Truly blessed are those families whose multiple generations can come together to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. Many of us know the heartache of having beloved members of our family absent from Pascha. And too many of us suffer the heartache of seemingly entire generations absenting themselves from communion. The following article, by Abbot Tryphon of the All Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, explores why so many in this generation have gone missing.
Blog Tag: Returning to Orthodoxy
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The Truth of Orthodoxy is a theological essay by Nikolai Berdyaev (1874–1948) about what makes Orthodoxy different from all other Christian Churches. In beautiful and nuanced language, Berdyaev examines the revelation of the Holy Spirit throughout Orthodox history, the holy mysteries in the interactions between the material and spiritual, and the liturgical means of teaching people about salvation and the life after death. In this excerpt, we learn why the Orthodox Church has changed so little over the centuries.
At our Christmas baptism in 2017, six adults were baptised, chrismated and received into the Holy Orthodox Church. Following that service, a member of the congregation predicted that there would be two more sets of six adults baptised, chrismated and received into Holy Orthodoxy. Turns out that was a good prediction.
On the weekend of Palm Sunday, six adults were joyfully received into the fellowship of Holy Orthodoxy through baptism and chrismation. Taking their stand with Christ and His Church, four received the grace of baptism and two of chrismation. They join an increasing number of people whose lives are being transformed by “the grace of the Lord, the Love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.”
Growing in Orthodoxy Joining the Church was only the start of a wonderful journey of discovery. Archbishop Paul had me undertake three years of Orthodox theological training. I learned by correspondence with the Antiochian Village in America, which offered the St. Stephen’s Diploma of Orthodox Studies. That was brilliant. I discovered that there are many subtle theological shifts I needed to get my head around. I had no difficulty accepting them all.
Finding the Orthodox Faith I knew we needed to join the Church. I’d learned from Peter Toon that Christ’s Church exists as a physical reality on this earth. I knew Christ had said the gates of hell would never prevail against it, so I knew that it existed. And I had learned from Michael Harper that the Anglican Communion was simply no longer the Church.
Completing my military training In Sandhurst, I’d picked up the terrible habit of swearing: that’s what Army men did. But following my conversion, the next time I reflexively uttered the Lord’s name in vain: I was utterly shocked and realised what I’d done. That was the last time I took the Lord’s name in vain. I’d become very self-focused during the intense military training. Now I became much more aware of the others around me and my focus began to turn outward.
Father Geoff relates a living history in a 6 part series to be published daily. He describes how God led him over a 50 year period into God’s Holy Church. Early life Ever since I can remember, I have had an awareness of God. Even if He has not always been at the centre of my life, He was always in the air I breathed. But although I’ve always attended church services, it took me a while to discover God’s Church.