Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Articles Section

This section of our website has articles about Orthodoxy and our church. These articles are also currently subdivided into three categories:

  • Orthodox Church, a collection of articles about the Orthodox Church. We hope the articles in this section will be helpful to both inquires of Orthodoxy, and to those who are members of the Church.
  • Worship, a collection of articles about services, prayers, and worship of the Orthodox Church.
  • Saints and Icons, a collection of articles about saints, their relics, or their icons. We hope to include articles, of special interest to our parish, on the saints who are depicted on our icons, or whose holy relics rest here. Articles on our feast day icons will be included here also.

Also see our Salvation History Section and our list of Videos.


Why Not "Open Communion"?

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Why Not "Open Communion"?

Written by the Very Rev. John Breck

Especially at the feast of Pascha (Easter) non-Orthodox Christians ask why they may not receive Holy Communion in Orthodox parishes.  As painful as this refusal is, it is based on our understanding of the true meaning of the sacrament as revealed in Scripture and ecclesial experience.

A few months ago someone sent me a posting from an Internet site that spoke to the issue of communion among various Christian confessions.  In answer to the question why a Protestant believer was refused the sacrament at Easter in her boyfriend’s Catholic parish, the writer declared that non-Catholics do not believe in "the presence of God’s body in the transubstantiated host."  Therefore, "they cannot take communion."

Then the writer added: "There is just one exception to this rule.  Orthodox Christians (such as Greek Orthodox Christians) may take communion in all Roman Catholic Churches.  The reason for this is that Orthodox Christianity also teaches the actual presence of God in the host."

This widespread understanding of the matter is not accurate and needs to be corrected on several counts, theological as well as pastoral.  An entire tome could be written by way of explanation, but here are a few of the most important elements.  In the next two columns we’ll explore some others.

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Vespers

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Vespers

Vespers recalls and represents events of the Old Testament: the creation of the world, the fall into sin of the first human beings, their expulsion from Paradise, their repentance and prayer for salvation, the hope of mankind in accordance with the promise of God for a Saviour and finally, the fulfillment of that promise.

The Vespers of an All-night Vigil begins with the opening of the Royal Gates. The priest and deacon silently cense the Altar Table and the entire sanctuary so that clouds of incense fill the depths of the sanctuary. This silent censing represents the beginning of the creation of the world. In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was without form and void, and the Spirit of God hovered over the original material earth, breathing upon it a life-creating power, but the creating word of God had not yet begun to resound.

Then the priest stands before the Altar and intones the first exclamation to the glory of the Creator and Founder of the world, the Most-holy Trinity, "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-creating, and Indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."

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On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life

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On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life

These affirmations on marriage, family, sexuality, and the sanctity of life are issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops on the occasion of the Tenth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America.

Miami, Floria, July 1992

 

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Nestor the Chronicler of the Kiev Caves

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Nestor the Chronicler of the Kiev Caves

Icon Nestor the Chronicler of the Kiev Caves

In our church, once rested relics of the holy Saint Nestor the Chronicler, of the Kiev Caves. He is commemorated by the church on September 28.

Saint Nestor the Chronicler, of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves was born at Kiev in 1050. He came to St Theodosius (May 3) as a young man, and became a novice. St Nestor took monastic tonsure under the successor to St Theodosius, the igumen Stephen, and under him was ordained a hierodeacon.

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The Filioque: a Church-Dividing Issue?

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The Filioque: a Church-Dividing Issue? An Agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Saint Paul's College, Washington, D.C.

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

October, 2003

From 1999 until 2003, the North American Orthodox-Catholic Consultation has focused its discussions on an issue that has been identified, for more than twelve centuries, as one of the root causes of division between our Churches: our divergent ways of conceiving and speaking about the origin of the Holy Spirit within the inner life of the triune God. Although both of our traditions profess “the faith of Nicaea” as the normative expression of our understanding of God and God’s involvement in his creation, and take as the classical statement of that faith the revised version of the Nicene creed associated with the First Council of Constantinople of 381, most Catholics and other Western Christians have used, since at least the late sixth century, a Latin version of that Creed, which adds to its confession that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father” the word Filioque: “and from the Son”. For most Western Christians, this term continues to be a part of the central formulation of their faith, a formulation proclaimed in the liturgy and used as the basis of catechesis and theological reflection. It is, for Catholics and most Protestants, simply a part of the ordinary teaching of the Church, and as such, integral to their understanding of the dogma of the Holy Trinity. Yet since at least the late eighth century, the presence of this term in the Western version of the Creed has been a source of scandal for Eastern Christians, both because of the Trinitarian theology it expresses, and because it had been adopted by a growing number of Churches in the West into the canonical formulation of a received ecumenical council without corresponding ecumenical agreement. As the medieval rift between Eastern and Western Christians grew more serious, the theology associated with the term Filioque, and the issues of Church structure and authority raised by its adoption, grew into a symbol of difference, a classic token of what each side of divided Christendom has found lacking or distorted in the other.

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Subcategories

  • Orthodox Church

    Articles about the Orthodox Church

    This section of our website, is a collection of articles about the Orthodox Church. We hope the articles in this section will be helpful to inquires of Orthodoxy, Catechumens, and to those who are members of the Church.

    Good starting points would be:


     

    Article Count:
    94
  • Worship

    Articles on services and prayers.

    This section of our website has a collection a collection of articles about services, prayers, and worship of the Orthodox Church.

    Good starting points would be:


    Article Count:
    82
  • Saints and Icons

    Articles on Saints and Icons

    This section of our website, is a collection of articles about saints, their relics, or their icons. We hope to include articles, of special interest to our parish, on the saints who are depicted on our icons, or whose holy relics rest here. Articles on our feast day icons will be included here also.

    Besides enhancing the beauty of our church, icons remind and instruct us in matters pertaining to the Christian faith. They can lift us up to the prototypes which they symbolize, to a higher level of thought and feeling, to help transform us and sanctify us. Icons can stimulate us to imitate the virtues of the holy personages depicted on them. They serve as a means of worship and veneration.

    Good starting points would be:


    Article Count:
    59
  • Videos

    Articles by Video

    This part of our website is where we post videos for now. They may be moved into other categories on the website, whatever seems best.

    (All  the 7 questions 7 answers vedios are noiw in this category.)


     

    Article Count:
    32

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