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The Holy of Holies

The link between the Old and New Testament Temples By Abbot Tryphon, December 6, 2019 Orthodox temples have kept to the same form and function since ancient times. Using the Old Testament Temple model, Orthodox churches are divided into several courts or spaces peculiar to their function. The Holy Table, upon which is celebrated the Eucharist, is situated at the east end of the building behind the Iconostasis (icon screen). This is a continuation of

From the Beginning – True Authorial Intent

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 5, 2016  I read a discussion concerning my earlier article on allegory in which someone identified himself as a writer. He stated that if a reader saw something in his writing that he had not intended, then either he or his reader had failed. His statement is an extreme example of what is called “authorial intent”: what the author intends for the reader to see is indeed what the reader

Great and Holy Thursday

Introduction On Thursday of Holy Week four events are commemorated: the washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas. Commemorations of Holy Thursday The Institution of the Eucharist At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a radically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal.

Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 27, 2015  At some point in our history, we began to attribute a merely mental reality to anything that was not an object and reduced the importance of objects to what they could contribute to our mental reality. We live in a sea of psychology. Things, we believe, are only what we think they are. My “relationship” with you means nothing more than the set of inner experiences and dispositions I have towards

The Mystical Supper. Authentic Christianity.

The Mystical Supper: The Eucharist is both the source and the summit of our life in Christ By Abbot Tryphon, November 18, 2019 At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal. He identified Himself with the bread and wine: “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant”

The Non-Orthodox

What about people who are not Orthodox? By Abbot Tryphon, November 11, 2019 It is always a pity when people who claim to be Orthodox make judgements against fellow Christians. In the tradition of Orthodoxy, wherever we find beauty and truth, it is of God, and it is our calling, as Orthodox Christians, to rejoice when we see others have at least some portion of the Truth. Slamming others for what they do not have,

Twelfth Day of Christmas Advent, “O Give Thanks unto the Lord!”

By Father Steven Kostoff “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!”  (Psalm 136:1) In an article titled “A Moveable Fast,” the scholar Elyssa East summarized the history of our American Thanksgiving, and the intentions and practices of the early New England colonists toward this national feast.  Initially, she writes, Thanksgiving was built around the Christian rhythm of fasting and feasting.  Bearing that in mind, she also offered her

A Gifted Existence

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 14, 2015 You cannot give thanks for what has not been given to you. This simple maxim goes to the heart of the Christian life. If I steal your money and burn down your house, I cannot offer thanks for what I have done. It was not given to me from God. Anything that is not a gift has the nature of sin. I can give thanks to God that

A Practicing Christian

Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 18, 2015 My father was an auto mechanic. He learned the trade by working on cars (airplanes before that in the war). He liked his work and would come home in the evenings with stories of things he had diagnosed and fixed. I thought he was amazing. Stanley Hauerwas tells similar stories about his own father who was a brick mason. A brick mason learns his trade by working with another

A Parable of a Kingdom

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 12, 2020 There was a wicked kingdom in which there lived a large number of slaves. The kingdom fought wars, built cities and was extremely successful in growing its economy. Its achievements were the envy of all the other kingdoms. The slaves did well, too. They were not given low jobs or manual labor. Instead, they were “helping” slaves. Their task was to help the people of the Kingdom get by.