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« on: May 24, 2012, 09:33:00 PM »

What does the Church believe about the Ascension?

If Jesus literally rose up... why? Why would he fly up in the air like superman? Certainly, Heaven isn't above us.
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 09:49:28 PM »

Here's a link to the hymnography for the feast:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/assumpti.htm

In short, Christ ascended (went up) into heaven, fully in both His natures. He did not discard His human nature or body.
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 10:59:15 PM »

If Jesus literally rose up... why? Why would he fly up in the air like superman? Certainly, Heaven isn't above us.

No, but the cosmology of the day taught that heaven is above us. Jesus could have simply disappeared, but he ascended for the sake of human understanding. (That's how I've heard it explained, anyway.) It also underscores Christ's glorification and boldly illustrates that he is enthroned beside the Father, and that he truly is Messiah.

It's easy to ascribe a lot of symbolic meaning into things, but maybe another facet is as simple as this: Christ departed in a dramatic fashion so the Apostles would understand that this was final, that he was not going to suddenly appear again (as he did several times during Paschaltide).

Or maybe it's just another mystery...
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 11:05:00 PM »

What does the Church believe about the Ascension?

If Jesus literally rose up...
I haven't read any verse that uses the word "literally".
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2012, 11:07:59 PM »

In the iconography it is within a mandorla.

Only those with eyes to see would have seen such a thing.

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 11:21:02 PM »

What does the Church believe about the Ascension?

If Jesus literally rose up...
I haven't read any verse that uses the word "literally".

Then you might wish to look at the following verses from the hymnography I linked to:

The Lord has been taken up into heaven, that He may send the Advocate to the world. The heavens have prepared His throne; clouds His ascent. Angels marvel to see a Man high above them. The Father receives Him whom He holds eternally in His bosom. The Holy Spirit orders all his Angels, ’Lift up our gates, you rulers’. All you nations, clap your hands: for Christ has gone up where He was before.

Lord, at Your Ascension, the Cherubim were amazed as they contemplated You, the God who is seated upon them, ascending on the clouds; and we glorify You, for Your mercy is kind. Glory to You!

Lord Christ, giver of life, as Your Apostles saw you borne up on clouds, filled with lamentations of tears of dejection, grieving they said, ’Master, do not make us Your servants orphans, whom through pity You have loved as You are compassionate; but, as You promised, send us your all-holy Spirit to guide our souls with light’.

Lord, as You completed the mystery of Your dispensation and took Your Disciples with You, You took them up onto the mount of Olives; and behold, You passed through the firmament of heaven. For me You became poor like me, You also ascended whence You had not been parted; send forth Your all-holy Spirit, to enlighten our souls.

In ascending to heaven, Lord, whence You also descended, do not leave us orphans; may Your Spirit come, bringing peace to the world; show to the children of mankind deeds of Your power, O Lord who loves mankind.

Verse: God has gone up with a shout of joy; the Lord to the sound of the trumpet.

When you came to the mount of Olives, O Christ, to fulfil the Father’s good pleasure, the Angels of heaven were amazed and those beneath the earth shuddered in fear; the Disciples stood by trembling with joy as You spoke to them; as a throne a waiting cloud had been prepared opposite them, while heaven opening its gates appeared in beauty, and the earth reveals its hidden vaults, so that Adam’s descent was made known and his ascent again. But Your footsteps were raised up, as if by a hand, while Your mouth was heard loudly giving a blessing; a cloud received You and heaven took You within. You wrought this great and marvellous work, Lord, for the salvation of our souls.

O Lord, when in Your goodness You had fulfilled the mystery hidden from ages and generations, You came with Your Disciples to the Mount of Olives, having with You her who bore You, the Maker and Creator of all things; for it was necessary that she who had suffered so greatly as a mother at Your passion, should also be filled with joy beyond measure at the glory of Your flesh. We too, sharing in the joy of Your ascent to heaven, O Master, glorify Your great mercy which has come to us.


And that's just from Vespers. Matins continues the constant theme of Christ's rising to heaven. And this, from the Synaxarion:

When the moment came for the assumption, He led them out to the Mount of Olives (so called because it was planted with many olive trees). He talked with them of the preaching to the ends of the earth and also of His perpetual kingdom that was to come, and when He saw that they were about to ask him what was fitting, His most pure Mother being present also, He brought Angels to show them his ascent to heaven. And indeed, as they watched, He was lifted up from among them and a cloud received Him. And so, escorted by the Angels, who exhorted one another to raise the doors of heaven and were amazed at scarlet of His flesh from His blood, He ascended and took His seat at the right hand of the Father, making His flesh divine and, I dare to say, making it equal to God. Through it we have been changed, now that the ancient enmity has been abolished. However, Angels appeared to the Apostles, in the form of men, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand amazed, straining your gaze to heaven? Him whom you see in flesh, God Jesus, will come like this again in flesh. But not as before, in poverty and unknown, but with great glory, as you now see Him, escorted by Angels’.

Then the Apostles, tired by gazing up, returned from the Mount of Olives, which is very near Jerusalem, about two thousand four hundred steps, for this is a Sabbath day’s journey. For so it was laid down by Moses as lawful to walk for this distance on Sabbath. Because the Tent of Witness was this number of steps distant from the Jewish camp. So it was possible for worshippers to go this far on Sabbath and not to walk further. And so it called a Sabbath day’s journey.

The icon of this feast clearly expresses the rising heavenward of Christ.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 11:30:24 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 11:28:08 PM »

Only those with eyes to see would have seen such a thing.

The Fr. Hopko Mandorla Hypothesis is tenuous at best, and a bit of a cop-out on difficult issues. He never qualifies the assertion with any patristic president or notes from iconographic theology.

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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 11:29:16 PM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 11:30:24 PM by Achronos » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2012, 12:52:50 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

Strange how it seems that every person including my Priest who I've read / speak on the issue says the same thing.

And they all ain't necessarily Fr. Thom supporters to put it charitably.

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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 12:56:00 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:

Quote
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureola

Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 12:56:57 AM »

LBK, what do you say?
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 12:57:57 AM »

Only those with eyes to see would have seen such a thing.

The Fr.  Hopko Mandorla Hypothesis is tenuous at best, and a bit of a cop-out on difficult issues.
What issues?

Titles added - MK
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 01:00:55 AM »

Jesus could have simply disappeared, but he ascended for the sake of human understanding. (That's how I've heard it explained, anyway.)
Makes the most sense to me.
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2012, 01:02:20 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:

Quote
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureola

Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.


I've seen it depicted in the iconography but it would be nice to see some patristics on it.
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2012, 01:06:06 AM »

What does the Church believe about the Ascension?

If Jesus literally rose up...
I haven't read any verse that uses the word "literally".

Then you might wish to look at the following verses from the hymnography I linked to:

The Lord has been taken up into heaven, that He may send the Advocate to the world. The heavens have prepared His throne; clouds His ascent. Angels marvel to see a Man high above them. The Father receives Him whom He holds eternally in His bosom. The Holy Spirit orders all his Angels, ’Lift up our gates, you rulers’. All you nations, clap your hands: for Christ has gone up where He was before.

Lord, at Your Ascension, the Cherubim were amazed as they contemplated You, the God who is seated upon them, ascending on the clouds; and we glorify You, for Your mercy is kind. Glory to You!

Lord Christ, giver of life, as Your Apostles saw you borne up on clouds, filled with lamentations of tears of dejection, grieving they said, ’Master, do not make us Your servants orphans, whom through pity You have loved as You are compassionate; but, as You promised, send us your all-holy Spirit to guide our souls with light’.

Lord, as You completed the mystery of Your dispensation and took Your Disciples with You, You took them up onto the mount of Olives; and behold, You passed through the firmament of heaven. For me You became poor like me, You also ascended whence You had not been parted; send forth Your all-holy Spirit, to enlighten our souls.

In ascending to heaven, Lord, whence You also descended, do not leave us orphans; may Your Spirit come, bringing peace to the world; show to the children of mankind deeds of Your power, O Lord who loves mankind.

Verse: God has gone up with a shout of joy; the Lord to the sound of the trumpet.

When you came to the mount of Olives, O Christ, to fulfil the Father’s good pleasure, the Angels of heaven were amazed and those beneath the earth shuddered in fear; the Disciples stood by trembling with joy as You spoke to them; as a throne a waiting cloud had been prepared opposite them, while heaven opening its gates appeared in beauty, and the earth reveals its hidden vaults, so that Adam’s descent was made known and his ascent again. But Your footsteps were raised up, as if by a hand, while Your mouth was heard loudly giving a blessing; a cloud received You and heaven took You within. You wrought this great and marvellous work, Lord, for the salvation of our souls.

O Lord, when in Your goodness You had fulfilled the mystery hidden from ages and generations, You came with Your Disciples to the Mount of Olives, having with You her who bore You, the Maker and Creator of all things; for it was necessary that she who had suffered so greatly as a mother at Your passion, should also be filled with joy beyond measure at the glory of Your flesh. We too, sharing in the joy of Your ascent to heaven, O Master, glorify Your great mercy which has come to us.


And that's just from Vespers. Matins continues the constant theme of Christ's rising to heaven. And this, from the Synaxarion:

When the moment came for the assumption, He led them out to the Mount of Olives (so called because it was planted with many olive trees). He talked with them of the preaching to the ends of the earth and also of His perpetual kingdom that was to come, and when He saw that they were about to ask him what was fitting, His most pure Mother being present also, He brought Angels to show them his ascent to heaven. And indeed, as they watched, He was lifted up from among them and a cloud received Him. And so, escorted by the Angels, who exhorted one another to raise the doors of heaven and were amazed at scarlet of His flesh from His blood, He ascended and took His seat at the right hand of the Father, making His flesh divine and, I dare to say, making it equal to God. Through it we have been changed, now that the ancient enmity has been abolished. However, Angels appeared to the Apostles, in the form of men, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand amazed, straining your gaze to heaven? Him whom you see in flesh, God Jesus, will come like this again in flesh. But not as before, in poverty and unknown, but with great glory, as you now see Him, escorted by Angels’.

Then the Apostles, tired by gazing up, returned from the Mount of Olives, which is very near Jerusalem, about two thousand four hundred steps, for this is a Sabbath day’s journey. For so it was laid down by Moses as lawful to walk for this distance on Sabbath. Because the Tent of Witness was this number of steps distant from the Jewish camp. So it was possible for worshippers to go this far on Sabbath and not to walk further. And so it called a Sabbath day’s journey.

The icon of this feast clearly expresses the rising heavenward of Christ.

And note it doesn't suggest crowds or people from afar were witnesses. Which is inline with what I suggest about the mandorla and Scripture.
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2012, 01:09:03 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:

Quote
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureola

Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.


I've seen it depicted in the iconography but it would be nice to see some patristics on it.

I am sure LBK can opine more to your point, but another probably bad American Priest:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/within-a-mandorla-2/
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2012, 01:11:10 AM »

Only those with eyes to see would have seen such a thing.

The Hopko Mandorla Hypothesis is tenuous at best, and a bit of a cop-out on difficult issues.
What issues?

And what precisely is the Mandorla hypothesis?
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2012, 01:13:11 AM »

A text I don't have but have borrowed:

http://www.amazon.com/Metamorphosis-Transfiguration-Byzantine-Theology-Iconography/dp/0881412953

Not by an "American Priest", but put out by SVS Press nonetheless. It covers in detail the development historically of the mandorla and theologically. You can probably use google books to get some decent info.

I am too tired and lazy to do so right now. But just something I thought of.
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2012, 01:47:13 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:

Quote
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureola

Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.


I've seen it depicted in the iconography but it would be nice to see some patristics on it.

I am sure LBK can opine more to your point, but another probably bad American Priest:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/within-a-mandorla-2/

How dare you.
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2012, 03:33:58 AM »

Oh btw does this mean the Mandorla puts the Eastern in Orthodoxy?

Also Fr. Stephen rules. I have his link in my profile (which is probably what you were poking fun at). I just saw a recent posting he made on the Secular Death: http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/a-secular-death/

Excellent stuff.
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2012, 04:27:02 AM »

Excellent stuff.

False advertising.
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« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2012, 05:25:02 AM »

LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.

You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:

Quote
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureola

Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.


I've seen it depicted in the iconography but it would be nice to see some patristics on it.

I am sure LBK can opine more to your point, but another probably bad American Priest:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/within-a-mandorla-2/

The primary meaning of the iconographic mandorla is that it represents the Uncreated Light and Glory of God. Its presence around Christ makes perfect sense in icons of the Resurrection and Transfiguration (for obvious reasons), of the Ascension (proclaiming the full glorification of Christ's human nature and reiteration of His divinity, something mentioned many times in the hymnography of the feast), of Christ in Majesty (Christ enthroned in heaven, surrounded by seraphim and cherubim), and in icons of the Mother of God of the Sign (Platytera, Znamennaya), where Christ Emmanuel is shown over His mother's body, signifying most clearly the Incarnation of God as a Divine Child.

The presence of Christ in a mandorla in icons of the Dormition signify the mystical appearance of Christ, accepting the soul of His mother, to escort it to heaven. Normally, the souls of saints, represented as a babe in swaddling-clothes, in their dormition icons are taken to heaven by angels. Given the exalted status of the Mother of God, it is only fitting and proper that Christ Himself takes her soul. A "mere" angel simply won't do. And His holding her soul is also a lovely counterpoint to the iconography and hymnography of the Mother of God holding her Son.

There are images of the Mother of God surrounded by a mandorla. Here is part of a post of mine from the "Canonical Icons" thread:

The Multiplier of Wheat shows the Mother of God surrounded by a mandorla, an oval motif of rays and stars which represents the uncreated light and glory of God. This is a major error in iconography, as the Virgin, while, of course, partaking of the glory and life of God, is not divine herself. She does not generate this light. Christ alone may be depicted in this light, such as in icons of Christ in Majesty (Christ enthroned, surrounded by the bodiless hosts), the Transfiguration, the Dormition of His mother (where He is seen holding her soul in the form of a babe in swaddling clothes, surely one of the loveliest of iconographic motifs, and truly loaded with theological meaning), and in icons of the Mother of God of the Sign, where He, as Christ Emmanuel, is surrounded by a circular mandorla over His mother's body as she holds her arms raised in supplication. By contrast, a mandorla is often seen in western images (paintings and statues) of the Virgin, notably in Our Lady of Guadelupe.
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« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2012, 04:08:48 PM »

Excellent stuff.

False advertising.
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