Peace to your home." Soon, wonderful educational books by Hilarion Alfeyev appeared, among which the “Sacred Secret of the Church” was an introduction to the problematic, the history of the Imyaslav disputes, a monograph that was the first in Russian science to systematically examine the controversies of theologians and philosophers about reverence of the name of the Lord that originated at the very beginning of century on Mount Athos, and then in Russia.
He created many other interesting and unique works of Hilarion Alfeyev. “The Sacrament of Faith” is a book that represents an introduction to Orthodox dogmatic theology. It can be read not only by students of theological seminaries and academies. It is designed primarily for a wide range of readers, as well as those who want to come to the depths of the Orthodox faith. In 2001, he received the rank of bishop of Kerch, and in 2002, in the Smolensk Cathedral, he accepted the rank of archimandrite.
Diocese of Sourozh
In 2002, he was sent to serve as a vicar in the Diocese of Sourozh, to Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. Very soon, however, a group of priests headed by Bishop Basil (Osborne) came out against him. As a result, in 2010, he withdrew his dignity and monasticism in connection with the desire to find a family hearth and wife.
Then Hilarion is assaulted by the critical speech of the bishop Anthony of Sourozh, who gives him time to get into the essence of the diocese and decide for himself whether to continue his ministry here in accordance with the norms that have been around for a little more than half a century . Bishop Anthony did not hide his attitude to the young priest. And he noted that he bows to his merits. But if their views on major issues do not converge and they cannot combine their efforts, work as a team, then it would be better for them to disperse.
Bishop Hilarion immediately responded. He denied all accusations. In general, the confrontation ended with the fact that Alfeyev was recalled from the Diocese of Sourozh and was appointed Vicar of Moscow, Podolsk Bishop and the main representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in European organizations, where he was actively engaged in information activities.
Wherever Alfeyev spoke, he always emphasized the importance of Christianity, which is already more than 2,000 years old. According to Bishop Hilarion, Europe’s rejection of its Christian roots is simply unacceptable, because it is the main moral and spiritual component that predetermines European identity.
In 2003, Alfeyev was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria. In 2009, he was elected Bishop of Volokolamsk, a permanent member of the Synod and vicar of the Moscow Patriarch. And at the same time, he became the rector of the Church of the Virgin "Joy of All Who Sorrow" on the Big Ordynka. For his zealous service, Patriarch Kirill consecrated him to the rank of archbishop and appointed him as a representative of an organization that assumed interaction with religious associations and communities under the auspices of the Russian president. In 2010, Patriarch Kirill dedicated his personal services to the rank of Metropolitan.
Over the years, Alfeyev jealously represented the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church in many international inter-Christian forums. From 2009 to 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev was appointed to the Orthodox Religious Commission. Here he worked on an adopted equal document, where the position of the Moscow Patriarchate was spelled out.
When terrible events took place in Ukraine in 2014, Hilarion was invited by the Metropolitan of the Dnipropetrovsk UOC MP to the celebration of his 75th birthday. Upon arrival at Dnepropetrovsk Airport, Metropolitan Alfeyev was notified in writing that he was denied entry to Ukraine. Then he demanded explanations and apologies, which, unfortunately, did not follow. Then he read the congratulations from the Patriarch of Moscow right at the border control point and presented the Order of the Holy Prince to the Serbian Patriarch. Moscow I degree.
Love for music
Hilarion did not abandon his musical education, but through him began to bring people faith in Christ. In 2006-2007 he created the Divine Liturgy for the mixed choir, followed by the All-Night Vigil and the Christmas Oratorio for the symphony orchestra. And finally, he created an oratorio for soloists and the choir “Matthew Passion”, which sounded all over the world and was performed in Russia, Canada and Australia. From 2007 to 2012, the oratorio was performed almost fifty times. The audience applauded standing. In general, his music was highly appreciated by professional musicians who took part in its performance.
The premiere of "Christmas oratorios", held in Washington, was greeted with standing ovations. Then success was confirmed in New York, Boston and, of course, Moscow. The divine music of Hilarion penetrated into the soul of every person. He even performed the Bach oratorio, filling it with canonical Orthodox spirit. Not without criticism of his music, but it was insignificant. In 2011, the metropolitan in collaboration with V. Spivakov created the annual Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music, which was held on the eve of the holy holidays.
Bishop Hilarion did not stop at music and went further - he became the moderator of the documentary educational films “Path of the Shepherd” (2011), “Man before God” (2011), “Church in History” (2012), “Journey to Athos” (2012) , "Pilgrimage to the Holy Land" (2013) and many other informative documentary Christian pictures. In 2014, he also shot films: “Orthodoxy in Georgia”, “With the Patriarch on Mount Athos”, “Orthodoxy in the Serbian lands” and others.
Metropolitan Hilarion was awarded a huge number of awards: the Order of St. Evangelist Mark II, Art.(Alexandria PC), Order of Friendship (2011), Order of St. Constantine the Great (Serbian PC, 2011), Order of the Commander's Cross (Hungary, 2013), Order of Merit III Art. (2013, Ukraine). The entire list is not possible to list.
Very wise, bright and unique Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. This is a man with a scientific mentality, who is the author of more than 700 publications and monographs on patristics, dogma, and church history. In addition, he translated from the Greek and Syrian works of the Holy Fathers. It is impossible not to agree with the fact that not everyone succeeds in reaching such heights in such a short time. It seems that he sees something that many people in their spiritual development have not yet matured to see.
A little embarrassed some Orthodox who are always on guard, Hilarion Alfeyev. The liturgy in the pamphlet, which was distributed free of charge on Easter days in the temple, where it serves, contained some “corrections” of the traditional definition of the church in the Symbol of the Faith. But critics did not take into account the fact that the meaning of this does not change and, with a more accurate translation from Greek, it sounds that way.
A number of theological constructions of Metropolitan Hilarion were also criticized by some Orthodox theologians, such as Valentine Asmus,Yuri Maximov and the late Daniel Sysoev. They also made critical claims to the famous professor of theology Alexei Ilich Osipov. However, people didn’t love them anymore, since in the Orthodox faith they are spiritually pure sources that quench the thirst for knowledge about God. After all, no one comes to the well if there is no water.
From the words of Alfeyev Illarion, it becomes clear that every priest should be able to tell people about Christ in such a way that their hearts burn and their eyes light up. And for this to happen, the priests themselves must live by what they pray and say. First of all, they need to warm up their constant interest in the Gospel, the church, its dogmas and the sacraments in themselves. And most importantly, they need to be able to talk about complex things in a simple, understandable and accessible language for people.