RUSSIA: A Palace for the Bride

"It seems to me," wrote A. Usakovsky, a foreman at Moscow's Likhachov Automobile Plant, "that many of those who get married in church do so not because they believe in God but because they like the ritual with its solemnity and color." Even the Communist Party had to agree that Soviet weddings could hardly be more drab. Izvestia, carried away with the monotony of it all, even offered prizes for those who could think up elaborate and colorful rituals to substitute for Christian baptism, a coming-of-age ceremony that would correspond to confirmation,...

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