The saints in each generation, joined to those who have gone before and filled like them with light, become a golden chain, in which each saint is a separate link, united to the next by faith, works and love. Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
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Over the years I’ve noticed that some visitors to Orthodox services feel uncomfortable and uncertain about kissing the cross at the end of the Liturgy Service. I’d like to try to explain why we do it. Kissing the Cross of Jesus We have to admit, that from a modern perspective, it is a really a strange thing to do. Kissing the depiction of a man being executed could, in fact, be seen as grotesque. The reason we do it, however, is because of what this particular person means to us.
The Mission of the Orthodox Church as a whole is very simple and straightforward, and the specific goal of the Orthodox Church in Australia aligns with this mission. Let’s learn what this mission is, and how it is specific to Australia. The Mission The Orthodox Mission has as its twin goals: the “incarnation of the Logos of God into the language and customs of a country,” and the “growth of an indigenous church which will sanctify and endorse the people’s personality.”(1)
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.
The ancient city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople, today known as Istanbul in Turkey, was dedicated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great as the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD and functioned as the centre of the East Roman (or Byzantine) Empire for over 1000 years. Let’s learn about what Constantinople was like and how the city fell.
The church of Antioch is the most ancient church after that of Jerusalem. The city of Antioch is situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean near the mouth of the Orontes River in northwestern Syria. Let’s learn about: the history of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, how the Antiochian Church was established and became a major centre for Christians, the persecution and decline of the Antiochian Church, and what can be found in Antioch today.
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.
In the Orthodox Church the Easter Feast is officially called Pascha, which means “Passover,” and it remembers the new and everlasting covenant foretold by the prophets, which was fulfilled by Christ’s Resurrection. Pascha is the major feast of the Orthodox Liturgical year, and is a time of exultant joy and celebration, because Christ has broken the power of death! Let's learn some more about what Pascha is and how it is celebrated.
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:
Someone once called the Orthodox Church “The Candlelight Kingdom.” Candles are so much a part of our worship that it has been said “to light a candle is to pray.” Why do we use candles? And what has prayer to do with lighting candles? Let's learn about candle-lighting and what it means. God: Light of the World Every time we light a candle the flame and the light should remind us of God. In the Bible God is often described in terms of fire and light: “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).