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Author Topic: Anyone here celebrating two Easters in their family?  (Read 2915 times) Average Rating: 0
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irene
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« on: April 13, 2006, 03:26:48 PM »

Since just about everyone in my family isn't Orthodox, looks like I will be celebrating this Sunday and next.    I guess you reach a point that you just go with it, that's where I am now.  
Just curious as to how others might be doing it.  

Have a good day everyone,
Irene      
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 04:24:09 PM »

I used to, my mother I guess you can call "Catholic" (despite she goes to a SOC), I wish her a happy Easter but primarily we celebrate next week
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 05:08:50 PM »

Yep -- family's Catholic. I won't be attending church with them, but will go to my grandparents' on Sunday for the Huge Italian Easter Feast. Alas, this year I won't be able to eat any of the meat offerings, but I can still have pasta, artichoke, and sardine bread (and really, as long as I have those three things, I'm happy).
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 05:53:43 PM »

WE have relatives who celebrate Easter this Sunday---We call to wish them Happy Easter on This Sunday and they call us next Sunday and wish us Happy Pascha.  They come to our House to eat Pascha Lunch.

IN Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 07:41:41 PM »

Since just about everyone in my family isn't Orthodox, looks like I will be celebrating this Sunday and next.   ÃƒÆ’‚ I guess you reach a point that you just go with it, that's where I am now. ÂÂ
Just curious as to how others might be doing it. ÂÂ  

Have a good day everyone,
Irene   ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  
By virtue of fact that we have a Public Holiday for Good Friday today, that means that in one sense I'm having two Easters.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 07:49:01 PM »

yep, whole family is Catholic...so I'll be at liturgy on Palm Sunday morning and then I'm meeting up w/ my extended family for Easter lunch.

D
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 08:07:04 PM »

Same here, my family's RC so I usually visit them and celebrate the Vigil (This year two-three hour services in two weeks  Shocked ).  I try to make Palm Sunday if I can and if I cannot then I read the prayers at home and am just thankful that God has given me a good family.  Much like the two Christmases. Twice as much fun! Smiley
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I think the French may be on to something here.
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2006, 10:55:25 PM »

ybeayf

Are you fasting in the Orthodox Church?

You said you will be "happy" with the three things you plan to eat at the BIG feast with your non-Orthodox family.

WE are taught to restrict ourselves to abstinence and when we eat we eat NO meat or FISH. This is common Orthodox teachings for the great fast.

It is also encouraged that WE avoid any entertainment like family gatherings for various reasons until the fast is over.

Maybe as you and others I have read in this strip get stronger you will realize that it is better to avoid non-Orthodox people during the fast.

They are not willing to fast with you and go to the Pasha services and so on.

This is not easy but I do not go around my non-Orthodox family members until the fast is over. The exception is life issues and such. No birthday parties, easter lunches and the like.

It took me a while but I thought about it one day and realized that I was not placing priority on my fast but on keeping pace with the lives of others. I  made a choice and decided to change this and I did.

I have a dinner at my house after resurrection for which only Orthodox Christians are invited who were fasting.

This may sound hard....IT IS

I hope that sharing this helps. If not now one day.

WE must make it a point ot others that we are Orthodox and it is not simply an idea it is our life.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2006, 11:28:54 PM »

I've never heard of avoiding family gatherings during the fast.  Then again, I am Greek... Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 02:27:27 AM »

Quote
WE are taught to restrict ourselves to abstinence and when we eat we eat NO meat or FISH. This is common Orthodox teachings for the great fast.
In fact, those of us, of the OC (Byzantine) are allowed to eat fish two times during Lent: on the feast of the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday (which, technically, is no longer Lent). The rules might be different in the ethiopian Church.
Quote
Maybe as you and others I have read in this strip get stronger you will realize that it is better to avoid non-Orthodox people during the fast.
Wow! This sounds like the Amish practice of "shunning". It doesn't sound Orthodox, not even Christian, to me, at least.
I
Quote
have a dinner at my house after resurr which only Orthodox Christians are invited who were fasting.rection fo
Have you read St. John Chrysostom's Paschal homily? All are invited at the Paschal table,no matter if they fasted or not. And again, this doesn't sound Christian to my ears.
Quote
WE must make it a point ot others that we are Orthodox and it is not simply an idea it is our life.
Do you think that being Orthodos is about making points to others?
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2006, 06:31:15 PM »

I suppose that further explanation would be useless since I feel the more I say the more confusion I will cause.

Sorry Folk!

Based on the responses to my post on the subject I admit that this has over my head.

I mean; Amish???
what is Amish?Huh

Also I have never been called out as NOT Orthodox.

Speaking to people on this point I may have mis-lead you all to some extent.

I was reminded that my views and practices are very "ascetic" (NOT AMISH...what is Amish???) and that many Orthodox Christians (although not wrong) subscribe to a more lay discipline with regard to the Holy Fast which (I guess) is fine if that is what your father confessors permit. I guess that is why I was called Amish...(Amish!!! thats so funny).

I guess if hanging out at a rock concert with an empty stomach or with a stomach full of cabage is what the Holy Fast is than I can not argue that with you. That is for a Priest.

If you truly want to understand some of the things I wrote read 'fasting' by HH Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria. This is a very indepth read. But it will truly offend people who are not used to the subject at the level he teaches at. It will offend half steppers as well.

Catholics laugh at the traditions you all are talking about do not forget. They think it is not necessary. They are used to just giving up lets say chocolate for 40 days thats it. They continue drinking, sexing, cursing, and going about life as normal.

I love my family, and friends and the whole body of believers. The point I am making is clearly in Acts with regard to the first meal Or 'break-fast'. You should read this carfully how some people were not permitted to participate. Some Orthodox Churches still have the catechumen leave after the preparatory service and before mass. In the many liturgy books the Deacons say "Go forth you catechumen". At this point these people are escorted out from among the communicants Some Orthodox Churches has dropped this practice although they keep it in the liturgy. This was established during the Apostles. I was just watching a DVD about the life of Paul; and although the movie lacked allot and was not Orthodox in presentation the producers to my surprised showed Barnabas and his wife Aquila  set aside and apart from those who were sharing in the Lords table.

This is what I am speaking of.

Moses separated the people who wanted the Lord and those who did not.

Lot was saved while the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed.

Christ said I am come to separate mother from daughter, father from son and so on...

My mother always told me "you are known by the company you keep"...I learned that the hard way.

For me to fast and also be around people eating meat, drinking, smoking, playing music, making small talk and my not being a part of it is impolite especially when the Holy hour approaches and I must go and pray and prostrate. The Jews asked Christ..."how is it that your disciples do not keep with the fasts?".....Christ said.."How can the friends of the Bridegroom fast when he is present; once I return to my Father then they will fast". So then it is better to join with partaking without witholding, if you must withhold it is more proper to keep with your waiting and treat the experience fairly as well as be true to who and why your withholding...Christ. It is better for every body then to stay removed until you finish your waiting or Fast.

Again; I have not the means to explain what I said before. It requires a deeper spiritual perspective that only a good Priest could offer.

Again; sorry for any confussion.

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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2006, 06:54:54 PM »

I mean; Amish???
what is Amish?Huh


The Amish are actually part of the Anabaptist movement within the Protestant Reformation.  This movement, started by a man named Mennos Simons, includes the Amish, Mennonites, and other similar groups.  The Anabaptists are known for, among a host of other traits, their strict pacifism.  The Amish specifically are known for their strict opposition to all modern technological advances, for their simplicity of life, and for their very close-knit agrarian communities.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2006, 08:40:34 PM »

In the many liturgy books the Deacons say "Go forth you catechumen". At this point these people are escorted out from among the communicants

It was explained to me that the point of this was not to create some sort of Orthodox-only club, but to protect the catechumens spiritually.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2006, 08:43:45 PM »

Speaking of Amish, I go to school in New Wilmington, PA which is one of the few places where you have to worry about not running over one (or backing up into whilst exiting the sole gas station in town) one of these:




Or where you can be lucky enough to see this:



Grin
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2006, 09:38:38 PM »

Speaking of Amish, I go to school in New Wilmington, PA which is one of the few places where you have to worry about not running over one (or backing up into whilst exiting the sole gas station in town) one of these:
Or where you can be lucky enough to see this:



Grin
Off topic, but have you ever seen "Witness"? It stars Harrison Ford as a city cop hiding out with the Amish
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2006, 09:50:30 PM »

Quote
It was explained to me that the point of this was not to create some sort of Orthodox-only club, but to protect the catechumens spiritually.

It was a bit of both, probably. The early Church took seriously the politically incorrect command of Jesus to not "cast pearls before swine," meaning to share sacred things with the uninitiated. As an example, Cyril of Jerusalem explicitly mentions something about this in his Catechetical Lectures, where he says that he is afraid to write about the sacraments, because there is a chance that the writings would fall into profane hands (though he writes about them anyway.) Many of the Christian customs were only to be seen or heard about by those already in the Church, thus one of the reasons that many of the traditions were unwritten ones for so long (it is perhaps not strange that Basil would say that most traditions were unwritten, since he was writing in the mid-4th century, but John of Damascus says the same thing even in the 8th century).
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2006, 10:04:40 PM »

It was a bit of both, probably. The early Church took seriously the politically incorrect command of Jesus to not "cast pearls before swine," meaning to share sacred things with the uninitiated. As an example, Cyril of Jerusalem explicitly mentions something about this in his Catechetical Lectures, where he says that he is afraid to write about the sacraments, because there is a chance that the writings would fall into profane hands (though he writes about them anyway.) Many of the Christian customs were only to be seen or heard about by those already in the Church, thus one of the reasons that many of the traditions were unwritten ones for so long (it is perhaps not strange that Basil would say that most traditions were unwritten, since he was writing in the mid-4th century, but John of Damascus says the same thing even in the 8th century).
How was this statement 'politically incorrect'?
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2006, 12:23:23 AM »

Asterikos

I believe you have added some clarity.

Montalban

I believe you should re-read the responses to my initial post on the subject and see for yourself how politically incorrectness can be measured. It is when an edict or act is established (or stated) that dis-establishes 'established' norm or accepted norm. The norm may be common opinion, idea, perception etc. on a matter.  I was simply sharing my understanding of the Fast howbeit rather uncommon; it was non-the-less an expression of Orthodoxy supported by the Fathers but was taken with out-right rejection by some. I was called "Amish" of all things and "non-Orthodox". I think that shows an example of how my points of view was "politically incorrect" even though my points can be found in scripture and Orthodox liturgy.

Zoe

I think you are not prepared to react properly to this subject. For you to even think that there is some interest to justify as you put it an "Orthodox club" is low latitude in perspective. It was not even reasonably ignorant in my opinion.

I can assure you that you can completely drop and disregard the slightest chance that an "Orthodox club" is on my mind or implied in anyway within the words I have posted so far.

Maybe you were trying to be funny?

I would rather you share your understanding on the subject.
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2006, 12:26:45 AM »

Montalban

I believe you should re-read the responses to my initial post on the subject and see for yourself how politically incorrectness can be measured. It is when an edict or act is established (or stated) that dis-establishes 'established' norm or accepted norm. The norm may be common opinion, idea, perception etc. on a matter.  I was simply sharing my understanding of the Fast howbeit rather uncommon; it was non-the-less an expression of Orthodoxy supported by the Fathers but was taken with out-right rejection by some. I was called "Amish" of all things and "non-Orthodox". I think that shows an example of how my points of view was "politically incorrect" even though my points can be found in scripture and Orthodox liturgy.
Ta. It makes sense now.
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2006, 12:44:10 AM »

Catechumen are not permitted among the communicants because they are not in the body of Christ....non-believers. Thus they are to be sent out.

WE all are still catechumen of sort since Christ in his second coming is going to seperate those in His Church which are found unworthy of His Kingdom and will thus be sent out.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2006, 01:22:10 AM »

Amdetsion,
I did not mean that you were Amish, but that the idea of "avoiding non-Orthodox people when fasting" or inviting "only Orthodox people that kept the fast" at your Easter table, sounded, to me, at least, rather sectarian and very defensive. We are not to act like the adherents of a weird sect.
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2006, 02:15:16 PM »

Zoe

I think you are not prepared to react properly to this subject. For you to even think that there is some interest to justify as you put it an "Orthodox club" is low latitude in perspective. It was not even reasonably ignorant in my opinion.

I can assure you that you can completely drop and disregard the slightest chance that an "Orthodox club" is on my mind or implied in anyway within the words I have posted so far.

Maybe you were trying to be funny?

I would rather you share your understanding on the subject.

Why are you talking to her in that way? Nothing Zoe said should threaten you or warrant taking offense, she was just helping to explain to other people that it was NOT just to make an Orthodox only club. This was the way someone helped her to understand it, so this is the way she is trying to help other people to understand. Made perfect sense to me.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2006, 05:21:50 PM »

Annaspencer

If my succinct and direct manner is in your opinion my taking offense than I must say that you are being presumptuous.

The posts I have made had not the slightest inference to an Orthodox Club. I am comfortable with how I put that. However; I am not trying to offend anyone so I am sorry if I did.

Thanks for your comment
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2006, 06:26:29 PM »

Augustin717

O.K. so I am not Amish. Thanks; I was a little worried; especially since I have no idea what "Amish" means. Somebody explained the traditions these people have which helped; but anyone can behave with these traditions and call themselves out by some other name. What is the meaning of AM-ISH why not some other -"ish".

"Sectarian" , "weird" , "Amish"?

Of course none of these adjectives have any true relevance in this matter as far as my views are concerned; but seems a picture (albeit subliminal) into 'your' views of the teachings of the Holy fathers and the Holy traditions of Orthodoxy.

Orthodoxy is spiritually powerful....a state of mind which leads all aspects of a persons life; and while I am yet trying to achieve a greater affinity to it; I have along the way learned that from what was once strange to me at one point were the building blocks of my spiritual journey.

Just think of how much is left for you (all of us) to learn about the faith and Holy traditions of our Fathers. What you think you know is only as great as what you are willing to except today.
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2006, 10:06:04 PM »

Anyway...back to the topic...I wuld be celebrating two easters except my FIL is ill and we weren't invited to any of the siblings' houses anyway.  And my hub is finishing up a motor for his boss tomorrow at the shop.
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2006, 01:34:42 PM »

Well, I apologize, Amdetsion, that I wasn't clear enough in what I was saying and thus led you to think I was implying you were supporting some sort of Orthodox-only club mentality...but you did get a little too fiesty which makes me wonder  Cheesy

As annaspencer said, that's how it was explained to me, that it should not become that, that that is not the intent.  No implications were made purposfully.
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2006, 12:28:51 AM »

Well probably the majority of Orthodox in the US celebrate 2 Easters.. since over 75% of marriages in the Orthodox Church  have been interchristian for quite awhile. Not sure about other countries.. but I would expect it to be similar for Orthodox living in countries not predominantly Orthodox. As a child, we always celebrated 2 Easters- my Mom was RC. She converted years later .. but we still celebrated with her family until they passed away.  Many of my GO friends celebrate 2 Easters.
 
As for asking catechumins to leave.. the church would be half empty, or even more if spouses left  with their non- Orthodox half...I have never seen this practiced in GO or OCA's.  If they suddenly tried it now in these parishes, my bet is people would not come back...  

As for fasting, we were taught in church that fasting should always be personal & private, not showy or demonstrative... and that it takes 2nd place to good deeds & kindness to others... so refusing a meal someone has made for you.. because you are fasting... we were taught this is  wrong... fasting is to help bring you closer to God... but so are good works... giving up fasting momentarily...as a guest in somone's house, to avoid offense.. is an appropriate sacrifice. And fasting without good deeds is not appropriate either.   It's the notion that one must follow the 'spirit of the law' first.. as a priority to the 'letter of the law".

As for the Amish...I attended a cultural center lecture in Pa.. and learned quite a bit... their practices are really the counter example ... shutting out the world to maintain their ways... using steam powered appliances so they don't even have to share a wire with "the English" . Stopping children's education at the 8th grade.. because you don't need more than that.. education is too worldly and makes people think and question more than necessary...But this is having it's consequences: All of the inbreeding has created a very unhealthy group.. many children born with rare diseases and abnormalities...and their unwillingness to use doctors has made it worse,, So..God has spoken... this is not what he wants for his children...The essence of Christianity- started by Orthodoxy is about spreading the 'good news' to others.. building the church ... and growing a unified faith in Christ our Saviour and a triune God....one should invite people to share in Orthodox holiday family celebrations... you never know when this can be the impetus for further inquiry into the faith ...

Kalo Pascha, Kizzy

 
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2006, 12:56:07 AM »

Well probably the majority of Orthodox in the US celebrate 2 Easters.. since over 75% of marriages in the Orthodox Church  have been interchristian for quite awhile. Not sure about other countries.. but I would expect it to be similar for Orthodox living in countries not predominantly Orthodox. As a child, we always celebrated 2 Easters- my Mom was RC. She converted years later .. but we still celebrated with her family until they passed away.  Many of my GO friends celebrate 2 Easters.
Maybe in the GOA are ~75% of marriages mixed, but I doubt elsewhere.  I'm still skeptical about that number.  Maybe ~75% of NEW marriages are mixed as of a few years ago, but I question all existing families/marriages.

As for asking catechumins to leave.. the church would be half empty, or even more if spouses left  with their non- Orthodox half...I have never seen this practiced in GO or OCA's.  If they suddenly tried it now in these parishes, my bet is people would not come back...  
They leave in my OCA parish - and it was started by catechumens themselves!  My priest gives them the option, but starting with this one family 5 or so years ago, every other catechumen has just copied the others.
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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2006, 11:48:54 PM »

Maybe in the GOA are ~75% of marriages mixed, but I doubt elsewhere.  I'm still skeptical about that number.  Maybe ~75% of NEW marriages are mixed as of a few years ago, but I question all existing families/marriages.

This trend has been ongoing for a long time.. but esp over the last 10+ years old... and the stats are from the GOA records of marriages. The percent has been climbing and may be higher than 75% now. Also, these numbers do not include those married in other faiths.  For example...In doing outreach for a start up parish, we phoned Greek names to introduce them to the parish.. many told us they were attending other Christian churches...Our startup is over 50% inter Christian families... and even when spouses convert.. they still visit with their non-Orthodox family on Easter to celebrate. Just consider the stats: 300mil Americans, 500,000 orthodox.. give or take a few thousand.... If Orthodoxy wants to continue: 1) you gotta marry and have babies & baptize them  2) likely marry a non-Orthodox to improve the odds of #1
There was an element of truth in My Big Fat Greek Wedding...
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2006, 03:15:37 PM »

I have read the last few posts.

All my posts on this subject was with a mindset that Orthodoxy is stand alone the 'True' Church without stain. I have this mindset because the liturgy of the holy fathers are filled with verses on this reality. It seems that maybe the point of "two" easters is a 'new age' idea that has come into Orthodoxy due to how Orthodox Christians are living with more and more influence from the world and assimilation with 'common' ideas about important spiritual matters ie; the huge amount of "inter-faith" marriages among the worlds Orthodox as was posted. I admit I am shocked by this point. I just never considered this major issue.

 I will agree in part with the "two easter" celebrations only since so many people are not in full communion with the the Holy Sacrament of marriage within the Orthodox Church and thus are unequally yoked. So it seems to me that the tradition of celebrating the "two easter" is only a common practice and not the Holy tradition or Cannon as administered by the Holy Universal and Orthodox Church. That is not to say people are bad for being unequally yoked. Some people are converted after marriage to the Church while a spouse did not. This situation has is justifiable based on my understanding of the Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage and Baptism. I have found no Orthodox support for situations where an Orthodox person goes and marries a non-Orthodox person. A person in this situation has created a division for his/herself and is thus bound to the conflict that goes with it...."two easters" being one of these divisions.

Christ taught: He is the Bridegroom and The Church (Which is one, Holy,Universal and Apostolic)is His Bride. Thus the Apostles and Holy Fathers teach that a man is to his wife as Christ is to His Church.

Adam said: Flesh of my flesh bone of my bone.
The Apostles thus said thus: You will be neither 'two' but one flesh.

We all may not like it but the truth is is that their is only one TRUE RESURECTION. To celebrate two is placation and appeasing in nature. Some people feel it is 'only a celebration of food and family'. For this type of person I have no comment and my words here may be a joke.
For those who are of the mind that "easter" (Pascha, Resurrection) is not a mere celebration but the ONCE a year affirmation of the actual and real resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ my words should speak plainly.

Catuchumen and non-believers are to leave the Church area where the communicants are worshipping before the Anaphora is started. That is not my opinion. We all should know and support this since it is the teaching of the Holy Church which we are all chained. I agree that this could empty the Church and may cause people to not return. I want to stress that our Holy Tradition is centuries in use and we are all here today. WE want to be open to all (Everybody should feel this way)... but Christ wants His only. This is not a choice we are making. The decision is already made.

I tried to have an open mind on this matter. It is an interesting issue and interesting to read all the different views.

I have commented here not to argue or offend or make things difficult but to share my concerns and hopefully offer something good.

Truth demands from any who wants it to 'yield' to it.

The Holy Orthodox Church is so beautiful. It is the True way that Christ left for us.

As St. Paul said: One Love, One Life, One Faith (Church) One Baptism.....One resurrection.

I pray that we all find Truth in everything we think and do.

Christ Has Risen!!!


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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2006, 03:48:01 PM »

I will agree in part with the "two easter" celebrations only since so many people are not in full communion with the the Holy Sacrament of marriage within the Orthodox Church and thus are unequally yoked. So it seems to me that the tradition of celebrating the "two easter" is only a common practice and not the Holy tradition or Cannon as administered by the Holy Universal and Orthodox Church.

Part of the phenomenon, though, is the result of other situations that are even more common for Orthodox Christians living in non-Orthodox cultures than intermarriage.  What of children of Protestant or Catholic parents, such as I, who convert to Orthodoxy?  What of the sibling of a Protestant or Catholic--I fit this description, too--who converts to Orthodoxy?  Are we to cease celebrating the western Easter with our parents and/or siblings now that we have become Orthodox?  This could be unnecessarily insulting to family traditions.  After all, unlike marriage, I couldn't choose who my parents and siblings would be, and only if I become a monk should the Church ask me to dissolve my relations with them.

There is also much of the Easter/Pascha celebration that takes place outside of church and her liturgical celebrations.  Churches may not allow the non-Orthodox to worship with us in the Liturgy beyond the expulsion of the catechumens, but they may still celebrate the Resurrection with us outside of Liturgy, or must we also expel them from the Paschal banquet to follow the Liturgy?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 03:57:37 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Amdetsion
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HH Abuna Pawlos - Patriarch of Ethiopia


« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2006, 06:19:09 PM »

Peterthealute

I understand what you are saying and I am neither judge or jury on the matter.

You are like some people I know like my family for example. My Father whom I love dearly is Muslim.
The household I was raised in was strict with regard to Muslim "customs". However I was never forced to truly follow the faith of Islam.

I decided to become Orthodox for many reasons; the most important is that I truly believed (and believe) that Jesus Christ is the Messiah the Son of Living God. The same God that Moses spoke with and Abraham followed.

You like myself are now chained to Christ and His Church if we are true to our faith. My Priest helped me by showing in Scripture the teachings of the fathers that we are to not love anything or anyone more than God and this God is Jesus Christ in the flesh. I was shocked when as a catachumen myself when I was taught a direct command from Christ: 'Anyone who loves, father or mother more than Me has NO part in Me'. And also 'he who looks to save his life shall loose his life and he who looses his life for My sake shall redeem it'. Christ upon calling one of His disciples found that the person He called had love in his heart for Him but was grieving over his dead father and while fully believing in Him however stated that "he would come once he first buried his father"....Christ said "Let the dead bury the dead".

These teachings at that time to me was cold and unfair...but I held my view.

I do not remember the exact place or exact quote to find these readings in scripture you should find them and read them and study them with your Priest; but the basic language rings in my ears like a bomb that went off. My Priest taught that you may well loose all things you have in this world once you become new in Christ including family and loved ones. He pointed out readings from the writtings and sermons of St. Basil that we are to bare our cross and the cross we bare is the trial in this life as true believers until we leave this world.

I tell you I was dizzy with shock back then.

I realized that the Orthodox Church is not "a" church but "The Church" (the community of God on earth).


I stayed away for a while and was ready to give up on Orthodoxy. But I met a wonderful Orthodox women (a friend). She never pushed anything on me she was just being herself. After so many years I looked at her and asked myself..."how can she do the things she does?". I learned much later that Orthodoxy is not a common "church" as I thought...it is a life that you live; just like the life you have before you are in Christ but without the feeling for the world and love of the things, places and pride of life we cherish but all that love is given over to Christ. I explained this to my mentor and he opened up the scriptures and had me read: 'Oh my brethren! love not the world neither the things that are in the world for the world is passing away and the lust thereof for all is passing'.

I became a believer...that reading gave me the strength to face whatever would happen to me once I became a true believer and I got Baptised in the Holy Universal and Apostolic Church. The whole process took years.

The point is I have less of a relationship with my family now and I really do not want to have what I had before. I want to be with Christ in His Paradise and hopefully His heavenly Kingdom. It makes me very sad sometimes; maybe even depressed; But I remind myself of Christ' rejection and scourging by His own people (at the hands of the Romans) and that he suffered great humiliation and finally the taste of bitter death on the Cross so that we might have life.

Who or what on earth would I put before this wonderful love? Is it better than to love Christ but set this love next to other earthy love? of course not.

Through all this we must love all people but show that love as Christs love NOT ours.

Each person has to decide where he/she wants to place their treasures.
Where your treasures are so then is where your heart is speaks the Lord.

Christ teaches 'seek yeah first the Kingdom of heaven and its 'righteousness' and I will provide all other things as seen fit to you'.

The Orthodox Church will take you to the Lord on your knees if you just let go of the your life and give it all to Christ.

We all have along way to go. I dare say I fit the bill. But I have heard the truth and it leaves NO room for wavering.

I hope I have offered something to you that does not answers your points but helps to support you if you really are serious about your salvation.

Our parents and family can not save us. Christ can

CHRISE HAS RISEN !!!
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2006, 07:29:50 PM »

Amdetsion,

INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

What you say is true.  Jesus did say that anyone who loves father, mother, brother, sister, or even spouse more than Him has no part in Him.  But this doesn't necessarily mean that embracing Christ by entering into His Church requires that I break off all relations with my family--maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, that depends on my particular Christian vocation.  Yes, I must love Christ above all else, but within the context of this love for Christ there is room for me to continue to love my non-Christian parents and siblings and maintain my familial relations with them as long as these relations don't distract me from my love for Christ.  Regarding vocation, if Jesus were to call me to join a monastery whose abbot requires that I renounce all familial ties and I were not to obey, then yes I would have no part in Him.  However, I'm pretty certain this is not the case for me right now.

The Scriptures also teach us to not love the world but to set our hearts on the Kingdom that is to come.  This doesn't necessarily require that I quit my employment and leave the world to become a Christian--maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, that depends on my particular Christian vocation.  Nor does this mean that I must renounce marriage and commit to lifelong celibacy.  I know that St. Paul called celibacy the life ideal for serving God, but he also recognized the difficulty of this life and counseled Christians to marry and even to enjoy conjugal relations within marriage if they had not the strength of character to live as lifelong celibates.  If I am not called to leave the world, then St. Paul teaches that I am still responsible before God to perform my work in the world as though I am working directly for God Himself so as to bring glory to His Name.  I believe that St. Clement of Alexandria and St. John Chrysostom may have had this attitude toward work and wealth in mind when they counseled the wealthy to count their wealth as a gift from God and to give liberally to charity and to the work of the Church.

Again, I rejoice in the truth that you present in your thoughtful posts.  I just don't see much in your posts regarding how this truth presents itself to each individual Christian.  Your statements almost appear as if you believe that all Christians without exception are called to leave the world and live as monastics.  The monastic life is certainly the ideal life for service to God, but it's such a difficult life that Christ only calls a few to it.  The rest of us must live the Christian life the best we can by God's grace in this world--living as husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters--while at the same time maintaining our attachment to the eternal Kingdom of Christ and not to the passing things of this world.  For most of us, this is what Jesus means when He commands us to love Him above all else.

Personally, the last time I celebrated Western Easter with relatives was five years ago when Orthodox Pascha and Western Easter fell on the same day--I joined my aunt and uncle who live 90 miles away from me for Easter dinner.  I just live so far away from biological relatives, partly by my own choice, that it's just a major inconvenience for me to join them for any holidays, though I do try to visit for Christmas.  My parish community truely is my family, so I really don't feel much need to celebrate Easter more than once.  As it is, I'll be celebrating the great Feast for the next 37 days until Ascension Thursday.

- Peter
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 07:45:59 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Amdetsion
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HH Abuna Pawlos - Patriarch of Ethiopia


« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2006, 12:10:04 AM »

Peter

You are right; neither one of us are monastics or ascetics. I do not mean for you to think that. Marriage and wealth is all Gods gifts when we are doing His will of course.

I want you to see that Christ has set us apart for Himself. This is true.

Can you see your blessing? ( Please keep the answer to yourself)

I pray that you grow in Orthodoxy which will teach you and guide you without you having to sacrifice the better part of your blessing before you even know you have it; while you are young enough and capable enough to make an increase.

Pray for me...I have already squandered so much of mine. But I am glad (albiet terrified) that I am clearer on what my blessing is.

My God have mercy on us.

Christ Has Risen !!!
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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