Author Topic: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day  (Read 123297 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« on: March 12, 2015, 10:53:01 PM »
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 11:09:18 PM »
I like how it calls them a batch like they're cookies ;D



I really love the Ethiopian sense of color. This is a Church in Bermuda.

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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 11:15:13 PM »
I like how it calls them a batch like they're cookies ;D

That's fairly common there.  I've heard it so much it doesn't register with me, but yeah.  We like cookie terms: batch, toll house, etc.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 11:20:33 PM »
I like how it calls them a batch like they're cookies ;D



I really love the Ethiopian sense of color. This is a Church in Bermuda.



Heaven on earth. Have Ethiopians always had such a strong sense of iconodulia? It looks like a Byzantine Church in a sense.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 11:21:20 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 11:37:07 PM »
I like how it calls them a batch like they're cookies ;D

That's fairly common there.  I've heard it so much it doesn't register with me, but yeah.  We like cookie terms: batch, toll house, etc.

Lord, sprinkle me with the sweet chocolate chips of repentance.
Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 11:38:07 PM »
I like how it calls them a batch like they're cookies ;D



I really love the Ethiopian sense of color. This is a Church in Bermuda.



Heaven on earth. Have Ethiopians always had such a strong sense of iconodulia? It looks like a Byzantine Church in a sense.

Every Ethiopian Church I've ever seen has had about as many icons, yeah.
Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 02:05:12 AM »
I'm going to love this thread.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 10:00:44 AM »
I hope it gets stickied.  I have some pics of rare OO iconography I should upload.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 10:11:26 AM »
This is totally a sticky thread.  :)

Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 10:16:32 AM »
You tha man, Salpy.   ;D
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 11:51:27 PM »
This photo was taken by Oshin D. Zakarian:




It's called "Darknight":

Quote
In a starry summer night of northern Iran near the border of Armenia, the lonely monastery of Dzordzor is photographed under the Milky Way. The monument which is a part of a group of Armenian monasteries in northwestern Iran, preserved as a World Heritage Site.


http://www.peopleofar.com/2012/08/11/darknight-by-oshin-d-zakarian/

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 12:53:54 AM »
I pray that ISIS never gets that far.
Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline Salpy

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« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 04:31:00 PM by Salpy »

Offline Theophania

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 04:29:21 PM »
Salpy, that picture is GORGEOUS. I'm saving that one. It made me think of Psalm 148:

 3  O praise ye him, both sun and moon,
        praise him, all stars of light.
  4  Ye heav'ns of heav'ns him praise, and floods
        above the heavens' height.
It's common knowledge that you secretly want to be born in early 17th century Russia.  As a serf or a royal, I know not.  Chances are serf.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2015, 04:29:44 PM »
I pray that ISIS never gets that far.

They've already gotten too far.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2015, 05:15:05 PM »
I pray that ISIS never gets that far.

They've already gotten too far.

OK guys, go poo elsewhere. 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline jobin219

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2015, 11:54:24 PM »






"As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children
and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity.
Do them with faith and devotion ".
-Saint Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthy (Parumala Thirumeni)

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2015, 12:22:34 AM »
The sense of aesthetic coordination alone makes we wish I was Malankara

 8) #swag
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2015, 08:17:41 AM »
Note that the entire Syriac Orthodox church uses those vestment and paraments designs these days; the purely Suroye congregations love them.  From what I understand it's a huge upgrade on the very plain vestments and paraments they had in the 18th century; there are reports of impoverished Syriac priests serving the liturgy barefoot as opposed to in the fine Indian-made liturgical slippers they use today, universally.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2015, 09:24:52 AM »
Well, nobody should have to go barefoot, but I can't deny you made me red in the face when I realized how much those "fine Indian slippers" must cost  :-[ :laugh:
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2015, 11:25:52 AM »
I've seen the price list of Pulickal Brothers, which was one of the larger manufacturers of Syriac vestments and one of the most expensive.  A complete set of their vestments including slippers costs roughly half of what Krista West, American Church Supply or Liturgix charge for a complete set of Byzantine Rite vestments, which do not include liturgical slippers.  You're talking $350-$400 max vs. $650-$1200 for Byzantine Rite depending on wuality of fabric.  But occasionally you can buy a Byzantine set for $300 on eBay from a Ukrainian tailor.  But suffice it to say Syriac style vestments are very inexpensive given their quality and beauty, probably because they're made in Kerala with fairly low labor costs although certainly not in "sweatshops" but by loving and enthusiastic Christians.  But Krista West living in the US for example is a devout and pious Christian tailor and she makes beautiful vestments, but she has expensive bills to pay.  Freelance Orthodox tailors in the Ukraine or Syria are motivated by the same passion but have lower bills.

The only thing that can get really astronomically expensive are Byzantine style mitres, and their Coptic and Armenian equivalents.  You can get these on the cheap, but if you want a mitre with real jewells you can spend $30,000.  Just take a look at the Liturgix catalog.  Also pectoral crosses, pangias and so on can be very pricy, but again this depends on how much ecclesiastical "bling" you want.  But I consider that where charitable demand is urgent, these are good investments for the church, in that the jewells and gold appreciate in value, and in a later humanitarian crisis can be sold at a profit, replaced with cheaper vestments, and the difference used to care for the afflicted.

But if you want to see liturgical simplicity and poverty, the Eucharistic vestments of Coptic monks and priest monks are definitive.  A simple white robe in place of the black, with a white hood (Eskimo in Syriac, I can't recall what the Copts call them) with gold crosses on the side, and that's it.  At St. Anthonys the priest monks don't even wear special insignia.  And all Coptic priests celebrate the liturgy in their stocking feet or barefoot, the notion of the liturgical slipper didn't reach them.

So moving back on topic, can we have some nice photos of Coptic hieromonks?  A while back someone posted on OC.net Father Lazarus celebrating the liturgy in the Cave of St. Anthony, Id love to see that again, and it would also show Volnutt what I'm talking about.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2015, 12:14:38 PM »
Oh, I've seen the documentary of Fr. Lazarus. He's a neat guy :) I feel bad for him with all the exposure he's gotten, he must get many unwanted visitors lol!

Thanks for the information!

Liturgix sounds like a crappy CCM band...
Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2015, 05:26:13 PM »
A church I know had a really bad experience with Liturgix. Naos in Athens is now their preferred vendor.
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2015, 06:10:50 PM »
I've seen the price list of Pulickal Brothers, which was one of the larger manufacturers of Syriac vestments and one of the most expensive.  A complete set of their vestments including slippers costs roughly half of what Krista West, American Church Supply or Liturgix charge for a complete set of Byzantine Rite vestments, which do not include liturgical slippers.  You're talking $350-$400 max vs. $650-$1200 for Byzantine Rite depending on wuality of fabric.  But occasionally you can buy a Byzantine set for $300 on eBay from a Ukrainian tailor.  But suffice it to say Syriac style vestments are very inexpensive given their quality and beauty, probably because they're made in Kerala with fairly low labor costs although certainly not in "sweatshops" but by loving and enthusiastic Christians.  But Krista West living in the US for example is a devout and pious Christian tailor and she makes beautiful vestments, but she has expensive bills to pay.  Freelance Orthodox tailors in the Ukraine or Syria are motivated by the same passion but have lower bills.

The only thing that can get really astronomically expensive are Byzantine style mitres, and their Coptic and Armenian equivalents.  You can get these on the cheap, but if you want a mitre with real jewells you can spend $30,000.  Just take a look at the Liturgix catalog.  Also pectoral crosses, pangias and so on can be very pricy, but again this depends on how much ecclesiastical "bling" you want.  But I consider that where charitable demand is urgent, these are good investments for the church, in that the jewells and gold appreciate in value, and in a later humanitarian crisis can be sold at a profit, replaced with cheaper vestments, and the difference used to care for the afflicted.

But if you want to see liturgical simplicity and poverty, the Eucharistic vestments of Coptic monks and priest monks are definitive.  A simple white robe in place of the black, with a white hood (Eskimo in Syriac, I can't recall what the Copts call them) with gold crosses on the side, and that's it.  At St. Anthonys the priest monks don't even wear special insignia.  And all Coptic priests celebrate the liturgy in their stocking feet or barefoot, the notion of the liturgical slipper didn't reach them.

So moving back on topic, can we have some nice photos of Coptic hieromonks?  A while back someone posted on OC.net Father Lazarus celebrating the liturgy in the Cave of St. Anthony, Id love to see that again, and it would also show Volnutt what I'm talking about.

The Coptic Eskimo is called (in arabic) the "Qalansowa"
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2015, 06:19:49 PM »


I love ethiopian monks
"I see the heavens opened up, and the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God"
-St. Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2015, 06:52:25 PM »
I've seen some in a white habit and some in yellow. Is there a difference in rank or order?


I'd never seen an Ethiopian nun before.



From the website: he actually met her in Shanandoah Park, Va. of all places!

Quote
While standing in line for a cup of hot chocolate for my very cold son while on our drive along Skyline drive, among the buzzing crowds of DC'ers out for the weekend, this very interesting, and still woman caught and held my eye. I spoke to her son (maybe just a relative, not sure) who told me a little bit about her. She is an Ethiopian Orthodox nun visiting the US for the first time. Not sure what being a nun in the old Orthodox Church (an oriental christian religion) entails, but this woman exuded an amazing inner peace.

She was apparently amazed by the trees. Not sure, but to see the amazing Fall foliage in Appalachia after living a long life in dry Ethiopia must border on a religious experience.

The restaurant was very dark, and unfortunately, this was the best I could do given the light.


I don't think I can paste pictures from here, but there's lots of pictures of Ethiopian monastics along with other religions.

Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2015, 07:25:02 PM »


They made Father Arsenios Abba Moses a priest! Many years!
"I see the heavens opened up, and the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God"
-St. Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2015, 09:49:47 PM »
"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem

Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2015, 09:52:24 PM »
Hey I can't see your picture, brigidsboy
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 09:56:24 PM by CopticDeacon »
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Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2015, 09:53:50 PM »
I guess the system has changed. I can't figure it out. Very frustrating.
"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2015, 01:27:05 PM »
Sorry for the upload fails. This was my last attempt.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 01:40:53 PM by Brigidsboy »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2015, 02:13:14 PM »
You tha man, Salpy.   ;D

She's the WOman ;)
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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2015, 06:08:14 PM »
Oops.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2015, 11:39:36 PM »
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 11:40:15 PM by Mor Ephrem »
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline jobin219

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2015, 02:06:23 AM »
Two icons of Mor Jacob of Serugh:




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and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity.
Do them with faith and devotion ".
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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2015, 01:05:22 AM »
More pictures of Lalibela:











Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2015, 05:40:49 PM »
I've always wished Lalibela had retractable footbridges, so the faithful could, in between important services like these, meditatively walk across the great churches.  It seems to me like that might make a nice devotional practice.  But I know so little about the Ethiopian church for all I know they do that.  I just have to confess though if I ever visit Lalibela it looks like resisting the urge to try and leap across might be difficult.  At least until one reaches the precipice.  Then it would be easy.  :P
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 05:41:04 PM by wgw »
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2015, 06:19:03 PM »


Mor Nikodemos the Archbishop of Mosul
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 06:19:35 PM by Brigidsboy »
"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2015, 06:30:38 PM »
I've always wished Lalibela had retractable footbridges, so the faithful could, in between important services like these, meditatively walk across the great churches.  It seems to me like that might make a nice devotional practice.  But I know so little about the Ethiopian church for all I know they do that.  I just have to confess though if I ever visit Lalibela it looks like resisting the urge to try and leap across might be difficult.  At least until one reaches the precipice.  Then it would be easy.  :P

I had that thought too, lol!
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline wgw

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2015, 06:36:48 PM »
His vesrments are so beautiful.  Hopefully it will not be long before he gets his See back.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2015, 08:35:58 PM »


Mor Nikodemos the Archbishop of Mosul

I love it! 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2015, 08:36:53 PM »
Note that the entire Syriac Orthodox church uses those vestment and paraments designs these days; the purely Suroye congregations love them.  From what I understand it's a huge upgrade on the very plain vestments and paraments they had in the 18th century; there are reports of impoverished Syriac priests serving the liturgy barefoot as opposed to in the fine Indian-made liturgical slippers they use today, universally.

I doubt whether Suroye people give much thought to such things.
The Indian vestments are used because they are the best available now. There are older vestments I have seen which are more like what the Armenian Church uses. One can still find priests in Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land who use them.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 03:39:57 PM by Brigidsboy »
"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem

Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2015, 09:28:43 PM »




Նորավանք - Noravank Monastery Armenia
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 09:38:34 PM by Brigidsboy »
"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem

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Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2015, 11:42:19 PM »
Note that the entire Syriac Orthodox church uses those vestment and paraments designs these days; the purely Suroye congregations love them.  From what I understand it's a huge upgrade on the very plain vestments and paraments they had in the 18th century; there are reports of impoverished Syriac priests serving the liturgy barefoot as opposed to in the fine Indian-made liturgical slippers they use today, universally.

I doubt whether Suroye people give much thought to such things.
The Indian vestments are used because they are the best available now. There are older vestments I have seen which are more like what the Armenian Church uses. One xan still find priests in Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land who use them.

If you're actually in a Syriac Orthodox Church, a Suroye church, in the diaspora or even in the "old country", a great tragedy is that genocide attempts and Islamic persecutions have resulted in very few retaining an ornate interior.  The monastery of St. Marks in Jerusalem has a beautiful interior, as does one Syriac Orthodox Church that I believe is in the Tur Abdin area of Turkey, in one of the monasteries, that has a full iconostasis.  However in many of the,, the interior is very sparse and in some cases decrepit, so much of the beauty in the liturgy is delivered by the exquisite vestments and paraments provided from India.  From what I've seen of the Armenian Church, she also has beautiful vestments, and I expect these would make more of a contribution to the beauty of the liturgy than the iconography in some war torn places.  But if one is blessed to see the Armenian cathedral in Isfahan for example, whose safety I pray for and which I hope to visit once things calm down in the middle East, there the icons speak for themselves.  Or in the Church of the Nativity for example, where there is this intense mystical effect provided by oil lanterns, a cracked piece of marble under the altar, and a multi-pointed silver star.

But indeed the Syiracs historically had extreme poverty in this regard.  I would imagine a congregation 200 years ago in a poor rural town in Suria, Iraq or Turkey might have had the priest wearing a locally made pharo, hamnikho and Phayno devoid of decorations or brilliant colors, maybe in a simple red and white scheme, with the congregation wearing the black robes of dhimmis forced on them by the cruel Muslims, and very possibly no icons, but maybe if you were lucky, a beautiful Gospel book.  But there would still be intense beauty there, even in the lack of outward splendor.  To the extent that contemporary Protestants of that period were intentionally worshipping in bare bones churches to try to access that kind of condition. But I do believe a principle of Orthodoxy is to make things as beautiful as we can make the, through icons, vestments and so on, which is one reason Imlove your avatar so much, which depicts a beautiful liturgical scene.   And the Syriac Orthodox have been blessed, in that for $300 or so they're able to get fantastic vestment sets or even more fantastic individual copes from India, and this supplies beauty.  I've been wanting to setup a charitable trust to buy and supply Syriac and other war torn Orthodox churches with glorious vestments and other things according to their tradition, because these things are cheap enough that most American laymen I think could even contribute substantially to making churches look better without much effort.  So that may be something I undertake in the next few years.  I have been wanting to donate to a local Syriac parish a vestment set as a memorial for the diocese of Mosul and for the son of a personal friend who died (in the Us of unrelated causes) and lately the thought of setting up some charitable thing to do it has dawned on me.

However for pure shock and awe in Oriental Orthodoxy, the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia seem to win.  Their priests aren't as well dressed as Syriac priests, but well dressed nonetheless, and the icons are gorgeous, but what really blows one away are churches cut into the mountain, that look impossible.  These churches seem like models of Prthodox salvation, in that our meager human efforts combine with divine grace, in the form of the suitable Rock formations, to produce a Church.

I love this thread.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!