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Author Topic: Singing to Saints  (Read 1019 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 15, 2009, 12:31:18 AM »

I have gone to an Orthodox Church in America church for two weeks and love it. I have been interested in Orthodoxy for years, and plan on fully converting. However, a friend of mine from the Anglican Church in America has a problem with hymns to the Theotokos, or others (St. Symeon for example.) He understands about praying to Saints, and doesn't mind it, but he says "why should I take time out of praising my Saviour to sing to people no better than us?" I am not sure how to answer this, while I have come from a Protestant background where we did not sing to the Theotokos, I don't mind it. He was saying it's no better to sing to Saints, than it is to sing the worst Protestant praise music.

So that's the backstory. When he says worship is not the place to sing to the Saints, and why should we people during the service instead of God, how do I defend the Akathist and the Hymn to St. Symeon?
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 01:18:42 AM »

he says "why should I take time out of praising my Saviour to sing to people no better than us?"

They are better than us. Saints are regarded as such for reasons. They are with Christ, fully glorified and deified.

주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 01:46:09 AM »

Questions like this are based on a utilitarian viewpoint that seems to only be present in modern religion. The idea of time being used in the most "efficient" way--usually thought in terms of the ever-minimalistic "God and me" set up--is a non-starter from the get-go; "using time wisely" in Orthodoxy is full immersion in the life of salvation, which includes the lives of the saints, the greatest of all saints being the Mother of God.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul
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Greek Orthodox

« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 02:02:18 AM »

Also the Saints are who they are because of how God worked through them and how they participated with God. So in reality we are glorifying God for his participation.

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 04:24:02 AM »

Reading  Akathists to a Saints on a regular basis can put you under their protection when you are in dire situation.  Their prayers can help you pass through toll houses when you die or when you are brought before Lord for judgement of your soul they can plead for your salvation.

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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us

« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 04:39:01 AM »

I don't see praying to the Saints as stealing time from God.  We are happy to spend an hour with a friend in a coffee shop without feeling we are stealing God time.
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 12:01:19 PM »

Have your friend read the toparion and Kontakion to the Saint.  They usually tell us several things:
1) the story of the Saint and why he or she is a saint.
2) The presence of the Saint in Heaven
3) The role as a fellow intercessor or prayer partner asking Christ Our Lord to save us.

Here is the Troparion and Kontakion of St Vladimir Equal to the Apostles observed today his feasts day from the OCA website www.oca.org :

Troparion - Tone 4

Holy Prince Vladimir,
you were like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
By sending servants to Constantinople for the Orthodox Faith, you found Christ, the priceless pearl.
He appointed you to be another Paul,
washing away in baptism your physical and spiritual blindness.
We celebrate your memory,
asking you to pray for all Orthodox Christians and for us, your spiritual children.

Kontakion - Tone 8

Most glorious Vladimir, in your old age you imitated the great apostle Paul:
he abandoned childish things, while you forsook the idolatry of your youth.
Together with him you reached the fullness of divine wisdom:
You were adorned with the purity of holy baptism.
Now as you stand before Christ our Savior, pray that all Orthodox Christians may be saved.


Your brother in Christ ,
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 01:44:48 PM »

Thanks everyone. I sent him some quotes of what you said. I think I'm just a rare exception of a (former) Protestant who wanted to become Orthodox, and didn't question every little thing the Orthodox do. But now that I'm going to an Orthodox church, people like my friend are making me defend things like this, which I a still learning about. Hopefully he will understand!
beer-bellied tellitubby
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Zechariah 11:7

« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 02:02:04 PM »

It sounds to me as if God is using this person to educate you on your new faith. Be on your guard. Do not let his questions make you uncomfortable but look at them in this light and you will be an instrument for His purpose.
I love being a tool. Cheesy

I believe, help Thou my unbelief!! - St. John of Krondstadt


 Witega: "Bishops and Metropolitans and even Patriarchs have been removed under decidedly questionable circumstances before but the Church moves on."
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 02:17:21 PM »

I don't see praying to the Saints as stealing time from God.  We are happy to spend an hour with a friend in a coffee shop without feeling we are stealing God time.

I love this comparison!  Father, You hit the nail right on the head!


Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
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