Orthodoxy Archive

0

Prayer

By the Department of Religious Education

Prayer is doxology, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication and intercession to God. “When I prayed I was new,” wrote a great theologian of Christian antiquity, “but when I stopped praying I became old.” Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God’s kingdom. [Read More]

 

 

0

Art and Architecture

by John Yiannias

The Orthodox church building is nothing more (or less) than the architectural setting for the Liturgy. Originally, converted houses served the purpose. The history of the church as a conspicuous structure begins with the official toleration of Christianity by Constantine the Great in 313, although there is evidence that sizable churches existed before his time in some large cities. In the fourth and fifth centuries, buildings were erected to facilitate baptism (baptistries) and burial (mausolea) and to commemorate important events in the lives of Christ and the saints (martyria); but it was the building designed primarily to accommodate the celebration of the Eucharist that became the typical Christian structure – the church as we think of it today.  [Read More]

 

 

0

History of the Orthodox Church

by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Christianity has always been unusually sensitive to the past; its enduring relevance has, in fact, never been in doubt. The basic reason for this sensibility is that Christian biblical revelation takes place in a historical context and is, quite simply, a revelation of historical data, of God’s activity in history. It is in time and human space that man’s salvation unfolds-God’s chosen way to redeem us. That Christian Scripture takes the form, more often than not, of a richly detailed historical narrative should come as no surprise. [Read More]

 

0

Sacraments

by Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald

One of the best-known prayers of the Orthodox Church speaks of the spirit of God being “present in all places and filling all things.” This profound affirmation is basic to Orthodoxy’s understanding of God and His relationship to the world. We believe that God is truly near to us. Although He cannot be seen, God is not detached from His creation. Through the persons of The Risen Christ and the Holy Spirit, God is present and active in our lives and in the creation about us. All our life and the creation of which we are an important part, points, to and reveals God.  [Read More]

 

0

The Bible

by Rev. George Mastrantonis

THE BIBLE – GREATEST MONUMENT OF MANKIND

There are distinguished persons and distinguished monuments which stand out in the annals of history. Their lives were full of adventure as they faced the tremendous opposition of their contemporaries as well as accepting enormous sacrifice in their own lives. One of the monuments, the greatest in the history of the world, is the Bible. It has met great challenges of its literal expression as well as its trials over its validity and accuracy. The critical scrutiny of the Bible is the most thorough effort and examination that has ever been made of a literary work from the beginning of time, an examination challenging its integrity, and meaning. Its words, thoughts and personalities have been the subject of controversial discussion and debate through the centuries, both in its original language and its translation. From approximately 12 centuries before the Christian Era through 20 centuries since (the former for the Old Testament and the latter for both the Old and New Testament), its construction, correction and restoration was achieved. The Bible is stronger today than ever before, despite the “scientific” effort to replace it with human elements of the laboratory and technology. The Bible is so different from other literary works of famous writers whose names are mentioned in the history of scientific findings that only a Superhuman Providence has kept it alive through its orbit of destiny. The Bible has been inscribed on stone, papyrus, lamb skin, in the memories of men and in the hearts of the people.  [Read More]

 

0

Beliefs

Our beliefs are best summarized in the Nicene Creed (325 AD). It is the original and the only Creed of the Orthodox Christian Church. An English translation is below.

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father, through Whom all things were made;

Who for us and for our salvation came down from the heavens and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;

Crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried;

Rising on the third day according to the Scriptures,

And ascending into the heavens, He is seated at the right hand of the Father;

And coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead, His kingdom shall have no end;

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets;

In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church;

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

I expect the resurrection of the dead;

And the life of the age to come. Amen.

 

English translation by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, 1993

0

Spirituality

by Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald

Orthodoxy believes that the supreme treasure which God wishes to share with us is His own life. Our faith begins with the affirmation that God has acted in history to permit us to participate in His love and His goodness, to be citizens of His Kingdom. This conviction is expressed so beautifully in the prayer of the Liturgy which says: “You have not ceased to do all things until You brought us to heaven and granted us the Kingdom to come.”

The fundamental vocation and goal of each and every person is to share in the life of God. We have been created by God to live in fellowship with Him. The descent of God in the Person of Jesus Christ has made possible the human ascent to the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit. Orthodoxy believes that each Christian is involved in a movement toward God which is known as theosis or deification. [Read More]

0

What Does “Orthodox” Mean?

by Frederica Mathewes-Green 

The word “orthodox” means “right belief” or “right praise.”

The “Orthodox Church” is also known as the “Eastern Orthodox Church.”

In the years after Jesus’ Resurrection, apostles and missionaries traveled throughout the known world spreading the Gospel. Soon five major locations were established as centers for the faith: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople. In the year 1054 the Roman church broke from this united Church, and five hundred years later Protestant churches began breaking away from Rome. But the original Church has remained united in the Apostolic Faith since the first century. This is Orthodoxy.[Read More]

 

 

0

What is The Orthodox Church

What On Earth Is The Orthodox Church?

By Conciliar Press

Consider:

  • On the one hand, it is the oldest Church in Christendom. On the other hand, it’s new to most people in North America.
  • It is the second largest body in Christendom with 225 million people worldwide. But in the U.S. and Canada there are less than six million.
  • In the twentieth century alone, an estimated 40 million Orthodox Christians gave their lives for their faith, primarily under communism. So high is the commitment of many Orthodox Christians to Christ and His Church, she has often been called “the Church of the Martyrs.”
  • She is the Church of some of history’s greatest theologians, scholars, and writers- people like John Chrysostom, Justin Martyr, Augustine, Dostoyevsky, and Alexander Solzehenitsyn.

[Read More]