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.


Gospel parables, an Orthodox commentary

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Gospel parables, an Orthodox commentary

By Father Victor Potapov, Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Washington DC

General Introduction


Since the time of the primitive Christian Church, parable has been the term for a story told by the Lord Jesus Christ to illustrate His teaching. The Greek root-word, parabole, means comparison. So a parable is a spiritual lesson of a story developed by comparison to everyday life. The Lord's parables draw memorable details from nature, human, social, economic, or religious life of His time. Characteristically, all oral teachers of the eastern cast of mind teach by comparisons and riddles, using homely images to stir curiosity and reflection. So His parables use images from life in this world to discover spiritual truth.

The Savior also told sacred insights in parables for three practical reasons.

  • First, His parables were hard for many listeners to grasp, but His listeners could recall the vivid details from ordinary life long enough to discover the wisdom behind the allegory.
  • Second, the Lord Jesus Christ told parables to make men expect a double meaning, and to make them want to discover the fullness of the divine plan for their conversion. Because the Church and Kingdom that our Lord founded differ so sharply from the Jewish expectation of the Messiah at that time, that the Lord's teaching had to be cautious and indirect. His parables use allegory to compare the recognizable world to the start, development, mixed character, and final triumph of Church and Kingdom. What may seem simple to us, of course, was a intriguing riddle to His contemporaries.
  • And third, the Lord used the parable format because His followers could not readily forget or misinterpret the commonplace images. The parable format preserves the purity of Christ's teaching in distinct but evocative images.

 


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And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

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And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Number 6 of 8 commentaries on The Lord's Prayer broadcast on Raido Liberty by Fr. Alexander Schmemann to listeners in the former Soviet Union. (Translated by Alexis Vinogradov)

“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Mt 6: 12). Let us notice at the outset that this petition directly unites two acts: the forgiveness of our sins by God is connected to our forgiveness of sins committed against us. Christ says: "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Mt 6:14-15). And, of course, precisely here in this connection, in this relationship lies the profound mystery of forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer.

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The Paschal Service

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The Paschal Service

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith; receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.
(Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, read at Paschal Matins)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the center of the Christian faith. St. Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then our preaching and faith are in vain (I Cor. 15:14). Indeed, without the resurrection there would be no Christian preaching or faith. The disciples of Christ would have remained the broken and hopeless band which the Gospel of John describes as being in hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. They went nowhere and preached nothing until they met the risen Christ, the doors being shut (John 20:19). Then they touched the wounds of the nails and the spear; they ate and drank with Him. The resurrection became the basis of everything they said and did (Acts 2-4): "... for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39).

The resurrection reveals Jesus of Nazareth as not only the expected Messiah of Israel, but as the King and Lord of a new Jerusalem: a new heaven and a new earth.

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Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God

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The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God

By St. John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco

 

The Veneration of the Mother of God During Her Earthly Life.

FROM APOSTOLIC TIMES and to our days all who truly love Christ give veneration to Her Who gave birth to Him, raised Him and protected Him in the days of His youth. If God the Father chose Her, God the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, and God the Son dwelt in Her, submitted to Her in the days of His youth, was concerned for Her when hanging on the Cross - then should not everyone who confesses the Holy Trinity venerate Her?

Still in the days of Her earthly life, the friends of Christ, the Apostles, manifested a great concern and devotion for the Mother of the Lord, especially the Evangelist John the Theologian, who, fulfilling the will of Her Divine Son, took Her to himself and took care for Her as for a mother from the time when the Lord uttered to him from the Cross the words: “Behold thy mother.”

The Evangelist Luke painted a number of images of Her, some together with the Pre-eternal Child, others without Him. When, he brought them and showed them to the Most Holy Virgin, She approved them and said: “The grace of My Son shall be with them,” and repeated the hymn She had once sung in the house of Elizabeth: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and My spirit hath rejoiced in God My Saviour.”

However, the Virgin Mary during Her earthly life avoided the glory which belonged to Her as the Mother of the Lord. She preferred to live in quiet and prepare Herself for the departure into eternal life. To the last day of Her earthly life She took care to prove worthy of the Kingdom of Her Son, and before death She prayed that He might deliver Her soul from the malicious spirits that meet human souls on the way to heaven and strive to seize them so as to take them away with them to Hades. The Lord fulfilled the prayer of His Mother and in the hour of Her death Himself came from heaven with a multitude of angels to receive Her soul.

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For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

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For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Number 8 of 8 commentaries on The Lord's Prayer broadcast on Raido Liberty by Fr. Alexander Schmemann to listeners in the former Soviet Unidon. (Translated by Alexis Vinogradov)

With this conversation we end our brief, and far from adequate, explanation of the Lord's Prayer. We saw that behind each word, behind each petition, there lies a world of spiritual realities, spiritual connections which regularly escape our attention, which have vanished in the turmoil of our daily lives. From this point of view, the prayer, "Our Father;' is more than a prayer; it is an epiphany and revelation of that spiritual world for which we are created, that hierarchy of values which enables us to arrange everything in its place within our lives. Each petition opens a whole layer of personal awareness, a whole revelation about our selves.

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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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