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.


About the Patron of our Parish

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(the Icon of the Mother of God "the Joy of All the Sorrowful"  is Commemorated on July 23, October 24, and November 19)

About the Patron of our Parish

By Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos

Deep within the heart of the Church, in the place where sorrow and joy meet and where our bitter tears are kissed away by a mother's love, we encounter the Most Holy Mother of God. The Church in its devotion to the Ever-Virgin Mary has always known that she is a mystery and a gift given to us by God. The Theotokos is a mystery that can be experienced and encountered, and yet never explained or described in words of logic and science, and she is a gift that brings radiant joy and comfort in the midst of darkness and need. Through the centuries the Church has expressed its love for her through countless hymns, has praised her in its most exquisite poetry and song, and has portrayed her in its most beautiful and beloved icons. No other saint is the subject of so much devotion, and no other saint has so many miracles attributed him or her.

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Great Lent – A Time to Regain Our “Birthright of Beauty”

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Great Lent – A Time to Regain Our “Birthright of Beauty”

by Bishop Michael

Rather than being received with anticipation and joy, Great Lent may be a time we actually dread. The demands of extra services, the rigors of fasting regulations, the fear of going to confession all weigh heavily upon our welcoming and accepting the Great Fast in the spirit in which it is given to us. But for the holy fathers, the great saints of the Church, Lent is a time of renewal, an opportunity for regeneration, another chance for us to regain our “birthright of beauty.”

So often when we think of “beauty,” we think of the face of a loved one, the landscape of nature, a masterpiece of art. These, of course, are examples of exterior beauty beheld by our physical eyes. There is even an ecclesial dimension of such beauty – classical church architecture, radiant iconography, the magnificence of the Liturgy. But when St. Athanasius said, “Mankind was endowed with a “birthright of beauty” (On the Incarnation, 3), he meant something different – the inner, transformative beauty of the human person – the “beauty” of the soul.

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Heaven and Hell in the Afterlife According to the Bible

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Heaven and Hell in the Afterlife According to the Bible

 

By Peter Chopelas

The idea that God is an angry figure who sends those He condemns to a place called Hell, where they spend eternity in torment separated from His presence, is missing from the Bible and unknown in the early church. While Heaven and Hell are decidedly real, they are experiential conditions rather than physical places, and both exist in the presence of God. In fact, nothing exists outside the presence of God.

This is not the way traditional Western Christianity, Roman Catholic or Protestant, has envisioned the afterlife. In Western thought Hell is a location, a place where God punishes the wicked, where they are cut off from God and the Kingdom of Heaven.  Yet this concept occurs nowhere in the Bible, and does not exist in the original languages of the Bible.

While there is no question that according to the Scriptures there is torment and “gnashing of teeth” for the wicked, and glorification for the righteous, and that this judgment comes from God, these destinies are not separate destinations. The Bible indicates that everyone comes before God in the next life, and it is because of being in God’s presence that they either suffer eternally, or experience eternal joy.  In other words, both the joy of heaven, and the torment of judgment, is caused by being eternally in the presence of the Almighty, the perfect and unchanging God.

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Holy Thursday - Twelve Gospels

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Holy Thursday - Twelve Gospels

by Fr. Paul Lazor

Holy Thursday begins with the celebration of vespers and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil with a Reserved Eucharist in representation of the earthly presence of Christ realized at the Last Supper.

In the evening, anticipating the Matins of Friday morning, the Holy Passion service of the reading of the Twelve Gospels is conducted. In these readings Christ's last instructions to his disciples are presented, as well as the prophecy of the drama of the Cross, Christ's prayer, and his new commandment. The twelve readings are:

 

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Great Lent - Its Meaning For Orthodox Christians

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GREAT LENT Its Meaning For Orthodox Christians

by THE RT. REV. ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN (1970)

GREAT LENT The Time of Repentance

"Brethren, while fasting bodily, let us,.also fast spiritually; let us loosen every bond of injustice; let us destroy the strong fetters of violence; let us tear up every unjust writing; let us give bread to the hungry and let us welcome the homeless poor to our houses, that from Christ our God we may receive the great mercy." (Stichira, Wednesday of the First Week)

We are approaching again the Great Lent- the time of repentance, the time of our reconciliation with God. Repentance is the beginning and also the condition of a truly Christian life. "Repent!" was the first word of Christ when He began to preach (Matt. 4:17). But what is repentance?

 

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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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