In the Orthodox Church, you’ll see specialised vestments being worn by the clergy every week. Let’s explore what these vestments are, what they mean, their purpose and where they came from.
Blog Tag: Orthodox Teaching
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What do you think or feel when you hear the name, “Mary”? For some her name evokes utmost love, but for others it surfaces wariness. Some people have their mind made up about Mary in advance — even if they haven’t thought about her themselves. We all need to avoid allowing preconceptions to colour our understanding. So, let’s open our minds for the next few minutes and examine what Scripture and History tells us about Mary the Mother of Jesus.
There are two types of “word”—the Living Word and the written word. The passage in the first chapter of John's Gospel refers to the Living Word, but when we say in the Liturgy “This is the word of the Lord” following the Gospel reading, we are referring to the written word. Logos The Greek for “Word” in the passages in John 1 is “Logos.” This has an intricate meaning it would seem. It conveys “wisdom”, “reason” and “Creator.” The Greek for “Creation” is “Logikos.” “The Word” is synonymous with “The Son.”
In the seven weeks approaching Pascha, the Orthodox fast and pray during a season that we call, “Lent.” Lent is a practice that has been part of the Orthodox tradition for thousands of years. Let’s discover what Lent is, and learn a little more about its long historical development. Great Lent We can divide Eastern Orthodox Lent into three basic periods:
The Orthodox Church embraces what is known as “Holy Tradition.” Sometimes Christians have a problem with this position because they confuse “Holy Tradition” with what the Bible calls “the tradition of men.” But if we look closely at Scripture, we find that Scripture commends us to follow and practice “Holy Tradition.” Let’s learn a little more about the difference between the two.
What is the Orthodox understanding of salvation? The Orthodox understand that “salvation” is the term used to describe deliverance from sin and death, union with Christ, and abiding with God forever in eternity.
What is baptism? Baptism is a Christian mystery in which a catechumen (student) is united with Christ. In Orthodoxy, if someone asked what is going on in Baptism, the best answer would likely be, “Everything.” To get a sense of what this means, let’s look at what the priest says within the Baptism Liturgy:
In the last few years, there has been a resurgence in interest in Mary Magdalene fueled in part by the repopularisation of old myths and legends. Behind all the stories though, is a real woman who was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches consider her a saint and celebrate her feast day on July 22nd. Who she was Mary’s name probably means “Mary of Magdala,” after a town located on the Western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. What follows is the Gospel account of Mary:
Christ calls us to meet with Him, and to be united to Him with cleansed hearts. The Orthodox respond through obedient and reverent worship, which brings praise and honour to God. Let’s discover a little more about the beautiful, reverent worship of the Orthodox Church.
I was a little mystified. I had just entered the Orthodox Church for the first time, and then I heard this term Theotokos being applied to Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. It took me some time to sort out just what the Orthodox mean by Theotokos. Let’s unpack just what’s going on here. Perhaps we can get a little “de-mystified” together!