The Orthodox Chapel in the village of Rakitno

A chapel, as encyclopedias explain, is a small detached building of a religious purpose. Because of a small size, it cannot accommodate a lot of people, does not have a separate and appropriately designated place for the altar. So that short services are held here, but in some cases liturgies are possible as well. Orthodox chapels are usually located close to roads or crossroads, in cemeteries, at places of theophany or the lives of the ascetics of faith.

«Chas» («hour») in the Old Russian language and modern Belarusian means time. So that a chapel is a place of a temporary, short service.  However the Chapel, the name of which is in the title, is not a chapel anymore, since 2013 it has become a church consecrated in the name of the Archangel Michael.

The history of the Chapel in the village of Rakitno

There is a photo of the old Chapel (it is available on the Internet). The date of its construction is separated from us by more than 2 centuries (1801). The year of the photo is unknown. The Chapel has already looked ramshackle in it. But we can say with confidence that it was built near a cemetery. The Chapel, fence and crosses were wooden. All these remind of the description of Belarusian landscapes from the «King Stach’s Wild Hunt» by V. Korotkevich.

But such a chapel was acceptable before God, necessary for believers, beloved by peasants. They all were not rich, not to say poor, and that is why the Chapel appeared here thanks to the landlord Joseph Schit who allocated his own money to build a church. Even then, it was dedicated to the Archistratigus (the chief Archangel, the head of the armies of angels and archangels) Michael.

 At first there was not an iconostasis in the Chapel, so that parishioners had to hold icons and candles in their hands during a service.  As it was mentioned above such a laconic variant of decoration was usual for a chapel. But in 1840 a small iconostasis was built with the efforts of parishioners and was painted in simple paints.

And in 1992 a stone building was erected on the place of the ramshackle wooden construction.   In the course of time a modest place of worship has continued its development: the iconostasis was set, long Church services began to be held. And later there was another stage of the reconstruction during which the building had been finished: walls were sheathed, windows were replaced, a new roof was made, the dome was installed and the iconostasis was replaced, and at the same time the cemetery was cleaned.

And it has happened! To the delight of all the parishioners Archbishop Stephen consecrated the temple on October 8, 2013. Nowadays it pleases the eye with its accuracy, on a sunny day, the lights rays are refracted in the gilded cross on the dome, filling the hearts with a joyful, holy mood. Being near the church you understand what splendor means.  It is modest but you do not need anything other. And eventually something big starts with something small. It is important that the Church was built with the efforts and religious enthusiasm of simple people. It's their own Church, achieved through much suffering and begged by them; it is God’s blessing, as they say.

Now here are performed basic rites, conducted services, gather believers for holidays and prayers. The religious procession starts from here. Spirituality starts here.