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Monday, August 12, 2019

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?


ORTHODOXY IS LOVE


Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

In John 20:15-17, we read that Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene after his death. Jesus calls Mary by name and she recognises his voice. Mary not only heard Jesus, she clearly saw and touched him as these verses indicate. Later on in the same chapter, Jesus appears to his disciples. Most significantly, Thomas who initially doubts, confirms that Jesus really was risen by feeling the physical wounds on his body. The Gospels all contain accounts of Jesus' appearances after his death.

Evidence for Jesus resurrection is also found in Acts 9, where the risen Christ appears to Paul on the Damascus road.

What is Divine Liturgy, Panagia, Pectoral Cross, Priest, Holy Relics, Sign of the Cross and Theotokos?


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY


What is Divine Liturgy, Panagia, Pectoral Cross,

Priest, Holy Relics, Sign of the Cross and Theotokos?

What is Divine Liturgy?

Divine Liturgy – Liturgy means “The work of the people.” The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.

The Divine Liturgy is divided into 3 distinct parts:

-Liturgy of Preparation (proskomedia) – This is the first one-third of the liturgy, where the bread and wine offered by the people are prepared for the Eucharistic service by the celebrant, and his deacon. It represents in a small way the Old Testament, in that is a preparation of the world for the coming of Christ.

-Liturgy of the Word – Containing the Great Litany, Antiphons, and the Epistle and Gospel lesson, this ends with the Bishop proclaiming and expounding upon the teachings of Christ, prayers for the departed, and catechumens. It presents the era of the New Testament, and the hearing of the Gospel of our Lord.

-Liturgy of the Faithful – This is the Eucharistic liturgy, containing the Anaphora, the Words of Institution and Epiclesis, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, Thanksgiving and the Dismissal. This offers us a foretaste of the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal union of Christ with His people.

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What does Panagia mean?

Panagia – The Icon of the Incarnation – Christ and the Virgin Mary -worn by a Bishop in place of a Pectoral Cross, representing his faith in the Incarnation of Christ, which he must proclaim and defend, hence the reason he wears its image. Panagia means “All-holy.”

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What is the Pectoral Cross?

Pectoral Cross – Worn by Priests, it symbolizes the reality that the priest is the representative of Christ Crucified to the people and to the world, and as Christ’s ambassador, he is to bring them the Gospel of the Kingdom.

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What is a Priest?

Priest – The Second of the Major Holy Orders, priests/presbyters are the representative of the Bishop in the Parish. He receives, through Ordination, the power consecrate the Holy Eucharist, to preach and explain the teachings of the Holy Gospel, Baptize, Chrismate, celebrate Weddings, to give Holy Unction to the sick, to hear confessions and grant absolution in the name of the Lord.

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What are Holy Relics?

Holy Relics – Holy Relics are portions of the bone or vesture of a saint. Following the example of the early Church (Acts 19:11), and the power revealed through holy relics in the Old Testament (2 Kgs 13:21), the Church always places the relics of martyrs in the Altar, and often in the antimension, typifying Rev. 6:9.

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What is the Sign of the Cross?

Sign of the Cross – made by the earliest Christians, and today by their inheritors Orthodox Christians (also by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and even Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther), the sign of the Cross is the enduring symbol of faith in Christ our Savior, and the blessing of the Christian. It is made, consecrating the mind (touch the forehead), heart (breast), soul (right shoulder) and strength (left shoulder) to God, the Holy Trinity. It is an ancient and profound confession of faith in Christ, going back at least until the second century, as recorded by Tertullian and other Church fathers.

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What does Theotokos mean?

Theotokos – Greek for “Birth-giver of God,” or “Bearer of God.” A title of theological and historical significance, the Orthodox Church refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Theotokos, thus safeguarding the truth of the doctrine of the Incarnation. There are many holy Marys who were virgins, but there is only one Theotokos.

Source:

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org/glossary-of-orthodox-terms.html

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

What is Holy Communion, Deacon, Holy Eucharist, Holy Icons, Litany and Divine Liturgy?


JESUS CHRIST - ORTHODOXY


What is Holy Communion, Deacon,

Holy Eucharist, Holy Icons, Litany and Divine Liturgy?

What is Holy Communion?

Communion – The Orthodox Church sees the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity, and not a means to it. Therefore, only Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared themselves are invited to receive of Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church.

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What is a Deacon?

Deacon – Third Order of the clergy, and lowest of those in Holy Orders, they assist the Bishop, and therefore, the priest when the Bishop is not present, in their pastoral, charitable, and liturgical responsibilities. The Deacon leads the people in prayer and worship, teaches and preaches the Word of God, cares for their spiritual well being of the Bishop’s flock, assists the Bishop and the priests in whatever way he can. He acts as a bridge between the Church and the world, heaven and earth.

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What is Holy Eucharist?

Eucharist – Greek for ‘Thanksgiving,’ since the earliest days of the Church, the word has come to stand for the Body and Blood of Christ in the Mystery of Holy Communion, made mystically present for us. See Lev 7:15; Amos 4:5; Ps 116:17; Mal1:10 for prophecies of the Eucharist as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

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What are the Holy Icons?

Holy Icons – Icons form the “family portraits” of the house of God. The icons of Christ show that the Invisible God became visible flesh for our salvation, and thereby sanctified material creation. Not ‘holy pictures’, icons are images of the life transfigured in Christ, and therefore of the transfigured person. Just as most devout Christians have images of Jesus in their homes, so, too, do Orthodox Christians, but also in our Churches. These images of Christ cannot be personally interpreted by the artist any more than one could rewrite the Bible according to personal taste, but must conform to the strict likeness of the original, the same as a Biblical translation should.

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What is a Litany?

Litany – A series of prayers, led by the Deacon, or in his absence, a Bishop, to which the people and the choir respond “Lord have mercy.”

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What is Divine Liturgy?

Divine Liturgy – Liturgy means “The work of the people.” The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.
The Divine Liturgy is divided into 3 distinct parts:

-Liturgy of Preparation (proskomedia) – This is the first one-third of the liturgy, where the bread and wine offered by the people are prepared for the Eucharistic service by the celebrant, and his deacon. It represents in a small way the Old Testament, in that is a preparation of the world for the coming of Christ.

-Liturgy of the Word – Containing the Great Litany, Antiphons, and the Epistle and Gospel lesson, this ends with the Bishop proclaiming and expounding upon the teachings of Christ, prayers for the departed, and catechumens. It presents the era of the New Testament, and the hearing of the Gospel of our Lord.

-Liturgy of the Faithful – This is the Eucharistic liturgy, containing the Anaphora, the Words of Institution and Epiclesis, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, Thanksgiving and the Dismissal. This offers us a foretaste of the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal union of Christ with His people.

Source:

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org/glossary-of-orthodox-terms.html

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

What is Bishop, Blessing, Cantles, Catechumen, Chant and Cherubic Hymn?


FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY


What is Bishop, Blessing, Cantles,

Catechumen, Chant and Cherubic Hymn?

What is a Bishop?

Bishop – Highest rank of clergy, possessing the fullness of Holy Orders as successor to the Apostles, and invested with Apostolic authority within his diocese (sometimes referred to as a metropolis).

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What are Blessings?

Blessings – The Blessing of Christ Himself, given by Bishops and Priests to the faithful, always in the sign or form of the Cross.

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What are the Cantles?

Candles – From the days of the Catacombs, Christians have accompanied their prayers with the lighting of lamps and candles, symbolizing their perpetually burning love for, and constant prayer to, our Lord Jesus Christ the “a light to enlighten the Gentiles,” (Lk 2:32) So we are called to be. (Lk 13:47)

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What is a Catechumen?

Catechumen – A catechumen is one preparing for entrance into the Church, usually by baptism and chrismation. The standard period for preparation of catechumens is one liturgical year, though in ancient times it often lasted two years.

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What does Chant mean?

Chant – All prayers and readings are chanted, or sung, in Orthodox Church Divine services, according to the ancient Christian tradition and teachings of the Church which says, “He who sings, prays twice.”

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What is the Cherubic Hymn?

Cherubic Hymn – The Hymn which is sung at the Great Entrance reminding all present that they are standing in the place occupied by the Heavenly hosts, and that they should set aside all worldly cares to prepare for the coming of the King of Glory, since we stand mystically in the place of those who stand perpetually in God’s presence.

Source:

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org/glossary-of-orthodox-terms.html

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Church's Great Feasts


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY


The Church's Great Feasts 

Source:

https://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org

https://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-feasts.html

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

The Nativity of the Most-Holy Theotokos (Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God) (September 8)

The first Great Feast to fall in the Church Year is the Nativity of the Most-Holy Theotokos. It is entirely fitting that at the beginning of the new religious year all Orthodox Christians should come before the highest example of human holiness that the Orthodox Church holds precious and venerates that of Mary, the Theotokos and Mother of God. This day is seen as one of universal joy; for on this day the boundary of the Old and New Covenants was born the Most-Blessed Virgin, pre-arranged from the ages by Divine Providence to serve the mystical Incarnation of God the Word.

The first Old Testament Reading of Vespers (Gen. 28:10-17) speaks of the dream of Jacob, one of the Old Testament Patriarchs, when he fled the wrath of his brother Esau. He saw a ladder extending from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. When he awoke, Jacob blessed with oil the stone on which he had slept and called it Bethel, meaning house of God. The Most-Pure Mother of God is seen here as that ladder between heaven and earth, uniting earth with heaven in her womb. She who carried God in her womb is truly Bethel, none other than the house of God...and the gate of heaven (Gen. 28:17).
The birth of the Most-Holy Theotokos took place in the following manner: Her father, the Righteous Joachim, was a descendant of King David, to whom God had promised that from the seed of his descendants would be born the Savior of the world. Her mother, the Righteous Anna, was the daughter of Matthan, and through her father was of the tribe of Aaron and through her mother was of the tribe of Judah. The spouses lived in Nazareth of Galilee.

Joachim and Anna had no children, and all their life they grieved about this, especially since they were now in old age. Scorn and mockery was their lot, for at that time childlessness was reckoned as a shame. But they never murmured and only the more fervently beseeched God, humbly trusting in His Will.

Once, during the time of a great Feast, the offering which Joachim took to Jerusalem to offer to God in the Temple, was not received by the priest, who reckoned that a childless man was not worthy to bring a sacrifice to God. This greatly grieved the old man and he, counting himself only a sinner among men, decided not to return home, but to flee to a place of solitude in a deserted place. Anna, having heard how her husband had been humiliated by the priest, began to fast, and in prayer sadly beseeched God to grant her a child. In the wilderness, secluded and fasting, Joachim also prayed to God about this.

The prayers of the Holy Spouses were heard. The angel Gabriel came to them and announced that a daughter would be born to them, whom the whole human race would call blessed. At the command of

Joining the Church


FAITH BOOK - ORTHODOXY


Joining the Church

Take a Deep Breath! It is a joyful and well worn path, with many souls who have made this journey before you, and many more will come after you. Let’s start with the basics.

Step One: Conversion to Christ

St. Paul himself tells us what this Gospel – which means ‘Good News’ – consists of:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.  ~  1 Corinthians 15:3-8
That is the Gospel.What is so ‘Good’ about it? This is the Good News preached to all nations. Is it really Good News? Let’s have another look at what the Gospel actually is;

That Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He arose on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and appeared to many.

Christ died for our sins. We have freedom in the Living God if we accept Him! We become inheritors of Eternal Life! What could be easier! Acceptance of the Gospel of Christ is what we call conversion. It seems elementary, but sometimes we forget what the Gospel is, and why we convert. Conversion means belief and acceptance in Jesus Christ, the God-man, as the Savior of the world. Orthodox Christians believe you must be converted every day- every day – and everyone must start with this

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Holy Confession 1 - eBook - Orthodox Texts


ORTHODOX WEB


Holy Confession 1

eBook



ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY – MULTILINGUAL ORTHODOXY – EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH – ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ – ​SIMBAHANG ORTODOKSO NG SILANGAN – 东正教在中国 – ORTODOXIA – 日本正教会 – ORTODOSSIA – อีสเทิร์นออร์ทอดอกซ์ – ORTHODOXIE – 동방 정교회 – PRAWOSŁAWIE – ORTHODOXE KERK -​​ නැගෙනහිර ඕර්තඩොක්ස් සභාව​ – ​СРЦЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНО – BISERICA ORTODOXĂ –​ ​GEREJA ORTODOKS – ORTODOKSI – ПРАВОСЛАВИЕ – ORTODOKSE KIRKE – CHÍNH THỐNG GIÁO ĐÔNG PHƯƠNG​ – ​EAGLAIS CHEARTCHREIDMHEACH​ – ​ ՈՒՂՂԱՓԱՌ ԵԿԵՂԵՑԻՆ​​ – Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis – http://gkiouzelis.wordpress.com - http://gkiouzelis.blogspot.com – Email: gkiouz.abel@gmail.com – Feel free to email me…!

⊰¸¸.•**••.¸╰⊰¸¸.•¨*••.╰⊰¸¸.•¨*••.╰⊰¸¸.•¨*••.¸╰⊰¸¸.•¨*••.╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH – MULTILINGUAL ORTHODOXY╰⊰¸¸.•¨* 
Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis – http://gkiouzelis.wordpress.com – ​http://gkiouzelis.blogspot.com - ​Email: gkiouz.abel@gmail.com – ​Ask anything! ​Feel free to email me…!​​ I wish you always have the smile of God in your heart…! May to be always near Holy Confession!

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♫•(¯`v´¯) ¸.•*¨*
◦.(¯`:☼:´¯)
..✿.(.^.)•.¸¸.•`•.¸¸✿
✩¸ ¸.•¨ ​

Holy Confession: 
Christ sent Apostle Paul to a Spiritual Father

Fr. John Costoff

Fr. John Costoff, Greece:

An Elder (Spiritual Father) from Holy Mount Athos in Greece, said: “The most superior art is how to save yourself for eternity and you need a teacher for this art. You can’t just learn any kind of art by books alone. That’s why Christ, as soon as He appeared in front of Apostle Paul, He sent him to a Spiritual Father, Apostle Ananias, to teach him and advise him”.

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Saint Seraphim of Sarov 
and Saint Nektarios of Aegina Island 
on Holy Confession

"I pray, and the first thought that comes to my heart I accept it as God's Word, and that is what I say. It is God who knows your life and the mystery of your heart. I am only a spiritual father."
—Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Russia

"What is the essence of the mystery of Repentance and Confession? The consciousness of the repentant as a transgressor of the divine commandments, and the willingness to return to God and keep the divine commandments."
—Saint Nektarios of Aegina Island, Greece

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Why are there so few good Spiritual Fathers?

A young man asked St Silouan the Athonite (+1938) this tragic question: 

"Why are there so few good spiritual fathers?". And St Silouan gave an answer perhaps incomprehensible: "There are no good spiritual fathers because there are no good submissives".


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Find a Spiritual Father, 
to confess, to trust and to consult him 

Saint Paisios 
of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

Today, the most essential thing is for people to find a spiritual father, to confess, to trust and to consult him. If they have a spiritual father and set up a program with prayer and a little study, go to church, take communion, then they have nothing to fear in this life. The soul must be watched by the spiritual father, so it won't go off course. The spiritual study, for instance, can help in this effort; but if someone doesn't have a spiritual guide, he may come up with his own interpretations on what he reads and be deluded.

    You see, when someone goes somewhere driving his car and he doesn't know the way, he can consult the map, but he also stops and asks so he does not take the wrong way... One will chose the spiritual guide, of course, and won't trust his soul to anyone. Just like for the health of the body he looks to find a good doctor, so for the health of the soul he will also look to find a good spiritual father, and he will be going to him, the doctor of the soul, regularly.

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Advice about Confession

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

We all know the importance of Confession, but yet so few take advantage of it. Here Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994) shows us why it is so important.

A young man went to see the Elder. I arrived the moment he was ringing the bell, and waited behind him. After a while, Father Paisios opened the door and came to the fence.

-What’s up, young man, what do you want? asked the Elder.

-Father, I would like to see you and get your advice on something.

-Have you gone to confession? Do you have a spiritual father?

-No, Father, I don’t have a spiritual father and I haven’t gone to confession.

-Well, then you better go to confession and then come to see me.

-Why can’t I see you, Father?

-I will explain to you, so you can understand. Your mind is confused and troubled by the sins you have fallen into; as a result, you cannot realize the situation you are in. So, you will not be able to

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday of Holy Pentecost


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY




Sunday of Holy Pentecost

Introduction

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday.

The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.

Historical Background

The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).

This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who

Friday, May 31, 2019

Why the Priests wear special clothes (vestments) in the Divine Liturgy?


PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY


Why the Priests wear special clothes (vestments)

in the Divine Liturgy?

The Holy Apostles in the first years of Church they were special clothes in the Divine Liturgy, too.

Historical witness

In this way, this person will begin his own search for the HISTORICAL Church. Regardless of what assertions someone may have (as to what the early Christians supposedly did or believed in their worship), there are historical records, early Christian texts and archaeological discoveries, which evidence that Christians from the very beginning worshipped God in the Orthodox manner, and not in the Protestant one. There was an acknowledgement of Synods, specialized clergy, icons, vestments, the honouring of saints and holy relics, clearly defined dogmas, Divine Liturgy, Confession, Holy Unction, Chrismation, memorial services, the Crucifix, fasting, feast-days… All these things existed, from the very beginning, with changes being made to the Rubric only in details of minor significance. Should a Protestant discover all this information within the ancient historical sources, he will come to realize that everything he had been taught by his leaders was just an arbitrary and false depiction of the first Christian Church; and he will realize that everything he detested in Orthodox worship as non-Scriptural, is precisely that which was delivered to us by the Lord Himself!!!

Historical research will most assuredly lead a well-intentioned person to Orthodox worship, away from the Protestant concoctions of the 16th century.

Source:

https://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/genika/prot_ask1.htm

* * *

The Church from the first years use special clothes in the Divine Liturgy of Sunday because Holy Bible say about these. The Church accept the Old and New Testament as Jesus Christ say in New Testament in Matthew 5:17-19. The Jesus don’t abolish the Old Testament but fulfill it.

Jesus Christ says in Matthew 5:17-19:

“17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

So, the Church for the first years until today and always keep what the Holy Bible say about the clothes of Apostles-Priests in Old Testament:

“4Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 5 Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. 6 Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred emblem to the turban” (Exodus 29:4-6).

“And also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests” (Exodus 31:10).

“From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary. They also made sacred garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses” (Exodus 39:1).

Also, you can read this:

https://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/genika/prot_ask1.htm
Greek Protestants ask: Why be Orthodox?
By N. M., former heretic group leader

Feel free to ask me anything about the Orthodox Faith:

Email: gkiouz.abel@gmail.com


Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Whole Person - We are both soul and body - Abbot Tryphon, Vashon Island, WA, USA


FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY



The Whole Person - We are both soul and body

Abbot Tryphon, Vashon Island, WA, USA

Source:

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2018/12/the-whole-person-2/

ANCIENT FAITH

MORNING OFFERING

Unlike angels, who are entirely spiritual beings, God has made each of us as creatures dwelling in a material world. To be whole, we must worship God both in body and soul. This teaching is central to our Christian faith and is an affirmation of the sacramental nature of this material world. Because of this truth icons have played a central role in Christian history, for they proclaim Jesus Christ’s physical reality as God Incarnate.

Our Lord told his disciples that “he who has seen me, has seen the Father”. Icons depicting the Holy Virgin show the Christ Child with bare feet, reminding us that he walked the earth among us. He (the Logos) through Whom all that is was brought into existence, condescended to take on our flesh and walk among us. He joined His divinity to our humanity, that we might become gods.

The Lord Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and rose from the dead in this material world. He broke bread with disciples, ate fish with his friends, and invited His disciple Thomas to feel the wound in his side, after His holy resurrection. Most of the miracles He performed were in the nature of physical healing.

Because of the Incarnation, our use of icons bring our whole nature, body and soul, into the material world. This physical aspect of prayer is what connects us to our true self, composed of body and soul. This is where God reaches down to embrace us.

Icons are wonderful aides in our communion with God because they serve as bridges to Christ and links with the Holy Virgin and the saints. They are by no means the only means , for sitting on the top of a mountain, or walking on the seashore, eyes open, allows us to behold the beauty of God’s creation, and His love for us. The icons, like the glory of creation, are windows into eternity, and invite us who live in this material world, into an encounter with God.

Icons are necessary and essential because they protect the full and proper doctrine of the Incarnation. While God cannot be represented in His eternal nature (“…no man has seen God”, John 1:18), He can be depicted simply because He “became human and took flesh.” Of Him who took a material body, material images can be made. In so taking a material body, God proved that matter can be redeemed. He deified matter, making it spirit-bearing, and so if flesh can be a medium for the Spirit, so can wood or paint, although in a different fashion.

“I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation… (Saint John of Damascus).” The seventh and last Ecumenical Council upheld the iconodules’ position in AD 787. They proclaimed: “Icons… are to be kept in churches and honored with the same relative veneration as is shown to other material symbols, such as the ‘precious and life-giving Cross’ and the Book of the Gospels. The ‘doctrine of icons’ is tied to the Orthodox teaching that all of God’s creation is to be redeemed and glorified, both spiritual and material.”

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

If you believe what you like in the Gospels - Saint Augustine of Hippo, North Africa (+430)




If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.

—Saint Augustine of Hippo, North Africa (+430)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Korea: The touching conversion story of an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy


MULTILINGUAL CHRISTIANITY – ORTHODOXY


Korea: The touching conversion story of

an elderly Korean woman from Buddhism to Orthodoxy

“This grandma case was very touching. She lives in Seoul, close to her other children. One of her sons and his family who live in the village Polang-Ree converted to Orthodoxy a long time ago. He had announced this to his mother, trying to motivate her to convert to Christianity as well. But as she was an elderly woman, she couldn’t understand much of what they were telling her. Until, one day, one of her son’s daughters, who worked in some private business doing very hard work all week, moved to Seoul. Every Saturday she would say:

-Granny, I’m going to Church after work for my singing rehearsal and the Vespers.

And on Sundays, very early in the morning:

-Granny, I have to go. I’m teaching the morning group of Sunday School. Then, there’s Holy Liturgy. Then, our youth congregation. We’re going to have lunch all together. Don’t worry that I’ll be back in the afternoon.

-Don’t you get too tired my child?

-No, granny. This relieves me from all tiredness and troubles of the week. It gives me strength, joy… It revives me. Because I find Christ in Church , granny, the real God. I receive Him in my soul.

And her granddaughter shone all over. She was so much different from all other girls her age grandma knew.

“So these were my sons words I could not understand”, she was thinking…

Months went by. Every Sunday her granddaughter looked just as happy on the outside as well as in her heart each time she returned from the Church. The same thoughts were on granny’s mind.

In the end she made her decision:

-You said that you teach children about Christ. Can you teach me as well , who is He who gives you so much happiness?

The granddaughter jumped for joy! She’d been praying all this time in secret for this blessed moment to come for her beloved granny. Little by little with patience and love she started catechizing her. What helped her most was her own life’s good example.

Granny started coming to Church. Sunday after Sunday , her adaptation to this new experience was remarkable:

-I want to be baptized before I die…

This was her desire.

She even attended some special classes.

-I believe and I love Christ.

And when the preparation for her Holy Baptism started, she timidly asked:

-Can I be given my granddaughter’s name, who led me to this Paradise?

“Come and see” is addressed to the souls of the Korean people who never got to know Christ, our Saviour, in such ways of life testimony. In the tension of their life struggles, material needs or goals of their lives, beaten by insecurities, by despair, the most convincing invitation to His Kingdom is a silent testimony of a genuinely Christian life”.

Sources:

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

http://www.truthtarget.gr

Translation:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqNCEoRaEGYLYyaXLyN89Jw

VASILEIA

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Are there demons or devils? - Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)


Are there demons of devils?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson and San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940):

“I have heard people say that there are no demons or devils. . . . . the Devil surely will not reveal himself to people who do not believe; for, should he do so, they might believe, and that would be against his own sly, diabolical policy, as he would have all in the dark, so terrible is his enmity against the Eternal Source of Light and Treasure of Goodness—God Almighty”.

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/07/06/st-sebastian-dabovich-i-have-heard-people-say-that-there-are-no-demons-or-devils/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

Monday, May 13, 2019

What is the Holy Bible?


HEAVEN ON EARTH - ORTHODOXY


What is the Holy Bible?

We believe the Holy Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In faith we hold the Holy Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:21).

Source:

http://heartquestionsandanswers.wordpress.com

HEART QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Monday, April 22, 2019

Why is the Church called Apostolic?


ORTHODOXY IS LOVE



Why is the Church called Apostolic?

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Topic 274 of the Catechism

of Saint Philaret of Moscow, Russia (+1867)

November 19

Because she has from the Apostles, without break or change, both her doctrine and the succesion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, through the laying of consecrated hands. In the same sense the Church is called Orthodox, or Right-believing.

"You are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" (Eph. 2:19-20).

Source:

http://loveandrepentance.tumblr.com

LOVE AND REPENTANCE

Monday, March 11, 2019

Protection of the Mother of God


HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD



Protection of the Mother of God

The Protection of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved feast days on the Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples, commemorated on October 1. The feast is celebrated additionally on October 28 in the Greek tradition. It is also known as the feast of the Virgin Mary’s Cerement.

In most Slavic languages the word “cerement” has a dual meaning of “veil” and “protection.” The Russian word Pokrov (Покров), like the Greek Skepi (Σκέπη), has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the Intercession of the Theotokos.

The feast

The feast day celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. At the end of St. Andrei (Andrew of Constantinople) Yurodivyi’s life, he, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil in the Church of Blachernae, nearby the city gates. The Blachernae Palace church was where several of her relics were kept. The relics were her robe, veil, and part of her belt that had been transferred from Palestine during the fifth century.

The Theotokos approached the center of the church, knelt down and remained in prayer for a long time. Her face was drowned in tears. Then she took her veil (cerement) off and spread it over the

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

How can God be one in three persons?


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY



How can God be one in three persons?

Christians call this the Holy Trinity (literally: 'Tri-unity').

To explain this, we must distinguish between God's nature and his manifestation to us. God's nature is oneness, yet he has revealed himself to us in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three are God, yet are also distinct persons within his one nature.

We can think of the Holy Trinity mathematically: 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 rather than 1 + 1 + 1 =3, which would imply that there are three gods.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

If God is loving, why does he send people to Hell?


TEXTS - ORTHODOXY



If God is loving, why does he send people to Hell?

God does not send anyone to Hell. By his very nature, God is holy and cannot overlook sin, yet he desires that all should come to know him through faith. However, God does not compel us to love him, for forced love is not love at all. Thus Hell is something that humans choose voluntarily, through their rejection of God.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Icon corner


TEXTS - ORTHODOXY


Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the "House Church" continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the "clergy" of the house church, and the children are the "laity". The wedding ceremony ("crowning") is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, "In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion". Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small "portal icon" (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Holy Bible verses about Holy Angels and humans


SAINTS OF MY HEART



Holy Bible verses about Holy Angels and humans

Hebrews 1:1-14
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? ...

Hebrews 13:2
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 2:9
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 1:14
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

1 Corinthians 11:10
That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

1 Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

Psalm 103:20
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

Psalm 91:11-12
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

Jude 1:9
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Luke 16:22
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried,

Luke 15:10
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Isaiah 6:2
Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

Matthew 25:41
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

2 Kings 6:17
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Genesis 6:1-22
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ...

Isaiah 6:1-3
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Job 38:4-7
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 1:6
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.

Mark 8:38
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Colossians 1:16
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Acts 8:26
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.

Luke 20:36
For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Isaiah 41:13
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 6:3
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Psalm 148:2
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!

Psalm 118:8
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

Jude 1:14
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

1 Peter 1:12
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Luke 24:4
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

Luke 12:8
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God

Matthew 25:31
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

Matthew 24:31
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 22:30
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Daniel 12:1
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

Psalm 148:5
Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created.

Job 2:1
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.

James 1:7-8
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Hebrews 12:22-23
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect

Luke 1:41-42
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Matthew 4:11
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Psalm 91:11
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Hebrews 12:22
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Ephesians 3:10
So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Acts 27:23-24
For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’

Acts 12:5-10
So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. ...

Acts 10:3
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”

Luke 20:34-36
And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Luke 9:26
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Luke 2:13
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God