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 1 
 on: Today at 02:37:46 PM 
Started by littlepilgrim64 - Last post by Porter ODoran
Well that is the beginning of the year of the Theotokos, not the beginning of the year of the Christ. Mother encompasses Son, tho, so it's a good beginning for the Church calendar.
I think it fitting that it begins with her Nativity and ends with her Dormition.

Btw, there is a connection to the next to last and the second Great Feasts-the Transfiguration took place 40 days before the Crucifixion, remembered on the exultation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross.  The booths that St. Peter mentions are those that the Hebrews built for Sukkoth.

It all fits together. And I tend to think that's true beyond Christianity and Judaism, too. God is the God of all his universe. But that would be a large subject.

 2 
 on: Today at 02:25:00 PM 
Started by Alpo - Last post by Antonious Nikolas
I don't care for the state of Israel (to put it mildly), but I think learning Hebrew would be great! To not learn it out of political convictions would be like not learning Arabic or Tigrinya because those languages are used by people who persecute Christians. Silly and counterproductive.

Yeah, nothing screams "MORON!" like contemptuously referring to Arabic as "the language of Muhammad", as if the entire language - which existed long before the man and his religion and was and is the language in which many Orthodox Christians express themselves (including many great saints and theologians) - is somehow tainted by his using it.  Arabic is no more the "language of Muhammad" than German is the "language of Hitler" or English is the "language of Kathy Griffin".

As for Tigrinya, let's not forget that it has been the language of the Orthodox Christians of Eritrea for centuries and that the oppression of the Church has been a recent thing.  Tigrinya is no more the language of "persecutors of Christians" than Russian, German, English, or Japanese.

 3 
 on: Today at 02:16:02 PM 
Started by Alpo - Last post by Aram

I've read about how Armenian deacons wear priestly crowns on the feast of St. Stephen, but what is the significance of the large shoulder-cape-like garments that two of them are wearing over their stoles?
I think it's the way Jerusalem uses (pretty sure this picture is from Jerusalem) of denoting their archdeacons. I've posted about this at length before, and if someone wants to dig it up they're most welcome to do so, but in Jerusalem the deacons wear crowns most of the time. There are some local quirks there in terms of vestments. There really isn't much significance to it, in the big picture.

 4 
 on: Today at 02:10:33 PM 
Started by GabrieltheCelt - Last post by Santagranddad
Sky News and the dreadful news from Eastern Ukraine.

 5 
 on: Today at 02:04:31 PM 
Started by liefern - Last post by Yurysprudentsiya
I will not say what I do, or don't do.  Instead, when we think about our own fasting or when we are tempted to consider the fasting of others, here are some helpful things that I like to keep in mind:

The direct guidance of Our Lord on this issue:

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."  (St. Matthew 6:16-17)

From the holy Prophet Isaiah:

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."  (Isaiah 58:6-9)

From the Didache, chapter 8:  "But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week. Rather, fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday)."

From the sayings of the Desert Fathers:

Abba Isidore
Abba Isidore the priest said, 'If you fast regularly, do not be inflated with pride, but if you think highly of yourself because of it, then you had better eat meat. It is better for a man to eat meat than to be inflated with pride and to glorify himself.'

Abba Zeno
In a village there was said to be a man who fasted to such a degree that he was called 'the Faster'. Abba Zeno had heard of him, and he sent for him. The other came gladly. They prayed and sat down. The old man began to work in silence. Since he could not succeed in talking to him the Faster began to get bored. So he said to the old man 'Pray for me, Abba, for I want to go.' The old man said to him. 'Why?' The other replied, 'Because my heart is as if it were on fire and I do not know what is the matter with it. For truly, this when I was in the village and I fasted until the evening, nothing like this happened to me.' The old man said, 'In the village you fed yourself through your ears. But go away and from now on eat at the ninth hour and whatever you do, do it secretly.' As soon as he had begun to act on this advice, the Faster found it difficult to wait until the ninth hour. And those who knew him said, 'The Faster is possessed by the devil.' So he went to tell this to the old man who said to him, 'This way is according to God.'

There are many more such quotes by many fathers if you wish to seek them out.

Note the theme of humility, secretiveness, and lack of judgment that runs through these passages.  We must consult with our priest and know ourselves as we attempt to fast as the Lord has commanded us to do.  But above all, in our fasting, however it is done, we ought to flee from pride, judgment, and hypocrisy.  If we are not fasting from these things, we are not fasting from sin, and we are thus truly not fasting at all.  

 6 
 on: Today at 02:01:06 PM 
Started by dhinuus - Last post by Antonious Nikolas
Memory eternal.  May the Lord receive and reward His servant.

Lord have mercy. May he be reposed in the paradise of the joy together with all those who now intercede for us before the throne of God.

I was not aware that there was a functioning Western Rite of the SOC in Latin America. I had heard of such things (currently, and historically in India via the conversion of Julius Mor Alvarez at the turn of the last century), but figured they were meant to be transitional for groups received from charismatic Christian sects who conceivably would not easily transition to any other liturgy for the time being, like the new congregation under HG Mor Eduardo in Guatemala. Is there a place where I can read more about this, preferably in Spanish or English? (I can get the basic gist of things written Portuguese, but I am more comfortable with Spanish.)

I was going to ask a similar question - and ask Fabio Leite if he had any specific information about this mission, but I thought it might not be appropriate to do so in this thread.  Then some dude decided this was a cool place to critique Sayedna's facial hair, so...any information on this group, Fab?

 7 
 on: Today at 01:58:22 PM 
Started by liefern - Last post by dzheremi
When/if I keep it, others do not know. When/if I don't keep it, others do not know. Same with them. Some people who I am close to at my church do volunteer that information sometimes for various reasons, but I never ask for it, and never comment on it when they do. This is as it should be, as I was taught that we do not look at our neighbor's plate. This is pretty simple instruction, and obedience is the foundation of the fasts, as well as so much else of Orthodox life.

 8 
 on: Today at 01:45:14 PM 
Started by liefern - Last post by Santagranddad
I won't speak of myself,  but my friends do keep the Wed/Friday fast in the traditional way.  They don't ask me what I do and I don't ask them what they do.   If I see someone eat the "wrong" thing I don't mention it and don't think about why that might be because it is none of my business and thinking the best of everyone always,  I assume they have a good reason, a reason I don't need to know.  I don't fall into despair that all of Orthodoxy is falling down because I observed someone eat a fried egg on the wrong day.

My advice to the OP is if he ever does become Orthodox he ask his priest for instructions for fasting and follow these instructions and not try to come up with something stricter for himself,  which might be a trap he could fall into.  Obedience to one's priest is probably better for one's salvation than a self-guided fasting rule.  Just my opinion, of course and I mean no offense.

All this reminds me of St John of Shanghai, as related by a priest present during a Great Lenten parish meal. He was asked to bless the food, most but not all of which was fasting food. So around he went blessing the food, with the added, "....except the cheese,......etc".

Fasting does have a place among many Orthodox families, individuals and communities. Like a three legged stool it encompasses reduced intake, abstaining from certain foods, increased prayer and alms giving. These things are done, but quietly and without fanfare. The right hand not letting the left hand know, let alone all and sundry on the Internet.

 9 
 on: Today at 01:38:32 PM 
Started by GabrieltheCelt - Last post by Justin Kissel
Dragon Warrior 3 Cave Theme

Was transcribing this for guitar earlier and now it's stuck in my head. Makes for a fun metal song.

 10 
 on: Today at 01:33:53 PM 
Started by liefern - Last post by Xenia
I won't speak of myself,  but my friends do keep the Wed/Friday fast in the traditional way.  They don't ask me what I do and I don't ask them what they do.   If I see someone eat the "wrong" thing I don't mention it and don't think about why that might be because it is none of my business and thinking the best of everyone always,  I assume they have a good reason, a reason I don't need to know.  I don't fall into despair that all of Orthodoxy is falling down because I observed someone eat a fried egg on the wrong day.

My advice to the OP is if he ever does become Orthodox he ask his priest for instructions for fasting and follow these instructions and not try to come up with something stricter for himself,  which might be a trap he could fall into.  Obedience to one's priest is probably better for one's salvation than a self-guided fasting rule.  Just my opinion, of course and I mean no offense.

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