16 January 2007, 12:45
The Russian Orthodox Church may issue a new service to pray for snow
Moscow, January 16, Interfax - This year’s unusually warm winter may bring a new supplication service to pray for snow, the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations’ secretary for church and society relations Archpriest Mikhail Dudko told Interfax.
He also agreed that many church people might believe the lasting warm weather with no snow to be a punishment from above.
‘Various weather abnormalities may result in an environmental balance shift and affect negatively on the harvest. Both humans and animals often experience sufferings because of this sort of anomaly,’ the clergyman said.
‘There is also another problem you may call ‘esthetic’. We are all tired of endless mud outdoors. And what about our traditions? After forty days of fasting before Christmas day, everyone usually expects to enjoy Christmas-tide games and festivities one cannot have without snow. A no-snow winter in Russia may be rightly compared to a drought or steady rains or other weather anomalies, which have ever been thought to be God’s punishment,’ he added.
Fr Dudko said that the Russian Orthodox Church has special services to pray for rain or fine weather, which are reported by our clergy to be no less effective in our time than before.
‘We have a tradition to take an umbrella with us when a service for rain is to be celebrated,’ Fr. Dudko said. Still, this sort of supplication services, also called ‘need-services’, have always been said when they were needed, and is was mainly parishioners who asked for them, he noted.
‘We have not been asked for a service for snow so far, but that may well be due to lack of a suitable office. Though if we are asked for, we may modify existing offices in order to pray for long-desired snow. May be our children will have a chance to play snowballs and go ice-running by the Pancake-week at least,’ he said.