Consecration of the chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
On the 3rd of December 2020, our chapel was consecrated by Philippe Jordan, bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, and Roman Kihh, priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Our friend Moses Tšan reads the prayer in Chinese. His father, a priest in the Anglican Church, gifted to us a Chinese translation of this prayer. Moses also helped us to build the chapel. On the wall are Anna Šenke’s icons “Saints in Nature”.
Tiit Alexeyev, a friend of the Ukrainian Cultural Center and chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union, read the prayer for Estonia. The prayer was read in Ukrainian by myself, Anatoli Ljutjuk, in Russian by Tatiana Iakovleva, and in English by Hannah Harkes from Scotland. For 15 years now, a prayer for Estonian nature has been heard daily in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Tallinn. Thousands of people have heard it. People from different denominations expressed their interest in lectures on Christianity and our prayer. Many of them became our followers, ready to unite in prayer for Estonian nature. It is precisely these people who inspired our team to create The Chapel of the Virgin Mary.
This is the height of our chapel. Somewhere upstairs is a swallow who can’t (or doesn’t want to?) leave the chapel – and a bat.
Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary – the defender of the Mary’s Land
We invite representatives of different denominations and nations, guests and those interested to our chapel for the daily prayer for Estonian nature. The prayer is read in different languages. We dream that other nations besides Estonians will start praying for the country that received them so kindly. Our mission would be at least partially fulfilled if Ukrainians came to the chapel with their prayers and words of thanks.
Calligraphy classes for the scholchildren of St. Michael’s have been taking place in UKK’s scriptorium for several years now. Maria-Katarina, a student at this school and Nestor Ljutjuk’s daughter, took her classmates here to take a look before class. Anyone who wishes may read their prayer in the chapel or write a personal letter of prayer for their family, children, parents, and loved ones. The letters are kept in the medieval walls, under the sculpture of the Virgin Mary.
I made this sculpture in a Cistercian monastery in Norway, 22 years ago. It was made to commemorate the fire in our church. The flour stones, given to me by Sergei Anohhin and Ellen Dovgan, come from Mihkli village, Jüri municipality. People throw their prayers or letters of thanks to the Virgin Mary into the hole. These flourstones have a symbolic meaning – everything will be milled down if you trust the Mother of God. The flower was crafted by our good friend and artist, blacksmith Viktor Šolomii, 32 years ago. Unfortunately, he has already left us.
We also invite you to join us in writing your own story about your favorite aspects of Estonian nature, such as animals, birds, trees, the sea, etc., mentioning why you like them or why it is they need protection. From your stories, we select those that fill the page of our book “The Song of the Virgin Mary”. This unique collection awaits its readers in our chapel. All your songs, whether selected for a book or not, are also kept in the chapel’s scriptorium. Your thoughts, and those of others, about our nature merge into one prayer and thus ascend to Heaven and to the Mother of God.
Estonian writers – the poet Katja Novak, and calligrapher Tatiana Iakovleva – will help you to shape and present your thoughts.
The spiritual atmosphere is created by your prayers together with our works of art. They are the icon of the Mother of God of Andrei Stasevskii and Tatiana Iakovleva, the icons of Anna Šenke “Saints in Nature”, the sculpture of the Mother of God, made by Anatoli Ljutjuk, the book by Pille Kivihalli and Deniss Subbotin, handmade by Moses Tšan. We are grateful to everyone with whom we have discussed the construction of our chapel for so long. My personal prayer was written beautifully in Ukrainian by Julia Golovchin, later translated into Estonian by Taivo Niitvägi, into Russian by Tatiana Iakovleva, into English by Eric Johnson, and into Chinese by Moses’ father. And that is not all!
Special thanks to Volodymyr Sheremeta, Head of the Ecological Bureau of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and to Ivanna Dõmed, an iconist, for her advice.
Here’s some of our team. I, Anatoli Ljutjuk stand in the middle with the candle. On my right is Katja, Bogdan and Deniss. To the left are Tatiana, Nestor, Mara-Maria and Moses. The chapel is located in Tallinn, at Laboratooriumi 33, Grusbeke Tower. To visit our chapel for private prayer, please call us on 56502572. Please also let us know if, after reading this, you wish to help us. We welcome all who are interested.