Beauty and Saving the World

July 16, 2014 / Jean Hoefling This is an excerpt of the article originally published by Relief Journal, a Christian online publication. Click the link below for full article. Beauty will save the world. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky In the Orthodox Church, from Easter to the Ascension, an ethereal hymn is sung while the faithful partake of Eucharist. The brief lyrics implore all who will, to receive the Body of Christ, drink of the Fountain of Immortality. Assuming this transformation of … [Read more...]

The Sabbath Day, Sunday, and the Eighth Day

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): THE SABBATH DAY When the Lord commanded the Hebrews, in the fourth of the Ten Commandments, to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He also gave them the reason: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Ex 20:8, 11; cf. Gn 2:1-3). When Moses restated the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, he added another … [Read more...]

Liturgy in the New Testament Church

From the Orthodox Study Bible: Virtually all students of the Bible realize there was liturgical worship in Israel. Immediately after the giving of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17), instructions for building the altar were set forth (Ex. 20:24-26). Then comes instruction concerning keeping the Sabbath (Ex. 23:10-13), the annual feasts (Ex. 23:14-19) and the various offerings and furnishings in the sanctuary (Ex. 25:1-40). Following this, chapters 26-30 deal with such matters as the design of … [Read more...]

Tending Your Flame

Christ is Risen! Each year during the Paschal Vigil the lamps, candles and lights of the Church are extinguished prior to the beginning of the Resurrection service. This symbolic act assists us spiritually by reminding us of the darkness that accompanies the death of Jesus Christ. It also helps us to comprehend physically, emotionally and spiritually what the absence of God would be like. Once the darkness has surrounded us, the priest lights a single candle from the vigil lamp that is … [Read more...]

Six Questions Concerning Orthodox Christianity…And How to Answer Them From the Bible

This article is by the Antiochian Orthodox Department of Outreach & Evangelism 1. Does the Orthodox Church place tradition above or equal to Scripture? The Church sees the Scriptures as inspired and authoritative Holy Tradition: the word of God. The key here is to see how the word "tradition" is used in the New Testament, which condemns the tradition of men but calls us to follow apostolic or holy tradition. Tradition of Men a. First of all, Jesus warned against holding to the … [Read more...]

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord

I will sing and make music to the Lord, Psalm 27:6 Did you know that over forty psalms contain the word, sing in them? That means that singing is one of the themes in almost thirty percent of the psalms. When you stop to consider that the psalms were ancient Israel’s book of prayer you begin to realize that making music was central to Israel’s worship. In fact, singing is probably the most ancient form of prayer. Compare the worship of ancient Israel with that of our church today, and you will … [Read more...]