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Author Topic: “Observing/trampling down” Halloween… Orthodox style  (Read 8759 times) Average Rating: 0
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_Seraphim_
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« on: October 15, 2008, 09:55:16 PM »

This is how we observed/trampled down Halloween last year (2007):


see all the photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31433216@N02/

As people approached our front door they saw Orthodox icons, smelled Orthodox incense, and heard Orthodox chant (playing in a stereo hidden under the table with the large Archangel Michael icon).  Then, after they knocked, the door opened and they received pieces of organic chocolate as we openly blessed them with the sign of the cross and said: “God bless you!”  The reaction of young children was absolutely precious (reverential awe and wonder)…….. while the reaction of adolescents/adults was pretty much hilarious! (complete shock and reluctant admittance of obvious ignorance)  Grin Cheesy Wink Cool


Here is the caption from the first picture:
Quote
An Orthodox Christian household "observes Halloween"... which is another way of saying "tramples down Halloween"

Orthodox Paschal (Resurrection) hymn:

"When Thou did submit Thyself unto death, O Thou deathless and immortal One...
when Thou did destroy hell by Thy conquering power...
and when thou did raise the dead from beneath the earth...
all the powers of heaven did cry aloud unto Thee:
O Christ, Giver of life, glory to Thee!"
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 01:22:58 AM »

lol...okay...

In all seriousness, wouldn't that be counterproductive to the evangelical work of the Church?
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 01:35:14 AM »

lol...okay...

In all seriousness, wouldn't that be counterproductive to the evangelical work of the Church?

Not to mention inappropriate and presumptuous for a layman to offer blessings...but hey, to each their own.
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2008, 01:36:15 AM »

With all due respect ... I don't like the idea.   Sad

The Orthodox faith is being exploited.  Christ said "Come and See" not "Let me shove it down your throat."

How is the Paschal Hymn relevant to Halloween?   Huh  Not that I care about Halloween except that I have twisted the Orthodox faith to satisfy my own agendas in the past which NEVER worked.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 01:52:44 AM »

It'll definitely keep the witches away!   Smiley

Can't a layman bless food?
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 01:59:03 AM »

I like the idea. Halloween was an Irish Pagan festival of the dead and Seraphim has shown an Orthodox response to how we Orthodox view death. Death has been destroyed, Christ is the Victor!

Lighted pumpkins were used by the ancients to scare evil spirits away as a part of the pagan festival. Well, I am sure icons of our friends, the saints, candles, incense, chanting and blessings are much more effective in that regard. You never know, if Orthodoxy takes a hold in America, Seraphim and others like him could be leading the way to a cultural transformation of the holiday.

And Seraphim you have done so beautifully! I love the candles and icons...I checked out your other photos...they are really lovely!

As far as the comment about, "shoving the faith down someone's throat," I would respond with, no one forces a child to come up to a door to receive candy and there is no law saying how one must celebrate this annual event. I, for one, would love to receive a blessing and some organic chocolate candy...wish you lived on our street!

GIC, I bless my children each night by signing the cross over their heads.
Have I broken some sort of canon law when I do that?  laugh
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 04:19:40 AM »

If this had been the first time I had encountered Orthodoxy, there never would have been a second time.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 09:08:35 AM »

Seraphim, This is really an expansion and more open approach at proselyting by presence, beyond those I quoted  from a article I wrote for a parish newsletter in it I noted some practices by some Orthodox Christians in Central Texas:
1)  One Greek family has an icon of "All the Saints," showing the "great cloud of witnesses." They put it outside their door on Halloween with a white Vigil candle burning before it. When the kids come trick-or-treating they explain what the icon is all about and give a small homemade treat.
2)   Another Convert family decorates their home with autumn leaves, pumpkins and cornstalks, lights their porch and give out a lollipop with a small  strip of paper attached that simply says  “ Jesus won’t trick you He will treat you!” and then the scripture of John 3:16.
3)   Another family  does not decorate but gives a bag of sweets with an invitation to visit their local parish.

It is interesting to note that all three of these families have had neighbors visit the local Orthodox Church as a result of this personal  evangelical outreach for Orthodoxy. Kudos to your family's efforts  Seraphim!

Tamara, the practice of parents and family members blessing each other with a blessing cross is found in both  the Greek and Russian traditions.  I was taught in my Catechism class  years ago, that we do not bless with our hands, except to cross ourselves or assist our children in learning how to cross themselves, as the blessing with the hands doing the cross on others is a charism of the ordained presbyters and bishops.

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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2008, 09:59:50 AM »

I dunno, Tamara...it just seems tacky. For me, while I have come to love Orthodoxy, this display is on the same plane as an evangelical trying to keep evil Halloween at bay by putting light-up Christian symbols on the front lawn, so the trick-or-treaters KNOW that Satan aint welcome there and that THIS house is very religious, and "have you been going to church and saying your prayers at every mealtime?" I'm not saying that Seraphim and his wife deserve the title of the crazy religious couple of the neighborhood....please, far from it... I personally think it would have been better if there was just one or two Orthodox icons on the door. It's reality that people who put a lot of stock in visual religious images are sometimes seen as religious fanatics, whether they are or not.
I would have been fine with Seraphim putting, say, candy and a little orthodox icon in the kids' bags, but all the religious paraphenalia on the door might be unnerving and ungentle for parents and kids. It's ungentle in that people can see they've become a target for converting. Plus, people might not feel very welcome if they don't happen to share Seraphim's religious beliefs and they have to face all these religious symbols on a day that many religious people find to be evil. It might make potential converts unfairly feel like they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar or something. Wink
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2008, 10:40:23 AM »

I dunno, Tamara...it just seems tacky. For me, while I have come to love Orthodoxy, this display is on the same plane as an evangelical trying to keep evil Halloween at bay by putting light-up Christian symbols on the front lawn, so the trick-or-treaters KNOW that Satan aint welcome there and that THIS house is very religious, and "have you been going to church and saying your prayers at every mealtime?" I'm not saying that Seraphim and his wife deserve the title of the crazy religious couple of the neighborhood....please, far from it... I personally think it would have been better if there was just one or two Orthodox icons on the door. It's reality that people who put a lot of stock in visual religious images are sometimes seen as religious fanatics, whether they are or not.
I would have been fine with Seraphim putting, say, candy and a little orthodox icon in the kids' bags, but all the religious paraphenalia on the door might be unnerving and ungentle for parents and kids. It's ungentle in that people can see they've become a target for converting. Plus, people might not feel very welcome if they don't happen to share Seraphim's religious beliefs and they have to face all these religious symbols on a day that many religious people find to be evil. It might make potential converts unfairly feel like they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar or something. Wink

But then if someone is offended by all of icons no one is forcing them to go up to the door and ring the bell. It is the choice of the parents to decide. Seraphim isn't standing on the side walk and shoving icons or pamphlets into anyone's hands so I would disagree.

A few blocks a way from my home, a lesbian couple have always had multiple bumper stickers on their cars promoting gay marriage. With this election, all kinds of bumper stickers, window and lawn signs have popped up on their lawn and house windows pointing out their belief in gay marriage, rainbow families, etc etc. It is private property and no one disturbs their messages, in fact, many of the straight couples who live around them have put up signs for this election in support of gay marriage due to the proselytizing efforts of this couple. No one has criticized their public display of the gay lifestyle even though not all neighbors in our area agree with their beliefs.



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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2008, 11:13:15 AM »

Good work, Seraphim!  The pagans have been shoving the devil's festival down our throats for years.  I love your response!
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 11:38:37 AM »

Good work, Seraphim!  The pagans have been shoving the devil's festival down our throats for years.  I love your response!

I dunno... I am kinda undecided here. I see both sides. On the one hand, I, too, felt for a number of years that Halloween is exaggerated and shoved down our throats by the anti-Christian crowd. On the other hand, I am not sure that in that neighborhood, there will be any reaction to what Seraphim did with his home, except maybe "wow, we used to have our evangelical wacos and now we also have some Eastern religious wacos." Or maybe Seraphim will make a few converts who would join the Orthodox Church and continue to turn it into another evangelical group, just with icons and prayers to the saints...
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 12:45:30 PM »

Good job, Seraphim.  Very nice baptism of the day.  Even gave a nod to the western liturgical calendar.  Cool beans.

If this had been the first time I had encountered Orthodoxy, there never would have been a second time.

Wow.  Why the harsh words, pray tell?  What is so infuriating about it that it deserves immediate condemnation?  What horrible crime has he committed? 

Not to mention inappropriate and presumptuous for a layman to offer blessings...but hey, to each their own.

My priest said that making the cross over my girls with my fingers done like I do when I make the cross over myself is perfectly fine.  Like you say, though, to each (bishop) his own; we'll defer to our respective authorities on that one.

On the other hand, I am not sure that in that neighborhood, there will be any reaction to what Seraphim did with his home, except maybe "wow, we used to have our evangelical wacos and now we also have some Eastern religious wacos."

Or, Seraphim might do what he does quietly and unassumingly, offering but not pushing.  And someone might actually come away having learned something.  And might think about God and His holy ones.  And a seed might get planted which might grow to bear good, lasting fruit.  Openmindedness is called for here; perhaps folks just need to get a thicker skin and take something in the (gentle!) spirit in which it was intended (not criticizing you specifically here, Heorhij).

Or maybe Seraphim will make a few converts who would join the Orthodox Church and continue to turn it into another evangelical group, just with icons and prayers to the saints...

Or maybe he will start a custom that takes a pre-existing cultural celebration, find the Orthodox proclamation of truth within it, and celebrate it.  Ss. Cyril and Methodius and Ss. Herman and Innocent of Alaska did similar things with pagan folk traditions.

Honestly -- just because a lot of folks who first came to this country didn't know much about holidays, culture, etc when they first got here (and who could blame them?) doesn't mean that we can or should continue in a habit of cultural disengagement because someone, somewhere, might be too easily offended at an innocent gesture.  We can't hide behind the attitude of "Well, it's not something we've been doing, so it's not something we ever SHOULD be doing, ESPECIALLY if those inherently wacky and ne'er-E'ER-do-well evangelicals have been known to do something similar."
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2008, 01:21:31 PM »

If this had been the first time I had encountered Orthodoxy, there never would have been a second time.

Wow.  Why the harsh words, pray tell?  What is so infuriating about it that it deserves immediate condemnation?  What horrible crime has he committed? 
I would have seen it as an over-the-top display of religiosity designed to prove that Seraphim does not approve of Halloween. I'd have lumped him in with those people who gave out Testamints and tracts every year.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2008, 01:46:46 PM »

Great job, Seraphim! Smiley  You've been able to take a pagan celebration and baptize it (as brother DavidBryan phrased it).  What other pagan symbols can we point to that Christ has overtaken?  Oh yeah; THE CROSS! Wink 
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 01:50:32 PM »

Delta Voodoo gives me the chills. How about a simple Christs Descent into Hades into a carved pumpkin with a lighted candle inside it. How about only a cross on the door with a pretentious owner reciting "Indeed he is risen, Indeed he is Risen! after they ask "Trick or Treat". Just a thought to lower the proselytizers Volume down a bit.
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2008, 02:05:44 PM »

I would have seen it as an over-the-top display of religiosity designed to prove that Seraphim does not approve of Halloween. I'd have lumped him in with those people who gave out Testamints and tracts every year.

Why would you have done this automatically instead of asking him directly what his motives were?  Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 03:41:56 PM »

Is there a general consensus among Eastern Orthodox Christians that we chould not participate in Halloween celebrations?
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2008, 03:45:49 PM »

Delta Voodoo gives me the chills. How about a simple Christs Descent into Hades into a carved pumpkin with a lighted candle inside it. How about only a cross on the door with a pretentious owner reciting "Indeed he is risen, Indeed he is Risen! after they ask "Trick or Treat". Just a thought to lower the proselytizers Volume down a bit.
Who's proselytizing whom here?  Anyway, all Seraphim did was share with us how he and his family addressed Holloween and the next thing we know he's being castigated as some sort of maniacal, crazed zealot 'shoving' his views 'down others' throats'....by his own brother's no less.  He didn't ask what you think, nor did he say that you should agree with him.  Talk about a beat down!  Have we forgotten that we're all REAL people here?  What ever happened to patience and common courtesy?  Or, dare I say it, Christian love?  
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2008, 03:52:02 PM »

Quote
Is there a general consensus among Eastern Orthodox Christians that we chould not participate in Halloween celebrations?

Nah, no consensus. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2008, 04:01:49 PM »

The general consensus of this forum seems to be that it's OK to celebrate Halloween.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12953.0.html

The worldwide consensus seems to be against Halloween.
Sources
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www.antiochian.org
www.goarch.org
www.oca.org

as well as various Orthodox priests' blogs.

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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2008, 04:10:31 PM »

God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

As a refresher, The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:11-14) contrasts the humility of the Publican in asking God to be merciful on Him, a sinner vs. the pompous Pharisee who brags about fasting and tithing.

God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2008, 04:41:08 PM »

^EXACTLY. Thank you, SolEX01.
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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2008, 04:42:26 PM »

Delta Voodoo gives me the chills. How about a simple Christs Descent into Hades into a carved pumpkin with a lighted candle inside it. How about only a cross on the door with a pretentious owner reciting "Indeed he is risen, Indeed he is Risen! after they ask "Trick or Treat". Just a thought to lower the proselytizers Volume down a bit.
Who's proselytizing whom here?  Anyway, all Seraphim did was share with us how he and his family addressed Holloween and the next thing we know he's being castigated as some sort of maniacal, crazed zealot 'shoving' his views 'down others' throats'....by his own brother's no less.  He didn't ask what you think, nor did he say that you should agree with him.  Talk about a beat down!  Have we forgotten that we're all REAL people here?  What ever happened to patience and common courtesy?  Or, dare I say it, Christian love?  

But Gabriel, we can love our brother Seraphim and still disapprove of what he is doing.
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2008, 05:29:50 PM »


But Gabriel, we can love our brother Seraphim and still disapprove of what he is doing.
Yes, you're right.  We can and sometimes should disapprove from time to time.  Heck, sometimes we should even voice our disapproval.  In fact, you and some others voiced their concerns with kind opposition.  Others, however, preferred to forego charity and instead took the low, crass route.

We can do better than this.
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2008, 05:36:44 PM »

Yes, you're right.  We can and sometimes should disapprove from time to time.  Heck, sometimes we should even voice our disapproval.  In fact, you and some others voiced their concerns with kind opposition.  Others, however, preferred to forego charity and instead took the low, crass route.

We can do better than this.

What is your point?  I didn't see anyone taking the "low, crass route." 

So, _Seraphim_ is now offering organic chocolates vs. the Water of Eternal Life Christ offered to the Samaritan Woman?  Orthodox Evangelizing has spiraled out of control and unfortunately, there is no way to "put the genie back in the bottle." because everyone does His/Her own thing.   Huh  Huh
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2008, 05:38:07 PM »

I would have seen it as an over-the-top display of religiosity designed to prove that Seraphim does not approve of Halloween. I'd have lumped him in with those people who gave out Testamints and tracts every year.

Why would you have done this automatically instead of asking him directly what his motives were?  Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?
Because those to whom I had given the benefit of the doubt previously have given me every reason not to have doubted. I had left the Protestant church over showy antics like this without real substance. I would have seen the showy antics and connected them with the lack of substance in the Protestant church, and assumed that he also was proselytizing under false pretenses. One form of Christianity was as bad as another; they were all liars and con artists.
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2008, 05:47:54 PM »


What is your point?  I didn't see anyone taking the "low, crass route." 
Look closer.
 
So, _Seraphim_ is now offering organic chocolates vs. the Water of Eternal Life Christ offered to the Samaritan Woman?
Why are you making it an X vs Y thing when one has nothing to do with the other?  The kids come knocking expecting candy so he gives them candy plus a little something extra.

Orthodox Evangelizing has spiraled out of control and unfortunately, there is no way to "put the genie back in the bottle." because everyone does His/Her own thing.   Huh  Huh
Evangelization is a pretty broad subject.  Is there only one way to evangelize?  How can we be sure he didn't have his priest's blessing to do this?  Simply because he neglected to include this in the OP?   And how is handing out candy in front of home icons "spiraling out of control" please?
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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2008, 06:23:57 PM »

It'll definitely keep the witches away!   Smiley

Can't a layman bless food?

According to custom, no. If you consider the prayers over food said by a priest vs. a layman you will note they are quite different, with the latter not including a formal blessing.
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« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2008, 06:31:58 PM »

Seraphim

If I may be honest; I do not agree with your approach.

I am completely against any recognition of any kind for this day of evil.

My extreme objection to this day offends most people so I was not going to post on this thread or similar thread anymore.

It is not good but; I have no patience for the myriad excuses that people use to justify participating in this day of folly, cherade and Booh!

But I am quite intrigued with what you showed us.

The TV is full of horror movies and ghost stories, the stores are packed with skeletons and ghost costumes and all kinds of images of goblins, demons and freakish gools.

The images are lately extreme and abound. It is everywhere.

The lawns in my nieghborhood of late are littered, cluttered with tomb stones and the porches and windows are choked with orange lites, cob webs, broom sticks and all other manner of witches and goblins common to pagan worship, satan and darkness....the icons of the devil. The pumpkins are carved in the most bizzare and ghastly images with the candles burning inside them make for a really scarey seen....Boooh!

I have to pass all this non-sense and deal with it daily.

But if I passed your house I would feel that I had seen something wonderful "a sight for sore eyes".

It would be a breath of fresh air to see the Icons and hear the chanting amid the baphoonary. A real contrast. I would stop and get out of my car to admire the seen to soak it all in.

I commend you Seraphim for being contious of and brave enough to state (albeit quite creatively)what is wrong with embracing wickedness even if it is only 'symbolic' in nature. Your example proved that 'images' do carry real meaning. This goes a long way. Note how many negative reactions to your house photos on this thread and we are 'orthodox'. These same negative reactions are not expressed on those who embellish the day with all the witches, ghosts and goblins. We let our kids embrace all that.

The point here is reaction!

We see that people (we) think it is OK since "we don't really believe in witches nor worship the evil".

"Its just for fun....you know!....the kids and all!"

"Its cute!"...

"Anyway I dress my kids up as angels"..."and we do stuff at the church"...

These are what we all say to pass out of awareness what is reaslly the deeper issue of this day.

Why dress our kids up as angels and do 'stuff' at the church on a day of pagan festivity and darkness?

Beats me!

Is it because we know deep down that it is a bad day for us Christians?

I say avoid the day altogether....PERIOD!

The Seraphim approach to participating is challenging indeed; but is postive in more ways than what we are doing already. I would rather my kids see and embrace that than all the other images that they are confronted with.

It is a interesting reaction to a very unfortunate tradition.
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« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2008, 06:33:41 PM »

Gabriel, did I come off as crass? Undecided If so, I hadn't meant to come off that way. If Seraphim and his wife made others see Orthodoxy in a positive light, then kudos to him. It's just it would have put me off personally to see so many religious items on someone's door. Smiley I meant no offense, if offense was taken.
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« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2008, 06:58:36 PM »

GabrieltheCelt

Quote
The worldwide consensus seems to be against Halloween.
Sources
www.orthodoxinfo.com
www.antiochian.org
www.goarch.org
www.oca.org

Could you give more specific links? I didn't find anything on the Greek and OCA sites against Halloween, and on the Antiochian site I actually found a page of pictures from a Halloween Parade in 2005.
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« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2008, 07:01:04 PM »

 
Quote
.... and on the Antiochian site I actually found a page of pictures from a Halloween Parade in 2005 (a suprising number of the kids were dressed as witches).


Ewwww.
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« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2008, 07:06:28 PM »

I don't think Seraphim's display would be off-putting to me. I'm always intrigued by religious symbolism of any stripe; I happily accept tracts from the busy missionary Lubavitchers and am intrigued to  watch their Hannukah parades as they drive slowly down the street with Jewish religious music blaring from their mini-vans. I befriend my Muslim friends and am interested in their religious faith, beautiful hijabs, etc. I think we should be careful of judging Seraphim here, because God alone sees the hearts and intents of man. There have been many times I've judged someone harshly-because God was convicting me of my own lukewarmness of heart.

But I have a question about one of the icons-the square reddish one on the bottom right hand panel. It appears to have several eyes on it, and I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before. Can anyone enlighten me as to what this represents?

P.S. I've just checked out the Antiochian Halloween Party pictures, and can only say I'd far rather be confronted with Seraphim's display than the terrifying images at the Halloween party. I know I would feel very uncomfortable in such an environment. I'm thankful, very thankful, to attend a Russian parish where such Halloween parties would never be held.
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« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2008, 07:09:57 PM »

GabrieltheCelt

Quote
The worldwide consensus seems to be against Halloween.
Sources
www.orthodoxinfo.com
www.antiochian.org
www.goarch.org
www.oca.org

Could you give more specific links? I didn't find anything on the Greek and OCA sites against Halloween, and on the Antiochian site I actually found a page of pictures from a Halloween Parade in 2005.

Don't the Synods of the OCA GOA and the Antiochians read OCnet? How would they know what real Orthodoxy is then? Cheesy
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« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2008, 07:26:44 PM »

Quote
But I have a question about one of the icons-the square reddish one on the bottom right hand panel. It appears to have several eyes on it, and I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before. Can anyone enlighten me as to what this represents?

Rosehip, this image is called "The All-seeing Eye of God", and it arose in Russia in about the 16th century. It is an attempt to be a didactic icon, made with pious intent, but, unfortunately, is not an iconographically canonical image. I am happy to post more on this, but, briefly put, iconography should depict what is revealed about God, and not an imagined, metaphysical version, which is what this image is.
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« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2008, 07:35:41 PM »

Quote
But I have a question about one of the icons-the square reddish one on the bottom right hand panel. It appears to have several eyes on it, and I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before. Can anyone enlighten me as to what this represents?

Rosehip, this image is called "The All-seeing Eye of God", and it arose in Russia in about the 16th century. It is an attempt to be a didactic icon, made with pious intent, but, unfortunately, is not an iconographically canonical image. I am happy to post more on this, but, briefly put, iconography should depict what is revealed about God, and not an imagined, metaphysical version, which is what this image is.

Thanks, LBK! I'm not wishing to hijack this thread, but I do appreciate the explanation. I'm not sure if I would have included such an image on the display as well as another one-a blue one, second from top. It's a bit hard to determine what it is exactly, but for some reason, it reminds me of some sort of Masonic symbol (I am not one of those rabid Masonic-haters, but am at a loss as to any other way of describing it).
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« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2008, 08:05:04 PM »

Rosehip, this image is called "The All-seeing Eye of God", and it arose in Russia in about the 16th century. It is an attempt to be a didactic icon, made with pious intent, but, unfortunately, is not an iconographically canonical image. I am happy to post more on this, but, briefly put, iconography should depict what is revealed about God, and not an imagined, metaphysical version, which is what this image is.

Yes, thank you for sharing that information.  Very good to know.  I will make sure to leave this icon out of any future public icon displays.
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« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2008, 08:08:03 PM »

Thanks, LBK! I'm not wishing to hijack this thread, but I do appreciate the explanation. I'm not sure if I would have included such an image on the display as well as another one-a blue one, second from top. It's a bit hard to determine what it is exactly, but for some reason, it reminds me of some sort of Masonic symbol (I am not one of those rabid Masonic-haters, but am at a loss as to any other way of describing it).

It is a close-up of a Byzantine icon (probably of Theophany) which depicts the Dove of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2008, 09:16:29 PM »

In addition to the photos from the Antiochian Archdiocese website, I know a Greek Orthodox Church in Long Island (under GOARCH) that similarly had Halloween parties for children as well, with similar costumes.  I was personally invited to attend and chaperone, but I gave the excuse that I was studying.

If I was in the neighborhood to see _Seraphim_'s door, I would smile with comfort, knock and introduce myself as a fellow Orthodox (while my niece and nephew would probably be dressed up as rock star and vampire respectively).  Nevertheless, I would also worry I would send the wrong message to those outside the Orthodox Christian understanding (I could imagine some devout Catholics would smile and knock).  Others can be repulsed by the icons.  I want people to be attracted, not repulsed.  I don't want people to bunch us up with people like the God Warrior lady.  And that's my only issue.  In a community with Orthodox Christians, it's welcome.  In a community with apathetic religious views, I think when opening the door, I'd like people to notice INSIDE MY HOUSE I have a HUGE Theotokos with Christ on her lap icon (I'll try to get a picture of that as soon as our door way is fixed  Angry).  It shows not only a devout Orthodox Christian who loves children too much to spoil them with the candy they love to eat, but also the humble Orthodox Christian who does not try to shun people away or shock them.

God bless.
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« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2008, 09:33:45 PM »

Could you give more specific links? I didn't find anything on the Greek and OCA sites against Halloween, and on the Antiochian site I actually found a page of pictures from a Halloween Parade in 2005.

This kid gets my vote for best costume:

[/img]
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« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2008, 09:35:30 PM »

ok...I guess the site linked has embedded resizing...scroll to the right...the Antiochians really need to find someone else to design their website. Wink
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« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2008, 09:39:45 PM »

I dunno....he looks like he might be dressed as an American beer.  If so, he is a no-go at this station.
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« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2008, 12:44:20 AM »

Look closer.

Hmmm - calling me out.  I stand by what I said....

Why are you making it an X vs Y thing when one has nothing to do with the other?  The kids come knocking expecting candy so he gives them candy plus a little something extra.

Oh, it is an X vs. Y thing because the kids are being exposed to something beyond their comprehension.  What you bring up is beyond the topic on this forum because Orthodox Christians are humble and the OP is not an example of humility and the Orthodox Faith cannot be distilled down to an organic chocolate, icons on the door and Byzantine Music coming from under the table....

Evangelization is a pretty broad subject.  Is there only one way to evangelize?  How can we be sure he didn't have his priest's blessing to do this?  Simply because he neglected to include this in the OP?   And how is handing out candy in front of home icons "spiraling out of control" please?

The Saints didn't need to offer candy to those who martyred them.  The Samaritan Woman could have told Jesus to take a hike.  I can choose not to trick or treat at _Seraphim_'s house regardless of my faith.  All of these choices involve free-will and each choice involves consequences, which is my point.
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« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2008, 09:44:03 AM »

Don't the Synods of the OCA GOA and the Antiochians read OCnet? How would they know what real Orthodoxy is then? Cheesy

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