Centenary of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

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Community of Saint Sergius of Radonege in Albstadt (Germany)

Albstadt is a town in the south of Germany, in Baden-Württemberg, in a mountainous region called "Schwäbische Alb", at an altitude of 900 m. It was in early 2007 that a group of Orthodox Christians contacted the late Archbishop Gabriel with a view to founding a community. Vladyka Gabriel consented to our request, and on June 24, 2007, he ordained priest Michael Buk in the Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky cathedral in Paris. On the same day the community in honor of Saint Sergius of Radonege was founded in Albstadt. On June 17, 2007, the son of p. Michael, Athanase Buk, could be ordained deacon in the cathedral to serve from July 2007 as "keleïnik" with Archbishop Gabriel in Paris.

In August 2007, Bishop Gabriel visited our community and its chapel in Albstadt, located in the priest's house, for the first time. In addition to the celebration of services, the Benedictine monastery of Beuron and the Hohenzollern castle were visited. In the Orthodox Resurrection Chapel of the castle, we celebrated a panikhid for Princess Kira of Prussia (née Kira Kirillovna Romanova), buried in this chapel. She is the great-granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II, the grand-niece of Tsar Alexander III and the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England.

Services in Albstadt are mostly performed in German; the Our Father, however, is sung in all the languages ​​represented by the faithful present at the office. Being the only German-speaking Orthodox parish in the area, the faithful sometimes come from far away (more than 200 km) to be able to participate in services. The celebration of the Liturgy in German allows the faithful from different Orthodox countries to be able to participate in it without embarrassment. Our community therefore welcomes faithful from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kasakhstan, but also from Greece, Serbia, Romania, Georgia, as well as Germans. Until 2015, services were held there regularly every weekend. It is because of the foundation of the parish of Saint Martin de Tours in Balingen that this rate has been reduced: first to twice a month, then to once a month. From the start, we took up the tradition of meeting after the Liturgy for coffee. One Sunday a month, catechesis for children was scheduled until the epidemic ended. Since December 2010, a monthly parish letter has been published. A community site has existed since February 2010. The ACER-MJO Summer Camp in France inspired the creation in 2011 of a summer camp for children and young people; this year it is organized for the tenth time. A weekend around a theme chosen for young adults has been animated every year since 2012.