The Search for Orthodoxy – Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA

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TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

The Search for Orthodoxy

Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA

A talk given at the 1981 St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, at the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California. The text has been taken from Fr. Seraphim’s handwritten notes. The section titles have been added by the editors, based on Fr. Seraphim’s section divisions.

I. INTRODUCTION
The number of people here today is a proof that there is a search for Orthodoxy today—those who don’t have it are looking for it, and those who do have it want to go deeper into it.

Our times, the second half of the twentieth century, are times of spiritual searching. Many are dissatisfied, whether with various forms of Christianity, with non-Christian religions, or with unbelief and atheism. Many hope against hope that there is more to life, more to spiritual reality, than they have found so far. More and more of these searchers are finding what they are looking for in the Orthodox Church:

1. African peoples of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, and other mission fields are finding Orthodoxy to be the “true old religion” as against the various sects and cults of modern Africa.

2. Young Orthodox Christians of Soviet Russia and other Communist lands are finding in Orthodoxy both fresh air and recontact with their historical past after sixty years of atheist tyranny and suffocation.

3. Young Orthodox idealists of Greece are rediscovering the monastic ideal in the midst of the dead worldliness of contemporary Greece and are flocking to the monasteries of Mount Athos.

4. Americans, both young and old, weary of the rootless and arbitrary teachings of contemporary Protestantism, are discovering the true and profound Christianity of Orthodoxy.

5. Roman Catholics, in the midst of a disintegrating church structure, are finding that Orthodoxy is everything they once thought Roman Catholicism to be.

6. Young Jews, both in the Soviet Union and the free world, are increasingly finding the answer to the present-day spiritual vacuum among their own people in conversion to Orthodoxy.

And there are many others who are coming to the Orthodox Faith in these latter days. What does this mean for us who are already Orthodox?

We who have already found the end of our search in Orthodox Christianity must be aware of these searchers and of the literal movement towards Orthodoxy that is occurring throughout the world today. It is still small, in some places only a trickle—but it is already becoming one of the Continue reading

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My journey into the True Church – Timothy Copple, Texas, USA

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TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

My journey into the True Church

by Timothy Copple

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/07/my-journey-timothy-copple/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Each story I’ve heard of how people have come into the Orthodox Church has been different. Sometimes there are some general similarities, but each one has specific issues, specific circumstances and specific problems that they deal with. While I recognize that my own circumstances are not, and in some cases should not be, how others come into Orthodoxy, I do feel there were some key elements that moved me in this direction. Most inquirers/converts to Orthodoxy will deal with these key elements at some point.

So allow me to tell you a little of my own journey.

I was born and raised in Texas. We moved a lot, so over my growing up years I’ve lived in several different cities around south-central Texas. The city that I did a majority of my growing up, mostly during my teen years, was Austin, TX. So I tend to think of that as “home”. Ironically, it was in moving back to Austin after having lived in other places for around 16 years that I became Orthodox.

As I was growing up, my Father, Dalton Copple, was a part-time Baptist preacher while he worked for the local electric company around the Uvalde area. Some of my earliest memories as a kid are from those days. I recall a couple of questions I had back then, which I addressed to my Mom, Alice Fay Kiker.

One time I recall, as we were getting dressed for church, asking Mom why we had to go to church. As many people know, kids are often not really excited about going to church. You want to move, you want to play, you want to do anything but sit in a pew and listen for over an hour to people saying words and singing music. For me, however, that was not the full motivation behind my question. It was those blasted black leather shoes.

We were pretty poor people, but of course being the pastor’s family, the kids had to have decent looking shoes for church. Only problem was that our feet were constantly growing and Mom knew that we would hardly get a pair broke in before we would need a new pair. So, like any Mom aware that she had to Continue reading

Icon corner

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CATECHISM – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the “House Church” continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the “clergy” of the house church, and the children are the “laity”. The wedding ceremony (“crowning”) is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion”. Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small “portal icon” (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source: Wikipedia

Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie ╰⊰¸¸. •¨* Afrikaans

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AFRICA OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

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Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

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https://afrikaansortodoks.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/die-sondag-van-die-ortodoksie/

BEDEHUIS BETHANIË

Verlede Sondag het ons die Sondag van die Sege van die Ortodoksie gevier. Hier is ‘n uittreksel uit ons bisdomlike blad oor dié fees.

Vandag, op die eerste Sondag van die Groot Vastyd, gedenk ons die oorwinning van die Ortodoksie oor die kettery van die ikonoklasme. In die agste eeu is die Kerk uitmekaar geskeur deur hulle wat beswaar gemaak het teen die verering van die ikone, en in 787 het die Tweede Konsilie van Nicea daarop gereageer deur die rol van ikone in die Kerk te bevestig en te verklaar dat “Wanneer hierdie voorstellings beskou word, dit hulle wat daarna kyk hulle prototipe sal laat gedenk en liefhê .” Die Konsilie het onderskei tussen aanbidding, wat God alleen toekom, en die verering wat ons aan ikone gee, en verklaar dat wanneer ons ‘n ikoon vereer, ons eintlik die werklikheid vereer wat dit verteenwoordig.

Selfs na die Konsilie het die ikonoklasme voortgeduur totdat die keisering Theodora in 844 die Ortodoksie opnuut gevestig het met ‘n plegtige prosessie en verering van die ikone op die eerste Sondag van die Vastyd. Dit was die begin van vandag se fees en vier die sege van die ware leer oor kettery.

Die sege van die Ortodoksie wat ons vandag vier, staan in volledige samehang met die vroeëre stryd vir die Ortodokse geloof, want wat op die spel was, was nie bloot die geldigheid van die verering van die ikone nie, maar juis die werklikheid van die Vleeswording van Christus, wat die Kerk in vroeëre eeue geworstel het om te bely. Omdat God in Christus volledig mens geword het, is die stoflike self geheillig en het dit ‘n geskikte medium geword om Sy beeltenis weer te gee. Soos Sint Johannes van Damaskus geskryf het: “As ‘n mens eers verstaan dat die Onliggaamlike vir jou mens geword het, is dit vanselfsprekend dat jy Sy menslike beeld kan weergee.”

Onomskryfbare Meester, in u goddelike natuur, en in die laaste tye vlees geword, het dit U behaag om omskryfbaar te word; want deur vlees aan te neem, het U ook al die eienskappe daarvan aangeneem. Wanneer ons daarom die vorm van u gelykenis weergee, gee ons dit ‘n relatiewe verering en word ons verhef tot liefde vir U, en in die navolging van die tradisies van die apostels, verkry ons daaruit die genade van heling.

Uit die Vespers vir die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

Uittreksel uit Evangelion. ‘n Bulletin van die Ortodoks-Christelike Geloof, 4 Maart 2012.