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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

The Dormition Fast: August Theophanies

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 10, 2014 The Reading is from the Gospel of St. Matthew. (14:22-34) The month of August is a month of theophanies. A theophany, from the Greek, literally means a “revelation of God”, not “from God”, but “of God.” The Transfiguration of Jesus is a theophany. God reveals himself present in Jesus Christ in this world. He shares his light and energy with us and with all

The Dormition Fast: The Earth Stood Still

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 20, 2014  Orthodox Christians commemorate the death (Dormition) of the Virgin Mary during the month of August (New Calendar, the 15th, Old Calendar, the 28th). For those for whom such feasts are foreign, it is easy to misunderstand what the Orthodox are about – and to assume that this is simply a feast to Mary because we like that sort of thing. Flippant attitudes fail to perceive the depths of the mystery

The Hidden Gospel

By Stephen Freeman, January 8, 2016  There is a genre of Scriptural writings that are described as “apocalyptic.” The book of Revelation, in Greek, is called “The Apocalypse.” Ezekiel and Daniel also have very strong passages described as apocalyptic. The term is very straightforward: it means “revealing what is hidden.” These books are described as “making known hidden things,” because their message is disguised under rather outlandish descriptions: beasts with ten horns, heavenly cities, and

Reading Beneath the Words

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 3, 2016  The relationship between Old and New Testaments is much less straightforward than most people realize. A majority of Christians, particularly in our contemporary world, probably assume that their relationship is mostly historical, that the Old Testament is about things that happened before Christ while the New Testament speaks of Christ Himself and things that come later. That is “sort of” true, but not the real story. The New

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Sixth Monday of Pascha: Bookends and the Resurrection

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 12, 2018 A series of recent conversations with a parishioner turned up the problem of “bookends,” that is, questions of the beginning and the end. It is only natural in our day and age to attack problems in this manner. “How did it start?” is a way of saying, “What is it?” The end, of course, is not so obvious, other than its connection with our insatiable desire to know how

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Third Wednesday of Pascha: From Evening to Morning and from Darkness to Light

By Michael Haldas, Quotes of the Day for April 20, 2020 “From the beginning of the world’s creation until this time, the course of time was so divided that day preceded night, according to the order of primeval making. On this night, because of the mystery of our Lord’s resurrection, the order of time was changed. He rose from the dead during the night, and on the following day, He showed the effect of His

The Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent: Ten Suggestions for Lent

By His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America Meditate on the History of Salvation Think of the Lenten period as a time of meditating on the history of salvation.  Think about the creation of the universe and of Adam and Eve as the beginning of human life on earth.  Think about the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin in humanity.  We see in the hymnology of the liturgical book of Lent, the Triodion,

The Third Thursday of Great Lent. The Great and Holy Lenten Fast.

Modern science sees the value of the Church’s tradition of fasting By Abbot Tryphon, March 16, 2019 From Old Testament times, the people of God prepared for holy occasions with fasting and prayer, and the New Testament continued with this holy tradition. The Lord Himself fasted for forty days before beginning His earthly ministry, demonstrating the importance of fasting before starting any spiritual task. Christ even went so far as saying “When you fast” (Matt.

Bashing Heads

Troublesome passages of the Old Testament By Abbot Tryphon, November 17, 2019  It is important when reading the Old Testament, to remember that it was written as an account of a peoples’ journey to God. As the Israelites journey continued, they came to know God, little by little, through God’s self-revelation to their prophets, and their understanding of God expanded. Christ, as the Logos (the Word of God), was from the very beginning, and identified