2010-03-02 15:47:00

Russian Church recommends a thanksgiving prayer service for sportsmen returned from Vancouver

Moscow, March 2, Interfax – Participation of Russian sportsmen in the Vancouver Olympic Games should not only start with prayer, but finish with it as well, the Russian Orthodox Church believes.

“First thing to do after coming back home it to conduct a thanksgiving prayer service,” head of the Information and Publishing branch of the Synodal Youth Department Hieromonk Dimitry (Pershin) says in his article published by Interfax-Religion.

He noted “there were no collapsed tribunes and mass victims” at the Vancouver Olympic Games and traumas, especially serious ones, were few.

“It’s absolutely not important what flag the sportsmen were bearing. When the Patriarch was blessing our team, he didn’t call God’s wrath unto other teams. Orthodox prayer doesn’t allow asking anything evil for others. On the contrary, if we pray for sportsmen in big sport, we should pray for all of them and first wish them to come back healthy and alive,” Fr. Dimitry believes.

At the same time, he urged to pray for resting the soul of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili crushed dead at the training competition.

Fr. Dimitry pays attention to the fact that “the number of officials going on budget funds to gain experience is inversely proportional not only to the number of medals won there, but to the number of skating rinks, football fields, courts, sport schools and sport grounds in our Motherland.”

“So isn’t this sport patriotic boom around sportsmen who “didn’t meet expectations” only a clumsy attempt to flip the script and shift the blame? Thus, the final question is: are these games worth taking?” the priest wonders.