Crowning in Marriage

August 27, 2012

A beautifully done short video giving an overview of an Orthodox marriage “Crowning” — filmed this past June at a Romanian Orthodox parish in Ghent, Belgium:

For further reading:

Crowned With Glory and Honor: Guidelines for Orthodox Marriage Preparation


Orthodox Easter in Cameroon

August 18, 2012

A very interesting new video just posted to You Tube shows Pascha (Easter) in some Orthodox parishes in Cameroon in Central Africa. The video begins with Good Friday services and Baptisms in Yaounde (the capital) with snippets from the Midnight Pascha liturgy starting at 11:08 minutes.

Of particular note are some of the parish celebrations in small cities away from the capital. For example, Liturgy in the small city of Datcheka in Northern Cameroun is shown starting about 32:00 minutes. Another to watch is the visit to the parish in Touilale starting at 1:00:28 minutes. While recognizable in many respects, one can also see some inculturation. Liturgy is in the local language, the Bishop gives his sermon in French (official language of the country) and it’s translated into the local tongue.

This is part of the mission work of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria which also includes the operation of schools for children in that country.

 


A Sunday in the Life of a Pharisee

August 2, 2012

By Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou

 “This church is full of hypocrites. Look at these people! They don’t care about religion. Slackers! Nationalists! Oh look! Here’s another late comer. Why can’t they get their children to shut up? This is a place of prayer! I didn’t come to hear screaming babies! Look at that priest! His heart isn’t in this at all! And that chanter – what a show off! And that man in the corner with the prayer rope constantly crossing himself is really annoying me – showing off his piety. Pharisee! Love that Gospel Reading! Really sums up Pharisaic Christians, like that man in the corner. Weren’t you listening to any of that? It was about you! Thank God I’m not like that! Now look! A woman in a mini-skirt taking Communion – I bet she had breakfast! Too young to be married, but I bet she has sex. Does she have her spiritual father’s permission to take Communion? Bet she doesn’t know what a spiritual father is! Have any of these people gone to Confession or said the prayers before Communion like I have? I’m definitely going to go to a monastery next Sunday. Somewhere where I’ll find real Christians and pious priests and no screaming babies – somewhere where other so-called Christians won’t disturb my prayer”.

This is how Pharisees think. How do I know? Because there is a Pharisee in me too. There is a Pharisee in all of us.


Rite of Consecration of Holy Chrism Video

August 2, 2012

St. Tikhon’s Monastery has just put up a video of the consecration of Holy Chrism held there earlier this year.  This is a rite rarely witnessed by the faithful and it’s a treat to see this preparation done in English. The choir is also magnificent. The video description:

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated the preparatory rites for the Consecration of Holy Chrism on the morning of Great and Holy Monday, April 9, 2012, at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery. The Rite will conclude with the actual consecration of the sacred oil during the Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Great and Holy Thursday, April 12.

The blessing of the ingredients took place before the celebration of the Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

The consecration of Holy Chrism is reserved to autocephalous churches. Parishes receive Holy Chrism for local use from the Primate of their respective autocephalous Church. As such, the distribution of Holy Chrism to parish communities offers a visible sign of unity within the Church.

A more detailed explanation from Orthodoxwiki:

Chrism (Greek χρίσμα, meaning “ointment”) is consecrated oil used during the administration of certain mysteries, particularly those of baptism and anointing of the sick (unction), and other rites of the Orthodox Church. Chrism is sometime referred to as myrrh (from the Greek μύρων), holy oil, or consecrated oil.

The use of an oil in Christian ceremonies is mentioned in many early Christian documents including writings by Theophilus and Tertullian. Cyril of Jerusalem details the practices of using oil or ointment that is “symbolically applied to the forehead, and other organs of sense.” He further notes that the “ointment is the seal of the covenants” of baptism and God’s promises to the believer. He taught that being “anointed with the oil of God” was a sign of a Christian (Christos meaning “anointed”), and a physical representation of receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Orthodox Christianity, chrism is a prominent part of the baptismal rite in which, under normal circumstances, the newly enlightened (including infants) is anointed with chrism in the mystery of chrismation. Chrism is used also during the consecration of churches in which the altar table and walls are anointed.
Preparation

Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and aromatic essences following the pattern of the preparation of anointing oil described in Exodus 30:22-33. Chrism is prepared when needed during Holy Week. The preparation rite begins on Holy Monday and ends with the Divine Liturgy on Holy Thursday when the new chrism is carried in during the Great Entrance and placed upon the altar table. The chrism is prepared by the ruling bishop of each autocephalous church, assisted by members of the Holy Synod. After its preparation the chrism is distributed to the bishops, who in turn pass it to the parishes where it is needed.

In the Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, Chrism is manufactured roughly every ten years. It is produced from 57 ingredients, including the ash from burnt icons.


“Why Study the History of the Liturgy?” By Sister Vassa

August 1, 2012

A very interesting commentary on the historical development of the Liturgy by Sister Vassa (Larin), given recently at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC:


Orthodoxy in Kenya

June 19, 2012

Some recently uploaded videos about Orthodoxy in Kenya. The first shows some pictures from the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School in Nairobi, Kenya. The second shows services in Nairobi, Kenya–a wedding, Divine Liturgy, a Funeral. In the background you can hear chant, Kenyan style.


Proskimide — A Study of the Divine Liturgy

May 12, 2012

Fr. Barnabas Powell, pastor of Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, Georgia, gives an excellent presentation of the Proskimide service, the preparation of the gifts, which precedes the Divine Liturgy: