Contemporary Problems of Social Work


Spiritual rehabilitation of young people through communion with the spiritual singing orthodox tradition

Автор/Author: Malygin D. A. Korsakova I. A.

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Содержание статьи/Article:

In the last decade has seen a rapid degradation of the spiritual sphere of human rights,

especially in connection with the development of new technologies. The state of modern

Russian society can be described as painful. The growth of crime, including children, aggression

and anger of youth, erasing moral boundaries and the leveling of distinction between “bad”

and “good”, the proliferation of religious sects become the norms of modern life. Low fertility,

increased abortions, the increase in the number of illegitimate children lead to the destruction

of the Russian nation.

The decline of morals can be seen in advertising and the media, in culture is being

implemented “hedonistic project” carried out under the slogan “get a life”, and hence the alcohol,

drugs and sex, and other “pleasures” of life, which lead to a change of attitudes and spiritual

degradation of the society. Society loses the traditional cultural values and immersed in the

bosom of consumerism, promiscuity, permissiveness. In an interview with the Greek writer Nikos

Zervas raises the issue of conscience in the culture: “people of the Eastern type of Christian

civilization - the Russians and the Greeks ... very similar: if we remain without a conscience,

we lose everything,” the writer said with remorse about the fact that earlier conscience was

“tuning fork” that was tuned soul of the Russian people, but today the main “cultural type” was

the person who consumes shameless culture increasingly insatiable [22].

Moral degradation is stated in the publications of teachers, psychologists, sociologists,

the writings of philosophers and writers. Offers a variety of rehabilitation projects, there are

discussions about creating a national idea, which would become a landmark for the mass

consciousness. However, this benchmark is already there, he created a little over 2 thousand

years ago, when Russia adopted the Christian faith and entered the path of Orthodoxy.

The basis of traditional Russian culture are moral and spiritual values associated with a

religious tradition. Scientist E. C. Troitsky calls Orthodox values “the most important spiritual

and historical foundations of the life of the Russian nation” [21, S. 20-21]. Values form the core

of the personality, so the loss of values leads to the crisis. Academician D. S. Likhachov defines

values as “spiritual manifestations of culture”, “good customs, beliefs about the good and

the beautiful”, passed down through the generations. Continuity of cultural values scientist

considers them the most important property [10, р. 201].

The role of music in shaping the spiritual and value orientations of the youth is undeniable.

Music of the Orthodox tradition is an effective means of rehabilitation, because it bears the

idea of unity, harmony, perfection. Christian doctrine says that man consists of three elements:

spirit - soul - body. The unity of the three components is testimony to the integrity of the

human microcosm, like the macrocosm of the universe. Music as a part of the universe has

the same structure, combined intonation. “Intonation is the unity of the measures (numbers),

sound energy, meaning,” writes V. Medushevsky [11, p. 216]. Intonation has great strength

and value in human society, it is “the General strategy of life, the life program”. Intonation is a

unique phenomenon in the world. All the layers of the universe (physical, energy-informational,

spiritual) are already in this “elementary particle”, “cell” of the musical body: the measure

(number) reflects its logical component, sound - physical energy is the carrier of the soul, the

sense region of the higher spheres.

Music has ontological rootedness in Genesis. Acting on the body, the soul and the spiritual

dimension of man, musical intonation capable of forming man from childhood. Of particular

importance is the traditional musical culture, which includes a set of national images of the

world, the mentality of the people, its festive rituals and family traditions, ethnic stereotypes

of behavior in the natural environment and society, the artistic values of the people, and ethnic

forms of their existence, preservation, and translation [2].

The survey laid the hypothesis that spiritual rehabilitation of the youth will be successful if

the process of attaching the individual to the Orthodox spiritual tradition deterministic spiritual

values, encompasses the unity of educational, motivational, performing and communication

activities, based on the values of the Orthodox tradition, such as kindness, humility, diligence,

unity; logic-based movement from establishing personal significant relationship with the

Orthodox tradition through its the understanding, experience, execution spiritual songs to its

full adoption. The music education process, say experts, is to build “given the centuries-old

cultural heritage of Russia, to implement “the link of times”, communication and integrity of

musical art” [3].

Spirituality is above all the beauty of the inner world of the personality, therefore, appeal

to the music as the source of moral value orientations of a person eliminates detachment,

emptiness. This means inclusion of the entire complex of human potential. Music is able to

involve the person in their space, to open a new art space, to understand it from the inside,

because attainment, “it is always a creation, “it is always a co-creation” [14, p. 7], and it requires

a lot of efforts, overcoming himself, breaking worldview, the stereotypes, all those “ghosts”,

which often become a hindrance to spiritual quest.

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The appeal to the spiritual humanist paradigm as the basis of russian strategy changes or

updates to a modern society gives the rationale for a new research methodology, based on:

– the recognition of the importance faith as the basis of spirituality;

– identification of major mental dominants Slavic culture: kindness, morality, unity, diligence,

humility, asceticism;

– the need to introduce into the public consciousness thoughts about the uniqueness of

the spiritual experience of Orthodoxy in overcoming the deepest crisis of the modern Russian


– the possibilities of modern music education in the formation of the ideological orientations

of young people.

Identify characteristics of sacred music allows a conceptually new axiological approach to

the formation of moral value orientations of modern youth by introducing her to the Orthodox

choral tradition. Music carries “a mandatory axiological component”, scientists believe, because

it allows us “to open and interpret the values of the past, engaging in spiritual infinity of space”


One of the most effective methods of pedagogical interventions is evolutionary-synergetic

method based on the recognition of the intrinsic value of native Russian tradition, passing it

from generation to generation. “Evolutionary synergy method is one way of preserving and

increasing spiritual heritage, providing the opportunity value of interaction not only with

his contemporaries, but also with the ancestors, with their ethos and morality”, - said A. I.

Shcherbakova [15].

The youth of today live in an era of global change related to the crisis of Russian society,

which increases the conflict of generations, being traditional values, facing the opposite

opinion and spiritual orientation; an era when everyone is in a situation of choice, requiring

moral choice between good and evil, indifference and compassion, risk and peace of mind. The

system of values in young people is the moral Foundation on which, in fact, built the whole

building law, political culture and public administration, and from which grows the society

conscious and responsible citizens,” says President Vladimir Putin [6].

The issue of spirituality is investigated in the works: N. A. Berdyaev, in. A. Zenkovsky, I. A.

Ilyin, P. Boevoi, I. M. Ilyicheva, T. I. Petrakova, and other.

The implementation of the comprehensive methodology of formation of spiritual and moral

values includes the following main components:

1. Study the Bible, the divine Liturgy and other Scriptures and rituals. Many spiritual hymns

are written in the canonical liturgical texts. Currently, sacred music presents, on the one hand,

a rich tradition valtolina singing (from spiritual repentance verses, chants, Psalms and finishing

Opera-choral and oratorio tradition, represented, for example, in the works of A. Grechaninov),

on the other hand, the actual Church hymns. Modern composers (choir Directors, singers)

do transcriptions and arrangements of traditional hymns or write works in the tradition of

Znamenny chant.

2. Inclusion in the performing tradition and recreating the original intonations of prayer,

compassion. In the Orthodox Liturgy singing as a universal language of prayer teaches the

correct way of praise through singing man knows the teaching of the Church.

3. The selection of repertoire and study of the best examples of spiritual song tradition,

designed in its higher manifestations to display the spiritual world. Masterpieces of spiritual

traditions are the property of our Russian culture, our national pride and enduring value of

the world of art. Professor A. A. Aronov, exploring the characteristics of Russian spiritual life,

draws attention to the determinants of the formation of native spirituality, among which the

most important is the Russian Holiness [4]. I. A. Ilyin in his writings conducts the idea of the

inextricable link the concept of “Holiness” with a Russian soul: “there is no Holiness without

Russia and there is no Russia without Holiness” [7].

The selection of repertoire is not only important for professional teams, and Amateur choirs

(such as Academic choir “Radunitsa”), when everyone can join the tradition through the

performance of sacred songs.

4. Changing spiritual makeup of both singers and listeners impossible without creating a

special atmosphere of Holiness. “Atmosphere” etymologically comes from the phrase “sphere of

breathing”, i.e. it’s something that people breathe, and not so much his body as the soul. “The

atmosphere of the temple,” says St. Theophan, which together with all its rites singalana our

entire faith, the atmosphere of this pure, heavenly, divine. Unknown as is the soul embraces

the spirit of the love of God, freshens breath reverent fear of God as the breath of the morning

coolness, then animates the movement of warmth of heart... after Visiting the Church, having

been as it should, we go out brand new, as if refreshed. Other after that there are the thoughts

in my head, the other senses and location in the heart [17].

Concerts of sacred music held not only in temples but also in secular buildings with good

acoustics. The greatest effect is achieved in those areas that are sanctified by the Russian

Orthodox Church. The presence of icons, table-modern man lost the symbolism of living space,

all Orthodox symbolism creates a special emotional atmosphere, special mental attitude.

The atmosphere was beautifully described M. Chekhov: “Actor, able to appreciate the

atmosphere, looking for her in everyday life. Every landscape, every street, house, room has his

own special atmosphere. Otherwise he is in the library, the hospital, the Cathedral and otherwise

- in a noisy restaurant, hotel, or Museum. He is as sensitive apparatus, perceives the surrounding

atmosphere and listening to it as music. It changes for him the same melody, making it gloomy

and dark, full of hope and joy. The same familiar landscape “sounds” for him otherwise quiet

spring morning or in the storm, and the storm. A lot of new things he learns through this sound,

enriching the soul and awakening in her creative force” [5].

Such qualities as morality, spirituality cannot be formed outside, because they depend on

the internal aspirations of the individual, his / her willpower. They seem to grow from the

inside, becoming invisible thread that connects man with his existential origins, giving him life

support “here and now”, opening avenues for going beyond individual limits [9, p. 25].

Orthodox spiritual music has enormous potential formation of a harmonious whole

personality. In contrast to classical art, the main problem is the search of the sense of life,

the Orthodox tradition helps a person to live in accordance with that meaning set forth in the

Scriptures. Sacred music reveals to man the beauty and Holiness of life, true happiness on earth.

Through intonation body, the intonation of the words, the energy of the sanctity of a man

transformed. Through internal discipline, prayer focus, he has found true freedom: “Where the

spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” [20].

Saving grace is that in the semantic content of spiritual hymns, able to perform a miracle of

hearing. Grace (gr. сharis - gratitude, love) reveals to man himself, because of higher demand,

without which man cannot be considered a person, there is a need for Truth, Goodness, Beauty,

Love, and God.

Throughout Russia open rehabilitation Orthodox centers, continuing the tradition of

“Houses of sobriety”, created in the XIX century on the initiative of John of Kronstadt. In these

rehabilitation centers there are people with pathological (drug, alcohol) dependence and

need healing of body, soul and spirit. The main focus of work in the rehabilitation center is

changing the mindset of patients, restore their spiritual values, rethinking prior life experience,

the acquisition of high spiritual and cultural values. The main reason of illness of these

people - spiritual devastation, the loss of moral compass, no sense of life, “this is payback for

the ideology of consumerism, cult of material prosperity, spirituality, and the loss of authentic

ideals” [18]. The work of the Orthodox rehabilitation centers is underway on several fronts:

social, educational, spiritual and psychological.

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Inclusion in the study program of spiritual music can significantly improve the effectiveness

of teachers. The study of the texts of spiritual songs contributes to the spiritual education of

patients, and the best examples of sacred music reveal the content of the Orthodox rite, don’t

just hear, but feel the deepest essence of the prayer of verse. Spiritual unity choir contributes

to the formation (or revival) feelings of benevolence, brotherly kindness, empathy. Work in the

choir instills a sense of responsibility, hard work, the habit of systematically to work to achieve

results. The unity of body, soul and spirit is experienced through musical intonation, all being

of the person aspires to goodness, creativity, happiness.

Experience with the national team “Academic choir Radunica” showed the effectiveness of

the methodology of communion with the Orthodox tradition through sacred music. Great value

when working with the choir becomes the creation of an atmosphere of unity and aspiration

consciousness to God. Singing in the temple returns conceived by God the hierarchy: the spirit

subdues the soul, and the soul subdues the body.

Unlike classical music, which is the game (playing musical instruments, imagination playing

fancy), spiritual singing is the detachment of consciousness from all conceivable images and

ideas; in prayerful silence, filled with energy resounding harmony is unity with God. Directed

consciousness inward rather than outward (to the world) distinguishes spiritual song tradition

from the art of classical music. This concentration is an analogy with meditation used in Eastern

culture or modern minimalism. Unlike spells (anti-prayer) man does not seek to subjugate

the whole world. On the contrary, humility, obedience, dispassion distinguish true Orthodox

spirituality from the destructive power of desire, pleasure, voluptuousness.

Great about the true singing (singing of the human heart) wrote I. Ilyin in the book “the

Singing heart”: “Heart sings when it likes; it sings of love, which is streaming live stream from

some mysterious depths and never seemed to end... Then the man speaks true happiness...

Everything else in life is not so important then the sun never sets, then God the beam does

not leave the soul, then the Kingdom of God shall enter into the earthly life and earthly life is

sanctified and transfigured. This means that new life began, and that people became familiar

with the new Genesis...” [8, p. 278].

Musical intonation helps to reveal the meaning of the words contained in the text. And here

is how musical interpretation consistent with the content of spiritual hymns. The word cannot

be separated from the intonation. Two sides - semantic and energy-intonation - are inextricably

linked. Remove the intonation of the words mean to kill him, as it sometimes happens in the socalled

“Orthodox rock music”. Orthodoxy and rock incompatible: syncopated beats, aggressive

shouts, loose motion - all this is incompatible with the content of the prayer text. Moreover,

this contrast evokes a feeling of shock and means blasphemy over the Christian spirit. Spiritual

singing is associated with etymological next “tone” associated with the feeling of effort: the

tone, the tenor, the tone, the litany, the trend pace, titanium, tirade, string, pull [12]. The word

and intonation complement each other. “The highest calling of the word, to open the mind of

God, how accessible it is to a man, that he grew in the knowledge of God. The highest calling of

intonation to Express the spirit of the love of God which permeates the mind of God, to Express

and Orthodoxy of the heart in which dwells the God, the spirit of earnest will, flowing from the

divine love”, believes V. Medushevsky [12]. The specificity of intonation (especially musical

intonation) is that it creates the atmosphere, from which is born the word: “from the abundance

of the heart the mouth speaks” [19].

You can say: this new era, a new culture puts a new meaning to the old masterpieces, so

they continue to live today. Here I should say that we must not substitute content, and to seek

the path to the disclosure of sublime beauty. “If Beethoven was told that every note of his

Violin Concerto dictated by God, and we put into his music the ideas of the revolution” [13, p.

259-260], is the substitution of values, especially dangerous when under the guise of classics

man presents himself. Of course, in classical music has a spiritual component, but the radical

difference of spiritual singing traditions from music is that it is the area of asceticism (aimed

at transforming the structure of consciousness) in contrast to art, built on the ideal of the


Traditional Znamenny chant had a sacred beginning, turned into oneself. Melody of Znamenny

chant differed endless movement around a single melodic center, which resulted in a feeling

of loss of time, detachment from all earthly things and meant turning to God with prayer, while

later singing tradition (of polyphonic singing with the expanded form, clear rhythm) is based

on an aesthetic attitude to the world, focused on the expression of human feelings and not

intended for the connection of the soul with God, but to fulfill before by the audience.

The revival and renewal of the Russian state is impossible without a guide formation of

spiritual and moral foundations of Russian national identity.

Youth is the main driving force of Russian society. “How we educate young people, depends,

whether Russia will be able to save and enrich itself,” believes President Vladimir Putin [6]. From

the younger generation depends the future of our country and of all mankind, and therefore, the

problem of formation of the spiritual and values of young people can be regarded as a universal


Church singing as a mighty tree has grown from a grain of prayer. Born in the time of

Abraham, it absorbed many currents (guttural singing Bedouin, Greek seven-step modes, Slavic

melodies and songs of the troubadours, Gregorian chant and organ intonation, Russian long

songs). From these seeds grew a mighty tree of Orthodox spiritual tradition and continues to

evolve in performing activities of many professional and amateur choirs.

Today it is clear that a society that is devoid of spiritual Foundation, cannot build nor efficient

economy, a healthy political relations nor fair in the social sphere. Modern Russian society is

in deep, not always unconscious contradiction between laid down centuries-old spiritual and

moral values and surface, artificially inoculated European values, which have a fundamentally

different nature, sometimes not shared with the Russian mentality has emerged on the basis of

religion. Therefore, the preservation of Russian identity (cultural, national and religious), based

on the traditional values of Russian Orthodoxy, today is one of the main tasks of the Russian


The most important function of modern education is “the reproduction of spirituality”, the

development of the human capacity for self-realization in the space of culture on the basis of

the choice of values, meanings, philosophical positions [1].

In conclusion, speaking about working with a choir, performing sacred music, it is necessary

to highlight features of the approach to the development of this tradition.

First, spiritual hymns written in the Liturgical text, and their main purpose is the fulfillment

of the Service. The word in the spiritual music of paramount importance, and the task of music

to serve the disclosure of meaning inherent in the text, to convey to the listener the word

and strengthen its impact. The music here is very strong tool, a sort of catalyst that helps

to perceive the deeper meaning of religious verse. The Holy fathers taught that “when the

word is combined with sound - it’s faster and deeper concerns of the human soul”. Thanks to

the synthesis of words and music, the text gets emotional and spiritual strength, possessing

tremendous impact on people’s souls.

Secondly, the notation spiritual songs very different from the traditional classic and does

not reflect all the features of performance. One of the main distinctive spiritual poetic text is

its not- rhyming free building rhythm of the verse. It is expressed in constant change size, and

often the music building go beyond a particular size. A vivid example is analyzed in this paper,

essay A. T. Grechaninov “To thee, o Holy virgin...”. Another feature of the spiritually-choral

works is private use of recitative technology letters, which are widely used in Church music.

Finally, when choosing interpretations of spiritual writings should not forget that the

overwhelming majority of these works lies the prayer text. And prayer is the means of

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communication with God. It is therefore very important in the performance of such works not

to lose the prayer spiritual condition. Should be excluded when overly sensual state, all kinds

of emotional “overlap”.

Sacred music has great importance for the spiritual culture of man. She raises and ennobles

the human soul and finds a warm response in the hearts of people.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: spiritual music of the Orthodox tradition, the temple environment, music education, moral foundations of society, spiritual and moral education of the individual