Some say St. Nicholas existed only in legend, without any reliable historical record. Legends usually do grow out of real, actual events, though they my be embellished to make more interesting stories. Many of the St. Nicholas stories seem to be truth interwoven with imagination. However, the following facts of the life of St. Nicholas contain historical truth. Nicholas’ Birth in Patara - Though the exact date of his birth is not known, it is believed to have occurred between AD 260 - 280. The place, Patara, can be historically grounded. Orthodox Tradition states that St. Nicholas has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna in prayer. Dowries for the Poor … [Read more...]
Homily on Thanksgiving
In anticipation of national Thanksgiving Day in the US, and the homilies which must be written and preached this coming Sunday, we offer wisdom from St. Basil, aptly called 'The Great.' by St. Basil the Great 1. You have heard the words of the Apostle, in which he addresses the Thessalonians, prescribing rules of conduct for every kind of person. His teaching, to be sure, was directed towards particular audiences; but the benefit to be derived therefrom is relevant to every generation of mankind. Rejoice evermore, he says; Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). Now, we shall explain a little later on, as far as we are able, what it means to … [Read more...]
Masoretic Text vs. Original Hebrew
by Fr. Joseph Gleason I used to believe the Masoretic Text was a perfect copy of the original Old Testament. I used to believe that the Masoretic Text was how God divinely preserved the Hebrew Scriptures throughout the ages. I was wrong. The oldest copies of the Masoretic Text only date back to the 10th century, nearly 1000 years after the time of Christ. And these texts differ from the originals in many specific ways. The Masoretic text is named after the Masoretes, who were scribes and Torah scholars who worked in the middle-east between the 7th and 11th centuries. The texts they received, and the edits they provided, ensured that the modern Jewish texts would manifest a … [Read more...]
Why the Seder?
Part three of our republishing of 'The Contemporary Protestant Seder: Anachronistic Revisionism?' by the Rev. Dr. Dcn. Timothy J. Wilkinson Why the Seder? Given the clear linkage between the Passover, the Seder meal, and the Eucharist – and the apparent lack of understanding of, or interest in this linkage – motives for participation in the Seder meal appear to fall into two categories. The first revolves around the well-known philo-Semitic evangelical desire for rootedness and connection with the early Church and its predecessor, the Jewish religion. Since the publication of Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline in 1978, ancient source literature, particularly as it relates to … [Read more...]
The Early Church, the Seder and the Eucharist
Part two of our republishing of 'The Contemporary Protestant Seder: Anachronistic Revisionism?' by the Rev. Dr. Dcn. Timothy J. Wilkinson. The Early Church, the Seder and the Eucharist What kind of meal was the Last Supper? At first blush it appears to be a Passover meal imbued with new meaning. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus specifically mentions the desire to eat the Passover meal with His disciples: Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover? And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at … [Read more...]
The Contemporary Protestant Seder: Anachronistic Revisionism?
by the Rev. Dcn. Dr. Timothy J. Wilkinson The protestant Evangelical world has, for many years now, appropriated the Jewish Seder service in an attempt to 'reconnect' with something more ancient, and I would contend, something more authentic. We offer this excellent piece by Dcn Tim Wilkinson, Reprinted (with permission) from Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 56 (2015), published by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, this article is being published in three installments, with endnotes included on the third installment. Introduction The Jewish Seder has become a routine part of contemporary Easter services in many American churches. … [Read more...]
How to Pray for the Reposed Non-Christians and Non-Orthodox?
Though liturgical prayers on behalf of the departed are reserved for baptized Orthodox Christians only in the Orthodox Church, private prayer made on behalf of those that reposed without holy Baptism or repentance may be seen in the lives of several saints. In the life of St. Thecla, the first century martyr and follower of the Apostle Paul, we read of her arrest in Antioch during which time she was kept in the custody of Tryphina, a rich noblewoman who although now a Christian, her daughter Falconilla reposed while they were pagans. One night Tryphina beheld her daughter in a dream, who said: "My mother, love the stranger, Thecla. Take her as your daughter in my place, for she is the … [Read more...]
“Don’t You Dare Not Go To Church On Sunday!”
Church - as the Body of the Resurrected Christ - is of paramount importance! This priest gets it, and clearly so did his people. Wonderful! Enjoy! … [Read more...]
Tithing and the Work of the Church
"...If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did..." - John 8:39 by Fr. John Whiteford If you want to know the spiritual state and strength of a church, just look at its stewardship report. Is tithing a New Testament practice and a teaching in our Holy Tradition? Why does the Church talk about money? Because dealing with money is a spiritual matter, of the highest order. Fr. John Whiteford discusses the practice and meaning of tithing, ancient and modern. Tithing was the practice of giving ten percent of one’s “increase” to God. By increase, this meant that whatever one’s labor managed to acquire, the first ten percent of it was the Lord’s. Tithing was … [Read more...]
20th anniversary of Br. Jose Munoz-Cortes commemorated in NY
The 20th anniversary of the repose of the keeper of the miraculous Montreal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God Icon Br. José Muñoz-Cortes was celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) on Saturday, reports RIA-Novosti. Hundreds of believers from various cities around the U.S. and Canada gathered at ROCOR’s spiritual center Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville in upstate New York. A panikhida and akathist were served in the cemetery behind the main monastery church were Br. José, who was murdered in Athens in 1997, is buried. The faithful placed dozens of candles on his grave during the services. All of the services were blessed with the presence of … [Read more...]