Religion is really complex term to explain as it’s really subjective. For one person it’s his faith and for another rock-solid religionism. Russia is a big country so here you can find almost all the religions. Mostly you will see Orthodox churches along with Mosques. Since I’m not a Muslim I cannot explain a thing about traditions which concerns entering and praying in Mosque but I can tell a few things about Orthodox churches. Here’re few tips you should know about.
First, if you see an old church even small one which looks really modest then you should know that it’s only outside view. Inside you can see really picturesque and magnificent decorations with icons, crosses and altar. In some there’re also saint items and there’re lots of pilgrims’ arriving each day. Wide popular among pilgrims and believers are monasteries as praying in them are never stops.
Before entering to the church you should know that:
Women must enter with covered head (kerchief or scarf is enough) and men without any hat. In some monasteries it is not allowed for woman to enter in trousers, only in skirt (usually you can get one right outside the church but don’t forget to return one when you come out). And for it’s not a beach so don’t enter in shorts and flip-flops.
In most of the churches it is not allowed to make photos so if you decide to make one be sure that you won’t harass anyone who’s praying. Usually you can buy much better photos right where all the icons are sold which were taken by pro-photographer right after restoration. But you can always ask pastor (Svyatogo otsa) if you can make photo.
Mobile phones are certainly prohibited and make sure it’s in silent mode or switched off.
It’s not allowed to speak loud or scream. Usually only children whose baptizing can do it. So if you are not a kid, don’t do so.
Well, what should you expect when entering the church? You’ll have a time travel to ancient times of medieval Russ. If you are lucky and visit it during the liturgy, you’ll hear the chorus and be sure these people are doing it for free. Also if it’s really old church you may feel energy (especially if you’re tired by that time) and like it passed only few minutes but in fact it may pass a lot more time or, may be, you even feel peace in your heart.
After seeing several of the churches you may believe that all the churches look alike but they all different and you won’t find 100 percent similar.