Chairman of the Department for Youth Affairs of the St. Petersburg Diocese, Cleric of the Kazan Cathedral Archpriest Konstantin Golovatsky told on the air of the press center of the Patriot Media Group how to introduce a child to church life and make his life emotionally and spiritually filled.
Deacon of the program “Verticals” of the Patriot Media Group Georgy Rodenkov, the cleric of the temple named after the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” dedicated the topic of educating young people in the spirit of Orthodoxy. First of all, he was worried about the question of whether the problem is that today’s youth grows up late, chooses their life path for a long time, and can not immediately decide on the choice of a profession.
Archpriest Konstantin does not see this as too much of a problem. In his opinion, it may be good that now there are conditions for development for teenagers and young people, and there is a chance to grow up a little later.
“If it’s possible for a person to grow up at a more relaxed pace, I think it’s not so bad. It seems to me that both psychological age and biological age are here, everything is connected, one is connected with the other. Therefore, if a young man still needs to decide on something, to make a choice in his life, there is no need to rush him. Let him do it calmly, he will somehow mature, he will figure out some things himself, ”said Archpriest Konstantin.
Speaking about the language of communication with young people, the priest noted that he sees nothing wrong with modern forms of communication through social networks and instant messengers. The main thing, in his opinion, is that adults communicate there in the correct literary Russian language.
“In our youth department, the diocesan department, we try to follow the trends of the youth. That is, we listen to what is important for young people and, as it were, look at certain things through their eyes, we try to do this, ”said Father Konstantin.
The clergyman is sure that smartphones and other gadgets will not replace people with direct human communication. According to him, he was convinced from his own experience how online communication during the pandemic did not satisfy young people, and they sought to find an opportunity to meet with the priest and talk to him directly.
“The need for live communication is not covered by anything. And phones, smartphones, all kinds of gadgets and so on are a reality that will be with us for a long time, ”he explained.
The age of the Internet, of course, creates certain obstacles on the way of a person to the temple, the priest noted, but it also opens up opportunities for the active involvement of young people in activities in the spiritual field. With the correct use of the possibilities of the same social networks, it is possible to build proper communication with people, inform them about the activities of parishes and the news of church life.
“We have a project that we carry out several times during the year: we organize youth prayers. Soon, by the way, there will be a youth prayer service in the Kazan Cathedral at the end of January for the gift of Christian marriage. It invariably gathers several hundred young people,” Father Konstantin said.
According to him, not only newly married couples come to the prayer service, but also young people who are not yet married. And some of them find life companions at these prayer services. And young people learn about these prayers from announcements on the Internet, Father Konstantin noted.
In general, attracting young people to church life is not an easy task, especially if a person has not got used to it since childhood, the clergyman said. In order for a young person to linger in the church, to begin participating in divine services, in the activities of the Orthodox parish, certain conditions must be created in the church. First of all, such that a person feels welcome in the temple.
“It is important that the temple has the most friendly atmosphere, and the best thing is the presence of a youth community in the temple, where the same guys could meet him. You can, if a person does not understand worship, invite him to start with your community – let him talk, get to know the guys, learn something from them about worship, about the traditions of Orthodoxy, ”advises the chairman of the department for youth affairs of the St. Petersburg diocese.
With pleasure, young people stay in churches where there is a community. Where there is a community, there is fellowship and unity, which brings the necessary fruits of the moral improvement of young people, said Archpriest Konstantin.