AR: We are fortunate to have with us today Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, Pastor of Saints Boris and Gleb and Vladimir and Olga Russian Orthodox Church in Sydney, Austalia, and spokesman for the Church Overseas of Russian Orthodox Christians or COROC. Father Vasiliy has just published a new book, and has graciously agreed to an interview.
VV: Whatever is selling books.
AR: First let me say how good it is to see you after more than a year’s separation.
VV: Is good to being back.
AR: So I see you have a new book coming out next month through Anaxios Press: Seven Habits of Highly Orthodox People.
AR: I read it this time.
VV: How did you get copy?
VV: Funny man.
AR: It’s my job. So let’s go over the seven habits, shall we?
VV: I was wondering when you would start actual interview.
AR: The first habit is “Be Prayer Active.” Can you explain what that means?
VV: It is meaning, pray. What are you to thinking it means?
AR: I was hoping you’d flesh it out some. You did manage to write nearly 50 pages about it in your book.
VV: I was paid by word.
AR: Okay, should we move on to the second habit, then?
VV: I thought you’d never ask.
AR: Okay, the second habit is “Don’t Worry About End; Service Is Too Short As It Is Being.”
VV: Yes. Too many people are complaining that services of Church are too long. What is this too long? Is due to short attention span of twenty-first century man.
AR: And woman.
VV: Her too. Was it short attention span in nineteenth century Russia? Was it short church services? No, it was not! We were standing for hours just to wait for priest to arrive, then more hours for service! It was not short anything. Church is long. Please to getting over it. Silly modern persons.
AR: On to habit three. “Put Fasting First.”
VV: This refers to habit of celebrating during fast period, instead of waiting for feast. Especially during Nativity fast, when people are going to these “Christmas parties” before Christmas, this is to say Feast of Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, is even to arrive! Is outrage! Holy Church say to fast first, party later. I thank God I can party more than all of you, but I am waiting until feast!
AR: That makes sense.
VV: Old calendar feast!
AR: Of course. On to Habit 4: “Think Wine Oil.”
VV: Da. Sometimes during holy fasts, we have Wine and Oil days. But some persons, I am not naming of names, think this is excuse to have cheese or eggs. It is not! That is all.
AR: Indeed. Habit five is, “Seek First to Understand Baba, Then Not Get Hit.” I have some painful experience of the wisdom of this habit.
VV: I am sure you were to deserving it.
AR: Yes, perhaps. So tell us about this habit.
VV: Is important to understand what is required of Orthodox person. And who is knowing of what is required? Is it not babushki? They do not bear cane in vain. I am making little rhyme. Is silly blog writer noticing?
AR: Of course.
VV: Many things are required of Orthodox person. Babushki not know all of them, perhaps, but everything they know, you must be sure to be doing.
AR: Absolutely. Next we have habit six, “Subsidize.”
VV: Is true. In nineteenth century Russia, holy Tsar pay for all churches out of imperial coffers. This is no longer case after evil Bolsheviki, I spit on their name, took over Holy Russia. Now each parish must pay for itself. Best way to subsidize parish is of course selling piroshki to heathens at annual feast. This means everybody in church must to pitch in. Cook, or put up banner, or set up tent. Whatever it is taking. Also, and this is painful thing to have to being said, if not enough money is being made from annual festival, parishioners may have to actually … I am having hard time to say this word.
VV: Augh! Yes. May be necessary.
AR: Okay, the last habit is perhaps the hardest to understand: “Sharpen Candle.”
VV: What book you are reading?
AR: Your book, Father. Seven Habits of Highly Orthodox People.
VV: I am not saying “Sharpen Candle” in this book. Seventh habit is, “Light Candle.”
AR: My mistake.
VV: Not first.
AR: You’re in top form today, Father.
VV: Thank you. Let me also mention Bug – I am to say Father Gleb – was graduating seminary last year, and this month is going to first parish. Matushka and I are very proud.
AR: Many years! So he found a wife?
VV: Yes, thanks being to God! Lovely girl. Somewhat Catholic at first, but we fixed this.
AR: I see. Well, thank you Father Vasiliy for agreeing to be interviewed by The New Onion Dome.
VV: What is this, “new”? This is not Orthodox word.
AR: It’s the name of my blog. The “new” distinguishes it from the old website, which is defunct.
VV: I am not going to ask what is this, “defunct.”
AR: That’s probably for the best. A blessing, Father.
VV: May prayers of holy St. Patrick guard you wherever you are to go, and guide you in whatever you are to do, and may his loving protection be blessing to you always.
AR: That’s an Irish blessing!
VV: Daughter-in-law is Irish blessing to us.
AR: Goodbye for now, Father Vasiliy.
VV: Do svidanya, Reader Alexiy.
Copyright © 2011 by Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
If you like Alex Riggle’s Orthodox-themed satire, you might enjoy his recently-released book, Is Outrage!, which gathers all (but one) of the Father Vasiliy articles from the Onion Dome under one cover. Just sayin’.