Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
TEXT BANK 2018
texts by students



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3rd year of study: Spring 2017

1. The Holy Trinity is three PERSONS – the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
2. The Jews reject Jesus Christ as their MESSIAH because they think that He did not do things according to the prophesies in their Scriptures.

А.C. [(1) 68]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

St. Nikon of Optina states that a talent is good when it’s used to gain salvation. If it harms you then it should be abandoned to avoid sin and grief.
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. God gifts every person with a talent. But it is up to you how you will use it. A talent can be used to make a living, help others or even serve God, like icon painting. But some people let it draw in sinful things like the desire for fame or gloating. Even worse is when a creative person can’t realize himself properly, sometimes due to circumstance and sometimes due to head-over-heels desires, and becomes miserable. Some people may realize the sins and some may not but either way they suffer.
There are countless examples of people who use their talents for good – not only the many people who served or are serving God but also those who have settled and live a happy life, using their talent as a source of income or as a hobby. On the other hand, there are people who clearly suffer from their talents. Some famous people, for example, are surrounded by the constant ill effects of their fame. They often can’t find peace or the love of their life. And some people like van Gogh, while being extremely talented, clearly aren’t capable of wielding their talent properly. This caused van Gogh to cut his own ear off. These people desperately require help. This is the case where it is perhaps better to abandon your talent to remain safe and sane. This has also been a case with me because I can draw well but I mostly abstain from it and only keep it as a hobby because drawing too much makes me think and do strange things.
To sum up, talents have both good and bad sides. You can use them for good but if they cause you harm then it’s best to abandon them even if it you don’t want to at first.

А.C. [(5) 46]


1. Adam was offered perfection, but he, having DONE WRONG, fell victim to the GUILE of the serpent.
2. On 28th of August, during the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy His Holiness Patriarch Kirill ordained deacon Dmitry to the Priesthood and after the PRAYER BEFORE THE AMBO and the DISMISSAL he delivered a sermon, speaking about the Most Holy Theotokos.
3. When St. Helen, mother of St. Constantine the Great, arrived in Jerusalem, she destroyed all the TEMPLES of idols; she cleansed the holy city of all DEFILEMENT.

А.Д. [(3) 15]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

"Devil's disease" to my mind is pride, which, according to St. John Climacus himself, is "a denial of God, an invention of the devil, contempt for men". This disease reveals itself in various forms, through persistent proving one's rightness in particular. Humility, on the other side, remembers the words from the Scriptures: "all men are liars" (Ps. 115:11). That's why realising the imperfection of human truth, the humble one won't try to fervently prove his opinion, instead he will meekly keep quiet. For the Truth is something other than what the human mind imagines; the Truth is Christ.

А.Д. [(5) 14,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

St. John Climacus states that if we only desire to establish our own opinion in a conversation it means that the devil compels us to do so.
I agree with this statement. Some people enter into verbal quarrels not because a different opinion is needed, such as when the opposing party has dangerous intentions or opinions, sometimes without even realizing it, - but because they feel the desperate need to separate themselves from that party or to establish their own superiority. Logic doesn’t always matter to these people. Whether they are right or wrong, opposing someone is satisfactory enough for them. But St. John Climacus is also correct by saying that it’s still considered to be sinful even if one says the truth under such an influence. This person is probably seeking to establish superiority, bring their opponent down or simply feel good. In any case, such people often turn out to be very negative as they end up disagreeing with others and not being satisfied with anything. The “devil’s disease” which St. John mentions is pride which leads us to self-love, which dictates that only you matter and no one else. If such a person approaches you and your opinion happens to be ‘incorrect’ they will probably forcefully try to make you believe the same way they do or even simply bully you because you are ‘wrong’. A normal person will explain to you where you’ve made a mistake. A prideful person can also point out things methodically but their approach will always be more negative and aggressive.
However, it does not mean that these people are entirely incapable of engaging in a normal conversation. Though their ‘tendency’ becomes obvious once a chance to show it arises, they are also people who need to socialize, so you mustn’t be discriminatory against them.
There are many examples of such people from history. One such person was a famous writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Though he is considered to be a great writer and philosopher he also tended to disagree with most people he encountered, which led him to losing almost all of his friends by the end of his life. Though his vehement desire to establish his own way of thought among others led to his creating remarkable works on human nature and psychology one cannot deny that this tendency led to many hypocritical claims, such as his opinion on art which he both embraced and hated.
In the end, it is obvious that arguing with someone for the sake of establishing your own opinion is not healthy. This is a sign of sinful pride which should be quelled, so you must watch out for such impulses when there is a chance to argue with someone. If you happen to meet such a person yourself don’t be confrontational since it only aggravates them further. Try to remain on the neutral side.

А.C. [(5) 41]


1. A KONTAKION is a type of hymnography in which the hymn is sung in the honour of a saint or a historical religious event, especially relating to the Gospel.
2. An AKATHIST is a type of hymn during which people must remain standing the whole service (the name meaning “not sitting” in Greek).

А.C. [(1) 36]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

In this particular case the key word is not ‘truth’ but ‘to establish somebody’s own opinion’. It is not bad to have your own point of view, but you do not have any moral right to make people to accept it, even if you are right. When a person proves his opinion in this way, his pride comes to the foreground and such a man cares not about the truth but about how he/she comes across in his/her own eyes.
This point of view can be proved from the Holy Scripture: “Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). But immediately after these words the Apostle notes: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3). That means that you can tell the truth but if your heart is unclean, you are a liar.
That is one case. But a person really leads the righteous life – can he or she insist on his/her right opinion? He should not as well – it can be proved with the Apostle Paul’s words: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men,] apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:24-25).
In conclusion I would like to put there a quote by Elder Paisios: “Besides, if one of the spouses leads spiritual life, he somehow does not have the right to be right. Being a spiritual man he should regard injustice spiritually”.

А.Щ. [(4) 44,25]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(89)

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Jas, 4:6). " <...> and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest" (Mt, 11:29). These words from the Scriptures show that a Christian life requires humility. In the Orthodox tradition humility has often been called the "mother of all virtues" - no good deed is pleasing to God without it. Humility alone, however, makes some offences dispensable.
One of the principal means to achieve humility is patience. "Be persecuted rather than be a persecutor. Be crucified rather than be a crucifier. Be treated unjustly rather than treat anyone unjustly. Be oppressed rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness rather than justice" (St. Isaac of Syria). Taking everything with gratitude, a Christian gradually learns to trust in God rather than in himself. This brings him nearer to the first level of humility. Meanwhile it's incomprehensible for a fleshly human mind how to achieve the perfection of humility, for it's a divine gift.

А.Д. [(5) 7]


1. St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker was very committed to his MINISTRY and suffered with great PERSEVERANCE under the PERSECUTION of the Roman government.
2. When Turks seized Nicaea at 1331, they turned the Church of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, so it has been under the CRESCENT for a long time.

А.Д. [(2) 2]


1. Only a bishop can carry out the SANCTIFICATION of the ALTAR.
2. With the help of TRIBULATUIONS we can be DELIVERED from our sins.
3. The Lord requires from us a CONTRITE HEART so that we can receive His grace.
4. All our services are full of SUPPLICATIONS.

А.Щ. [(3) 27]


1. THE GREAT LENT is the longest fast in a year; it signifies the preparation before Christ’s Passion and Resurrections.
2. THE PASSION is the final period in Jesus Christ’s life starting with his entrance into Jerusalem and ending with Resurrection.

А.C. [(1) 35]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

Archbishop Seraphim of Bogucharsk states that the path to the Heavenly Kingdom is laden with struggles against one’s passions which arise due to self-love.
I completely agree with Archbishop Seraphim. It is impossible for the path to the Heavenly Kingdom to be easy. The Devil and his servants will certainly try to pull you down by setting all sorts of passions upon your shoulders. A man makes his own decision on what he wants to happen to his life as well as afterlife. One of the main obstacles to his achieving happiness is his own self-love which makes it easier for possible sins to find cracks in his will, confidence, kindness etc. A real effort must be made in order to keep yourself together and not to give in to these passions. Knowing the teachings of Christianity certainly helps to understand the serious implications of your actions – your every single action and thought will be weighted before Christ in the end.
Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Philippians talks thus about self-love and the sins which it brings with it: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3–4). He not only warns us about the dangers of self-love but also urges us to act out of love towards others. This advice is undoubtedly difficult to follow perfectly – every man has his flaws that keep him from stifling his own self-interests so as to help others.
I have also noticed this during my experience as a Christian. There are always things that tempt you and sometimes it’s very difficult not to succumb. I know that I especially suffer from self-love and this has caused many a mistake during my life. Now is the time of the Great Lent and the temptations are especially strong. But the fear of going to Hell as well as the desire to live a happy life and also make it better for others keeps me going even now. I’m sure that it applies to all my fellow Christians.
In conclusion, self-love will halt your path to Heaven. Love must be given to others so that others will give it to you. In my opinion, this is the way to lead a happy life. And you must also remember the importance of your actions. If they stem from self-love and other sins then they’ll prevent you from reaching the Kingdom of Heaven.

А.C. [(5) 34]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14) – these words the Lord speaks to us about the way of salvation. It cannot be easy, because we need to be cleansed from our sinful nature on this path. Such process is like a surgery – painful but necessary to survive. Evil became an integral part of human nature, and we should really struggle against it – especially, as archbishop Seraphim notices, against fleshly passions and self-love. It is clear about fleshly passions – they are connected with the body and often are too loathsome even to name them. But why does he mention self-love?
Self-love is one of the displays of arrogance, the root of all sins. Before a person commits sin he or she firstly decides that the Law of God is lower for them than their own desire – and it becomes a reason for the further decline. That’s why self-love is our main enemy.

А.Щ. [(3,5) 24]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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We know that God gives us His grace to support and to save us. We receive this grace via different methods – through participating in the Sacraments, prayers, partaking of prosphoras and holy water, etc. Grace and sin cannot co-exist, so the more a person gets rid of sins, the more he or she receives the Lord’s grace. Those people whom we call ‘saints’ became so close to God that got much grace and now they can share it with us.
Another side of such help – the example of a saint. “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward” (Psalms 18:26-27). Elsewhere elder Paisios says that if a sportsman looks at those who are behind him, he will lose. But if he looks at more skillful people, he will become eager to follow them and to win. The same method works in spiritual life. Saints are those more powerful ‘sportsmen’, who can help us not only by prayers, but with the example of their lives. There were many cases when meeting with the saints changed people’s lives.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 20,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos says that if a person has relationships with religious people then they will definitely get help.
I agree with this statement, but not entirely. The first thing that I want to say is that if you are fortunate to befriend somebody who truly is a religious person and believes in God, then that person will probably be most likely to help you when you are in need. Religious people do it not only because they know the word of God but also because they live by it. In my personal experience many religious people have helped me in my lifetime, and they are one of the main reasons why I’m in this university. One such person is my mother’s friend who is an icon painter. She is very religious and strict but had a good influence on my family.
However, there is a downside to Paisios’ statement. Even if a person is spiritual does not mean that they are religious in the right way. This confusion may arise especially in contemporary times when people tend to follow their own judgement only and find their own “spiritual” ways that don’t affiliate with Christianity or even any other widespread religion. This person might accidentally do you harm when helping you if they are acting on a religious principle, though, again, they probably don’t mean it, as they themselves are misguided. But a problem may occur even if a person is Christian – trying to help someone with the help of religion while incorrectly understanding what you are trying to convey is harmful to both of you, so caution must be exercised.
So in the end, God leads good people to help those in need. However, spiritual people may also be mistaken in their judgement, so they too should be careful so that they won’t misguide those whom they are trying to help.

А.C. [(5) 29]


1. The DISMISSAL is one of the final parts of the liturgy – it is performed before the very end.
2. The Cross on which Christ was crucified is sometimes called a TREE.

А.C. [(1) 24]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

If a person says something inconsiderately, he can`t completely control all his inner intentions and passions. As a matter of fact, lie – is a sin. A Christian and lie can`t co-exist, but sometimes truth is spoken not in the right way. "If there is a need to expose your brother, and you will feel anger and lose control of yourself, so does not say anything, to avoid being even more confused; but when you notice that you both are in the meek and peaceful spirit, then tell not to rebuke or reproof, but explain the matter with humility" (Holy venerable. Abba Isaiah the Hermit). So we can spot that St Isaiah's advice is to tell the truth only when your inner condition is calm and humble. The inner work is very important both for those who say such comments and for those who accept them. But those who speak inconsiderately are guilty twice as much as we see in the following quote: "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (Mt. 15:11). So a person may not be able to accept the comments. It depends on his spiritual level, but we put him at a risk of being confused in case his spiritual level is low. Therefore it`s undoubtedly important to avoid rash judgments and thoughtless comments not to get harm from them.

В.К. [(3) 17]


We pray to God that He VOUCHSAFES us to receive Holy Communion.

А.Щ. [(0,5) 16]


1. The PRESENTATION OF JESUS AT THE TEMPLE is an Orthodox feast that celebrates the day baby Jesus was brought into the Temple of Jerusalem. 2. SERGIUS OF RADONEZH was a monk who lived a most ascetic life but is also famous for the development of monasticism in Medieval Russia.

А.C. [(1) 23]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

Elder Paisios says that saying things without consideration may cause harm even if you say the truth.
I agree with Elder Paisios. I think that you must be careful with your words and it’s no good to throw them around. Commenting on something or somebody or criticizing them may hurt other people’s feelings. Sometimes even saying a good thing without thinking can change other people’s opinions about you in a negative way. Even if you are saying the truth it might still be wrong to say it because it’s simply not the right time and place. Not to mention that the damage that you have wrought is much more difficult to repair.
There is a Russian proverb saying “A word is not a sparrow, if it flies away you can’t catch it”.
There have been many times in my life when I said things without consideration and got punished for it. I still reproach myself for saying these words because not only did I make a fool of myself many times but now I also understand that God hears all words and weighs them accordingly. Now I watch my tongue, or at least try to, so that I won’t make mistakes. Vice versa, a lie can at times do more good than truth. This does not mean that it’s good to lie. It should be avoided, but in cases when truth might only devastate, a lie may prove to be a better way out, though only temporarily. Of course, there is a third way, which is silence.
In conclusion, if you don’t want to hurt others or cause an accident to happen you must keep constant vigilance and remember that you are judged not only by people but by God Himself.

А.C. [(5) 22]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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The example of a true beginning of a sermon is shown to us in the Acts: ”Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts, 17:22-23). Of course, Apostle Paul did not consider men of Athens to be right in their paganism, but he had to prepare them for accepting the truth.
Any person you communicate with should feel your good intention towards him. It should not be ‘sickly’ love which is a streak of members of sects, but love based on this principle: “Love a sinner, do not love a sin”. Even if your thoughts are true, you cannot just throw them to a person. Elder Paisios said the following about spouses: “Besides, if one of the spouses leads spiritual life, he somehow does not have the right to be right. Being a spiritual man he should regard injustice spiritually”. I think we should follow this advice.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 15,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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Saying that, St. Basil means that it is impossible to know God and to communicate with Him just by some theoretical actions. We know that all the righteous people spoke to the Lord as if He was their the closest earthly friend, or even a father – it is enough to remember Abraham, Moses, Job, who even argues with God, David the Psalm-singer, whose spiritual poetry is the model of all kinds of our addresses to God. All these people had their own experience in personal communication with God and King David even managed to transfer it to us in his psalms.
Theory is just an instrument for communication, it cannot be an action it itself. For example scholasticism can help you to get some knowledge in theology but not make you close to the Source of this knowledge – to Christ. And it is so desirable to feel like St David who says: “As the deer longs for fountains of water, so my soul longs for you, O God” (Ps.42:2). Only having this experience of love to our Creator can we taste His goodness.

А.Щ. [(3,5) 11]


1. Unlike the Roman Catholics we do not consder the conceiving of Theotokos to be IMMACULATE.
2. There is a special litany when we pray about the PRECIOUS GIFTS.
3. The Virgin Mary bore Christ without CORRUPTION (or DEFILEMENT).
4. During the Dvine Liturgy the Gifts are SANCTIFIED.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 7,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

In one simple but clever statement St. Basil the Great says that it is impossible to relate the goodness of the Lord if you never experienced it yourself.
I completely agree with him. It is a very logical statement because you cannot describe something if you do not know anything about it. Should you try and you will most likely come up with a collection of fallacies. Only by experiencing or knowing about it first can you then safely tell about it to others. Unfortunately this happens in faith as well.
In my opinion one of the biggest examples of this is the Crusades. What was expected to be a great spreading of the peaceful faith turned out to be a massacre. People who participated in these wars thought that this was for the better because they were clearing the world of the “evil” pagans, non-believers or people of other faith and replacing their religion (or lack thereof) with Christianity. Yet their actions as well as the actions and decisions made by their Governments and the Pope show that they did not know the true goodness of the faith in God. Granted, there were other motivations for going on Crusades, the most prominent one being the political power that the growing European countries and their Pope wanted to obtain. Such was the Council of Florence of the Russian Orthodox and the Western Catholic Church which produced a union in which some rather aggressive attempts to place the Pope in control of the Russian Church were made. Still, this only shows that the West at that time was not familiar with the goodness of the Lord in its entirety and thus couldn’t communicate it competently to others.
All in all, it is simply impossible to relate that which you have no experience or knowledge of. St. Basil rightfully compares this to honey. If you don’t know about the goodness of God you can’t teach others about it.

А.C. [(5) 17]


1. A COMMUNICANT is a person who partakes of the communion by eating the sanctified bread and wine after the liturgy.
2. THE HOLY DOORS are the main doors that are used during the liturgy. Priests and deacons go through them and they sometimes get closed during some parts of the liturgy.

А.C. [(1) 12]


1. A PROSTRATION is a bow that you do by kneeling and putting your hands and head on the ground.
2. A BOW is the most widespread way of showing reverence and is usually done after crossing oneself – one bends their torso downward but some people also touch the ground with one hand.

А.C. [(1) 11]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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Fr. John Krestiankin states that humility and true spiritual life come out of patience.
I agree with this opinion and it is very close to me too. You can only get far in life if you prove to be patient with what you do and learn. Humility appears when you come to terms with yourself and accept your physical and spiritual toil. You do not try to escape from it or find alternate ways that might be easier but may lead you away from the true path.
I think a great example of this would be a regular farmer or countryman. He works hard every day to earn his bread and his life depends on all of his actions. He has little free time but he has learned to appreciate what he has and that keeps him going. Humility helps find the path to God because soon you realize that it is Him who gives you the humility and patience that help you in your life.
For me chances to test my patience turn up every day. I am a very impatient person and I will get mad if even the smallest thing doesn't go my way. That is very frustrating because this makes things harder to get done. But as of late things have been going more smoothly for me because I show more patience and also pray to Mother Mary who gives me strength to preserve my patience. By saying “imitation” Fr. John might mean a life that may seem spiritual on the outside but in reality is corrupt at its core because there are temptations and problems that still plague the person including the issue with patience and humility.

А.C. [(5) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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Patience bears humility. If we lead our spiritual life attentively, we can find out how many things we are not able to deal with, even in our daily situations. We realize that abilities of human beings are quite limited, and without God’s help we cannot do anything. The Holy Scripture proves it many times: “I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing ” (John 15:5), and this condition is even necessary: “And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Cor. 1:28-29).
So, with the feeling of our helplessness comes feeling of patience – we become patient because do not have another a choice – our improvement is a life-long process. Then comes humility – we no more consider ourselves to be very important and let God to work within us, we stop wearing masks, that is we stop imitation of spiritual life because while wearing masks we do not see our real spiritual condition. St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain writes about this: “Since the time of the offence made by our first parents (Adam and Eve) we usually think about ourselves very high, despite of weakening of our spiritual and moral powers”. Such perception of ourselves is false; but if we have patience and then humility, we successfully avoid it with the help of our Lord.

А.Щ. [(5) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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Elder Paisios of Mount Athos says that everyone has the power to struggle to be a better person and God rewards them if they try their best. Paisios also respects these people.
I fully agree with Paisios’ opinion. God sees all our struggles and when He sees us try and do better He rewards us with good things in life. This is not to be misunderstood - the reward isn’t some object of pleasure. Usually it’s something the individual person strives for: a poor man gets sufficient wealth for his honest toil, a farmer gets rich crops for his work in the field, a scientist makes a discovery after years of research etc. But it’s not just about labour. Everyone is capable of struggling to better themselves too. So we do and God sees this king of work also. If we have a sufficient amount of willpower then surely we must use it to improve ourselves. I think this sentiment is important for Orthodox people as it lets them realize what must be done to make the world a better place for you and others.
For me “struggle” means something that you do despite the odds. If there is something to fight for or against even though it’s very hard then you are in a struggle. In the quote’s context it means trying your best to be a better person.
I find struggle in my everyday life. Every day I notice things about myself, small things, insignificant to the eye of a stranger. But I know that things are not that simple. Every small imperfection counts. I know I mustn’t push myself over the edge as I attempt to fix myself because man is not perfect, only God is, but I still try. I mostly fail. I never see the end of my struggles, however small they may appear, because perhaps there is none. If there is, it would be death. Yet for every struggle I know that I receive a boon, though tiny, one that I shouldn’t take with pride which is a feat of its own. Just knowing that God sees all makes my struggle worth it for me.
At the end Paisios talks about himself and his opinion on people struggling. I think that maybe he wants to act the way God wants us to do, the way He does it Himself – by showing love and gratitude to all as well as being happy for those who overcome their difficulties.
To conclude, we struggle to make ourselves better despite all the odds. God, who gave us the power to do so Himself, sees our doings and rewards us for our spiritual labour.

А.C. [(5) 5]


1. CHURCH SLAVONIC is a language used primarily in the Orthodox Church, though there are some exceptions like Romania which is Orthodox but uses Latin as its Church language.
2. A LAMB is a symbol of sacrifice to God in Christianity because in the old times it was actually sacrificed, unlike today.

А.C. [(1) 1]




В.Т. [0,5]




М.К. [17,5]




М.П. [22,5]




А.М. [14]




С.Ф. [23]




Ю.С. [0]


3rd year of study: Autumn 2016

1. When I was a child, I always wanted to be among the CHANTERS in the church, therefore to do the art in the God’s name.
2. The Church does not have to inspire the divine terror, the fear not to be “good” enough, but REVERENCE to all the Christians and non-Christians.
3. ONENESS OF MIND, BROTHERLY LOVE AND PIETY is one of the supposed foundations of society, but radical movements and organizations tend to treat those words in their own way.
4. It is common that the HOLY HOUSES of well-known saints become the places of pilgrimage.
5. Although it is debatable but the Christian priests have a right to be at war; it is the act of the spiritual support, their prayers are there for THE SUFFERING, THE CAPTIVE, and THE DEAD.
6. A non-religious society is doomed to be overfilled with TRIBULATION, WRATH and NEED as there is no consolation and no actual hope for the best.
7. We may not be the best Christians ever: we are tempted with the sin and it PREVAILS, but we should be penitent and we should PERFORM DEEDS OF MERCY to atone for our sins.
8. All our VOLUNTARY and INVOLUNTARY trespasses appear not to be mistakes or wrong choices but they are there for the lack of humility and repentance in us.
9. Sometimes people do not GIVE ALMS not because they are so indifferent and neglecting for the ones in need, but because there are entire fraud systems, so you may never know who is asking for money: a true beggar or a cheater.
10. The Christians’ DOMINIONS nowadays are treated with modern ideas and alluring prospects, so a lot of faithful are seduced with false and wrong teachings.
11. We should be Christians not for ourselves nor for the Church, but for the Lord Jesus Christ himself as there THE DREAD JUDGEMENT OF CHIRST is coming.
12. The recent Martin Scorsese film is all about the MISSIONARY JOURNEY to Japan; it was first shown in the Holy City, so the Pope and clergy could criticise it first.
13. Sometimes it is hard to INITIATE MISSIONARY WORK amongst the young people: it is almost impossible that a modern youngster would dedicate his life to Christ.
14. There were parishes in Moscow where the priests didn’t do the ecclesiastical work: they disturbed and confused the laity with false teachings; as for me, it is dangerous even to attend SERVICES there because they make those teaching as-if true.
15. People sometimes reject THE CHRISTIAN BURIAL for the lack of money: the cremation is certainly spiritually worse.
16. To build the Christian society is to inspire THE CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT in the hearts of the governing structures of a country.
17. We are so distracted from THE SACRAMENTAL LIFE that we tend to regard our earthly aims as the primary ones.
18. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF MAN and the science contradict with one another, but it is vital to combine research with the UNAPPROACHABLE spiritual truth.
19. The times of RELIGIOUS REVIVAL often coincide with the influence of earthly matters which threaten immensely the existence of man.
20. THE CEREMONY OF THE HOLY FIRE is held in Jerusalem every year.

В.Т. [(13,5) 45]


1. Orthodox TYPICON is meant for both monks and the LAITY.
2. On Easter we praise our GOOD and MERCIFUL God for His victory over the grave.
3. St. Cyril died in Rome where he together with his brother Methodius had gone to DEFEND themselves against German leaders who wanted to ENFORCE the use of the Latin liturgy among THE SLAVS.

А.Д. [(3,5) 62]


1. St. Cuthbert's influence was evident and seen in the respect and DEFERENCE given to him by the people who came to him for healing.
2. The Father sent His IMMORTAL Son into the world and He came to men in order to save them.
3. As the TRISAGION was being sung, the CLERGY and worshippers at the church crossed themselves thrice.

А.Д. [(2) 42,5]


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I can’t agree more with Fr. Vojislav Dosenovich. Relying upon my own experience, I always receive the support from God when I ask him for help in every situation. Sometimes when the problem seems to me confusing and unsolvable, I turn to God in prayer, usually I do it in my own words. And surprisingly it turns out that this problem has been essential for my own experience and it helps in the future. So it is important in a difficult life situation not to be despondent but to turn all our attention to God. And by all means we need to thank God for everything that happens in our life.

М.К. [(5) 82]


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I totally agree with this quote. As it is written in the Scriptures: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Everybody has his personal cross which is the way to reach the Kingdom. This cross is a continuation of the cross of Christ, where the Savior has done all for our salvation. He paid with his life for our sins. He bore our sickness and disease on himself, took all our curses. He became poor for our sake, that we may be enriched through his poverty. That’s why firstly we need to deny ourselves, to crucify all our ambition, pride, human desires, thoughts. We must completely abandon our experience, knowledge, natural talents, but subordinate all to Christ, putting Christ first. In other words, to overthrow this idol we have made of ourselves. This process lasts throughout our life. This means - with a humble heart accept in your life all the transient trials, sorrows, sickness, successes and failures, ups and downs, - which, we assume, God sends down to carry out salvation of the human soul of the case. Accept without murmurings and doubts, with the faith that God does everything for the good of man.

М.К. [(3,5) 50]


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I can’t agree more with bishop Nikolai Velimirovich. He also proved this statement with his own life. He is remembered by American Orthodox Christians as a protector, mover and inspirer of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America, as an instructor at the St. Sava Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois, as the dean and rector of the St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He really had a faith which doesn’t fear ridicule or shrink from failure but doesn’t doubt success. He always said that enemies have driven him into God’s embrace more than friends have. Enemies to his mind have demolished all his aspirations in the world. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich even composed his own prayer which is called “Bless my enemies O Lord”. When I’ve read it, I understood this could be written only by a person with a rich spiritual experience. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a great faith. That’s why we should pray to the saints and God to strengthen our beliefs.

М.К. [(4,5) 46,5]


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I absolutely agree with St. Nicholas of Serbia. We see here the comparison between the pyramids of Egypt and God in terms of faith. The Pyramids of Egypt are among the largest structures ever built and constitute one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilization. So without seeing them we really won’t be able to imagine them. Only after seeing a picture or hearing about them from other people we understand what it is. Now it is much easier than 200 years ago when people didn’t have an access to the Internet, and it wasn’t strange if people couldn’t get an idea of the pyramids of Egypt. And actually in the same way we can get an idea of God through those people who stood and stand in proximity to God, I mean reading the Scriptures, works of the Holy Fathers, trust to our confessor. And now it is also much easier than in the past, because we can find lots of spiritual books on the Internet and even if we are far from our confessor for any reason we can keep in touch with him. It’s not a problem.

М.К. [(4,7) 42]


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"To get an impression of God" we first of all trust those who wrote the Holy Scriptures, those who had "immediate proximity to God": "<...> which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled" (1 John, 1:1). Then we trust their "successors" - Holy Fathers - who also reached that same proximity. Afterwards we learn from their experience how to follow that very path that leads to God, learn not to swerve from it. It's important to realise, though, that not everyone is worthy of coming into the proximity to God, so we are to accept the first "option" suggested by St. Nicholas and pray to someday be a participant of that Divine Experience.

А.Д. [(5) 40,5]


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According to Holy Fathers, we should purge ourselves from sin on order to receive God. Not only should we surrender our life and our health to God, but also purify our souls. "He will not come uninvited..." - but it isn't so easy to invite Him as it might seem, it's hard work, an exploit. To be willing to accept God's Will we have to reform our lives, begin to obey the Scripture and fulfill the Commandments. God gives us everything gratis, the only thing needed is to clear the way to accept His Gift and then to preserve it.

А.Д. [(5) 35,5]


1. PASSION BEARERS are people who have died due to some harsh political animosity. They did not die for faith like martyrs did but it’s considered that they underwent the suffering similar to Jesus Christ’s.
2. The ALL-NIGHT VIGIL is a service conducted all night starting from the evening and ending in the morning, thus combining several services into one but with some changes.

А.C. [(1) 122]


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Fr. Vojislav Dosenovich States that God only comes to us when we open our hearts to Him. If we do so He will help us in great ways.
To my mind he is correct. Even the smallest opening in our soul can let God inside which is always a good thing. It all begins with small realizations and eventually it will lead to faith, if we allow it, of course. Of course, not many are capable of giving up everything for God but we should still try.
That is one of the main reasons why Abraham was so close to God. He was ready to sacrifice his own son to show that he is absolutely devoted to Him, even though the thought of losing his child must have hurt him. While God was much more strict back then (“Now I know that you fear God” from Gen. 22:12 shows that fear of God was a much greater factor than it is now) Abraham is still, in my opinion, a monument of religious devotion.
Sometimes the process of accepting God into your life is slow. This happened to Prince Vladimir who brought Orthodoxy into Russia. He himself used to be a malicious pagan but, as he got closer to God, he changed greatly. It was all by his own will, of course, as he was the one to order the search of a better religion. Even this action brought God closer to him and to Rus. Vladimir could have settled with something else but ultimately he chose Orthodoxy.
So in conclusion, Fr. Vojislav is correct in my eyes. God doesn’t force His way into our lives but only comes when we let Him do so.
I think to surrender "your life, your loved ones, your health, your victories and defeats" to God means realizing that God is the most important thing in life. This doesn’t mean that you have to look back at everything you had or have in scorn, but still follow the difficult road to salvation. It’s very hard and most people can’t do it. The further you go the more tempting it is to turn back.

А.C. [(5) 89]


1. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk sent greetings to metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and all America, wishing him God's BOUNTIFUL MERCIES.
2. On the Great Thursday there is a particular prayer which is sung by THE CHANTERS instead of the CHERUBIC HYMN.
3. When a Christian dies, he sets aside his body as if some clothing, in which he'll be vested again on the day of DREAD JUDGEMENT.
4. God's DOMINION is eternal and EVERLASTING.
5. On the 19th of December we'll pray to St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker that he inspire us with his love for Christ, but also we'll glorify the MOST-HONOURABLE AND MAGNIFICENT NAME of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

А.Д. [(3,5) 30,5]


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I agree with the quotation of Abba Thithoes, as only with the help of these practices we can humble ourselves and grow spiritually.
I believe that self-control and prayer are even more effective than thinking yourself inferior because it includes real mental work and self-improvement. For example when you try to confine your anger towards some person who offended you, that actually means that you are ready to forgive him. So every time you attempt to let your resentments go, you fight against your pride and start seeing yourself not as the only right person, and therefore try to understand others, try to love them all. If you do that, you will see that you are also in charge for those bad feelings and actions happening around. Once you have realized that, your own opinion of yourself wouldn’t be as high as it used to.
Praying also can help us to find the way to humility. Constant asking God for mercy reminds you of how sinful you are and how gracious our Lord is. If you imagine all the greatness of God you will never be thinking of yourself as a superior being.

М.П. [(5) 91]


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I can’t agree more with the quote by Abba Thithoes. Without any doubts prayer helps us to feel closeness to God and not to feel the pride. Indeed, prayer gives us an opportunity to think ourselves inferior to all creatures in the right sense. There are lots of examples from prayers before sleep, especially in the Daily Confession of Sins where we briefly enumerate all possible sins and then ask God to forgive us through His compassion. On the one hand in this case we are not proud of our wealth, health or success. On the other hand, we do not lose heart anyway and hope for God’s mercy as we read from Troparia: “Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us”. And in this way self-control is essential: not to be proud or despondent.

М.К. [(4,5) 37,3]


1. The deacon prays about the CATEСHUMENS asking God to open for them THE GOSPEL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
2. We call the Name of God MOST HONORABLE AND MAJESTIC.
3. One of the main parts of Liturgy is THE CHERUBIC HYMN.

А.Щ. [(1,5) 97]


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In the so-called ‘instruction’ abba Thithoes makes three main points. What does he mean by them and what is the sense of their order?
First is self-control. It is true that God watches our lives and “ even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke, 12:7). David says: “the Lord will hear when I call unto him” (Psalms 4:4). From these and many other quotes taken from the Holy Scripture we can learn that God does not leave us, but keeps and wants to save us. But also there is such very important idea as synergy. The Greek word συνεργία means ‘an action which is performed together’. The Lord will help us, but He cannot do it without or instead of us – just together with us, for we are granted with personal freedom. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19). The art of cutting off trespasses lies in the basis of asceticism.
Christ told us in the Gospel: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7). How can we ask God? Of course, in prayer. St. John Chrysostom says about it in such way: “Prayer is a great weapon, the treasure which is never over, the landing place which is not available for the waves, the peace of a soul, the root, source and mother of innumerous goods”. We should ask God for help, mercy and salvation for we cannot be saved just by ourselves.
At last, thinking yourself inferior to all creatures. Maybe that is the most difficult point. Most people I think cannot imagine this and even if we try, we are not sincere. Sometimes we humiliate yourselves, but at the same time consider that we are still better than other people – in our pseudo-righteousness. It is really difficult and I do not have any experience in it. I think the most appropriate way is just to try not to judge. “Do not judge your brother if he commits sins in another way than you”. And I believe that if we try to keep these three points, we will achive humility and salvation.

А.Щ. [(4) 74]


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Abba Thithoes gives a very accurate meaning of Orthodox humility which consists of praying and controlling yourself. I agree with this notion wholeheartedly. Man is a prideful creature and it takes a lot to subdue this sin of pride. This is why one must always be careful with what they do but also never forget that God gives us the power for humility. I think that all three components call for elaboration.
Self-control is something that unfortunately most people lack, not out of disregard but out of unknowing that it should be done or that such a thing even exists at all. Real self-control is hard because you constantly have to look into the tiniest details of what you do. This is a feat that only hermits and monks can achieve to near-perfection. But it still doesn’t mean that you don’t have to try and do that too.
Prayer is unquestionably important in the matter of humility. By praying we show that we remember that we do all this not only for ourselves but also for God. We know that He gives us power to withstand the devil’s temptations and this is why we pray to Him. The further we are on our path of humility the stronger the temptations are.
Finally, considering yourself inferior to all else does not mean wallowing in your lack of self worth. I think that it means coming to terms with the fact that that you are a flawed creature that needs to understand its flaws and move on by way of repentance and prayer. It should be noted that we must not pride ourselves in what we do to achieve humility, or else all our efforts will be justly nullified.
This is my view on humility and its aspects. Humility is something that I consider to be near-impossible to “do right” but we must all struggle until the end.

А.C. [(5) 84]


1. An EXCLAMATION is a phrase loudly said by the priest at the beginning of the liturgy.
2. A GUARDIAN ANGEL is an angel who supposedly protects a person during their lifetime; each person has their guardian angel.

А.C. [(1) 79]


1. TRIBULATIONS are difficult for those who aren't accustomed to them, especially after happy and unruffled life.
2. As Fr. John Krestiankin used to say, the most valuable thing is to learn TO COMMIT oneself entirely TO GOD's will.
3. Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohija found themselves pawns of a big geopolitical game in 2012, but even at that hard time they had courage not to leave their LONG-SUFFERING land, their HOLY HOUSES and holy places.
4. The HOLY AND ALL-PRAISED APOSTLE Philip was a native of the city of Bethsaida in Galilee.
5. The MOST-HOLY SPIRIT grants the REMISSION OF SINS to those who thoroughly and honestly confess their OFFENCES and weaknesses.

А.Д. [(4) 27]


1. According to St. Macarius the Great, from the time of Adam's TRANSGRESSION thoughts of the soul have been scattered away from the love of God, being mingled with MATERIAL and EARTHLY thoughts.
2. Fr. David Mahaffey was ordained to the DIACONATE in 1981.
3. Accompanied by saints and a multitude of the FAITHFUL, holy apostles Peter, Paul, James and others of the Twelve Apostles carried the funeral bier, where lay the body of the EVER-VIRGIN MARY.
4. During the Divine Liturgy at the LITANY OF FERVENT SUPPLICATION there is a special prayer for peace in Ukraine.

А.Д. [(3,5) 23]


1. The first room in the church is narthex, it represents the fallen world before the coming of Christ, therefore it fits as a place for CATECHUMENS, preparing to enter the Church.
2. On Pentecost, church buildings are usually decorated with flowers and green leaves to show that "God comes to renew all CREATION as the LIFE-CREATING SPIRIT".
3. The well-known parable says that after Lazarus went to the BOSOM OF ABRAHAM, that is to Heaven, and was enjoying pleasure, the rich man went to hell and was TORMENTED, there was a great gap between them, the gap that couldn't be surmounted.
4. The bishop was standing in the centre of the Cathedral in the light of diamonds and rubies glittering from his MITER.

А.Д. [(3) 19,5]


1. CATECHUMENS are people who are not yet baptized and thus can’t attend the full liturgy or partake in the Sacraments (with the obvious exception of baptism).
2. BAPTISM is a sacrament that officially turns one into a Christian.

А.C. [(1) 78]


1. Every Christian should COMMIT himself to God as only in this way our UNORIGINATE FATHER can help us to attain salvation.
2. Christians were always WRONGED by the pagans, but they showed them such an example of meekness that a lot of those pagans became CONVERTS.
3. THE ONLY-BEGGOTEN SON DEIGNED TO BE INCARNATE and saved the mankind from the original sin.
4. One should always come to the relics with REVERENCE.

М.П. [(4) 54]


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I agree with the quotation of St. Theophan the Recluse as it is always our spirit that can communicate with God. Only our soul can decide whether to follow the calling of flesh and lead a sinful life or to start living spiritually and through prayer and self-improvement join our Lord in His Kingdom.
Because of the fallen nature our flesh prevails over our mind, that is why there are so many sins that have to do with our body such as gluttony, adultery, laziness and so on. So when flesh is in charge it means that your body is more important for you than your soul, that you are unable to humble your flesh, so you spend your life serving it. Of course God can’t talk to you in this case because you are not listening, you are not thinking of eternal life.
Everyone should be afraid of such condition as it separates him from God. A truly Christian can’t think of himself without God. A truly Christian loves God so much that it gets impossible for him to loose this blessed connection. And as our Lord loves us even more than any human being can do, we should be very much afraid to offend Him, to abandon His love. That is the “fear of God”, I think.
So we should suppress our body and put our spiritual life in the first place, “make a free deliberate choice for the spirit” as St. Theophan the Recluse says. And as a reward God will join us and sanctify our mind and our flesh as He did when Jesus Christ was incarnate.
Only this way we can attain the unity with God and therefore salvation.

М.П. [(5) 50]


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I completely agree with the quotation of Fr. Seraphim Rose, as it is very important not only to believe but also to act as an Orthodox.
Many people nowadays, especially in Russia tend to think of themselves as Christians but keeping their secular lifestyle not connected with God anyhow. They do not attend Liturgies and vespers, they do not keep fasts and do not behave like an Orthodox. It is worth mentioning that all these aspects of Christian life are very significant as they put into actions your way of thinking and therefore prove it.
Great Lent, for example, can be compared with the condition of a man who is in sorrow because of the death of his near relation. It is quite obvious that when you feel grief you are unfamiliar with amusement and sometimes are so sad that you can’t even eat. So how can an Orthodox believe in the sufferings of Christ but not cry at the time when Jesus was tortured and crucified for us? Of course that is impossible. When you believe in something, those ideas affect your entire life. Thoughts not supported by actions are useless for salvation.

М.П. [(4) 45]


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I absolutely agree with the quotation of elder Sergei of Vanves as this one simple and obvious issue usually turns out to be the most important one.
I believe that all our deeds lead to some certain consequences and, in terms of Orthodoxy, to salvation or to eternal sufferings. One should never forget that as the whole picture consists of small strokes, the whole character of a man is always the result of his actions and decisions.
It is also important to mention that a minor action often can change your behavior in general as it is easier to avoid temptations when you have never tried to concede to them. But once you’ve tasted it, even if that thing seemed to be negligible at first, it would be much harder to resist it the next time.

М.П. [(5) 41]


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I completely agree with the quotation of St. John Climacus, though it might be a bit difficult to comprehend what he is trying to say.
To my mind it is relevant to differentiate the belief in God as a wonder-worker and the true faith in that God can do everything for you if you only ask Him about it. Our connection with God is like a relationship with a father. When you ask your father about something that is not harmful for you, he will give it to you. Our almighty Lord, like a father, does the same thing, even when it seems impossible to happen. That is a true meaning of believing in the power of God, because when we say that God can turn a man into a bird and that is why He is powerful, it leads us to the pagan thinking, which, of course, is wrong.

М.П. [(5) 36]


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I agree with the quotation of St. Nicholas of Serbia, as there are only these two ways to know our Lord.
I believe that both of these variants require great strength and faith. Because if you trust others about their experience of God it means that you are strong enough to believe in something completely, without even seeing it with your own eyes. It means that you can humble yourself and trust an authoritative person, such as our saints and elders are. This way you can fight your pride and therefore gain strong faith.
The second variant is probably more difficult, as to get an impression of God himself man has to work much harder to become deserving of God’s presence. This kind of faith is more active because it includes spiritual growth, though the first way of approaching to God gives really powerful faith which is also important.

М.П. [(5) 31]


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I agree with the quotation of St. Isaac of Syria because only humility can help us to fight against pride.
To my mind pride is the most common and griveous sin. Most of our faults happen as a result of pride. There are so many examples in the Bible that show us horrible consequences of human pride. Thus, Adam decided to eat the forbidden fruit because Satan said he could know more and be like God. Also the Evil One was cast down from heaven because of his pride. Because of people’s arrogance the Tower of Babel was built as well.
So we know for sure that this kind of sin is the most heavy one and of course the most difficult one to be saved from. Pride is present in every human action, so if a person is able to bear every ordeal with meekness it is really a miracle. And as everyone knows that no one can help us to defeat sins but God, it is obvious that this person is so close to Him that God has cleansed him even from the gravest of sins.

М.П. [(3) 26]


1. The unique SERVICE BOOK of 1651 that was taken to Germany during World War II has been returned last year to the Novgorod State Museum.
2. In the present PRACTICE of the Russian Orthodox Church the Lesser SANCTIFICATION of water is done on August 1 (14).
3. The philosophy of the Greeks emphasised the TRANSCENDENCE of God: as they believed, the high, REMOTE Deity couldn't be associated with the grossness of FLESH.
4. The play "Jesus Christ Superstar" was banned in Belarus as it was considered a SACRILEGE.
5. In 2014 pseudo-ECCLESIAL pretenders from the non-canonical, so-called "Orthodox Church of Montenegro", laid CLAIMS on the property, churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of Montenegro.

А.Д. [(4,5) 16,5]


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I think that the subject touched upon in this quote is of current interest. Nowadays the most widespread problem of the "Christian" society is a depreciation of the inner, deep meaning of Christianity. A lot of people prefer to display their belonging to Christianity: they attend liturgies, have spiritual fathers and go to confession. But all these things are mere formal ones for them. They do it because Christianity is quite popular in Russia in these latter days. On TV we see politicians and famous popular people attend services in the main Cathedral, so it influences on our perception and the subconscious, making of Christianity a kind of fashion and vogue. It’s a very superficial and shallow way to belong to Orthodoxy. Moreover, it means not belonging to Christianity at all. You can wear any mask you want to, but without a deep, spiritual understanding and feeling of the Orthodoxy you will never be an Orthodox person. "To live Orthodoxy", I think, means to intertwine all your thoughts, actions and strings of your heart with Orthodox ideas, among which the idea of Salvation through Christ is the greatest and without any comparison – a priceless one.

А.М. [(3) 66]


1. They lived in absolute PROSPERITY without hints of TRIBULATAION, WRATH AND NEED.
2. Be calm and silent! This place is a HOLY HOUSE.
3. Is it a good habit -- TO GIVE ALMS?
4. He always thought that BOWS in the church tradition are extremely useless and they are a kind of humiliation.
5. We are the BRETHERN, so let us get along.

А.М. [(4) 41]


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St. Theophan the Recluse thinks that one can only reach out to God through spiritual contact. If such contact is extended for a long period of time, perhaps even until one’s death, they become one in God and lead a deeply spiritual life.
In my opinion St. Theophan is mostly correct. The meaning of Christianity lies not purely in observances but in one’s spiritual effort. It is the effort of man, made towards God. It is much more difficult to do than to follow rites. He is also right about how most people don’t know much about it, if at all.
The Pharisees were much too close to the material part of the Old Testament. Their following all the rules may have been a ground to perfection but their hearts were hardened towards virtue and love towards their God – not the deity watching over them from the Old Testament that threatened those who didn’t comply but the watchful God of the New Testament who accepted all who wished to become a Christian.
However, there are things that I don’t entirely agree with. I still think that one’s body also plays a part in worshipping God. Following the logic of the Hesycasts, one’s soul cannot be separated from the body while they are alive. During a true prayer both soul and body pray. And some who are considered saints have their bodies incorrupt and had special gifts of healing and the like bestowed from God. So it is unjust to say that God does nothing in relation to one’s flesh.
We should also remember the works of Nicholas Cabasilas, who wrote about the importance of the sacraments through which one also comes into contact with God.
All in all, St. Theophan delivers a wise message but we also mustn’t forget that your physical actions also have weight. While he mentions the conversion of soul and body he also says that God doesn’t come near where the flesh is, which is confusing.
[To sum up:]
A person who cares too much about the physical plane of reality thinks most of the time that observances and the like are the point of Christianity. This is not so. This can even become a sort of idolatry.
Fear of God doesn’t necessary mean living all your days in fear of a wrathful higher being. In this case “fear of God” means complete awareness of the fact that all your actions, even the ones you do alone or in secret, are seen by God, just like Cain who killed Abel and tried to hide it but was simply unable to because God sees all. Leading a Christian life comes with the fact that all your actions will eventually be judged. This is why confession, repentance, and shame for you bad actions are important.
It is ultimately up to the person to make the choice whether they want to become a Christian and overcome its challenges or not.
The soul and body cannot be separated while one lives. Becoming close to God means, as St. Theophan puts it, living in Him. The transformation of body also occurs. We mustn’t forget that we were created in His image.

А.C. [(10) 77]


1. A RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE is a special language that is used during a service, such as Church Slavonic, Latin and Greek.
2. A MISSIONARY JOURNEY is a journey that missionaries undertake to spread the word of God all over the world.

А.C. [(1) 67]


1. God cannot be compared to anything else as He cannot be fully perceived, that is why He is called THE WHOLLY OTHER.
2. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF MAN teaches that MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
3. Man is SANCTIFIED by receiving the Holy Communion.
4. THE BEATITUDES are the blessings of the Lord given in THE SERMON OF THE MOUNT which is described in the Gospel of Matthew.
5. THE LITANY OF FERVANT SUPPLICATION begins with the words "Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy..." and is said at the end of the vespers.

С.Ф. [(3,5) 94]


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The first thing that must be mentioned in this regard is that in my undertanding "body" and "flesh" are two separate terms. Body is a vessel of soul and flesh is a vessel of sin. Thus when flesh is in charge of the man's life, sin is an integral part of his essence, it destorts his soul. But as soon as the person starts to differentiate his soul from sin and to accept salvation, it becomes possible for God to save him, as He only can do this according to the man's will. When a person separates himself from sin he becomes able to hear the voice of God. And communicating with the Lord helps him to move forward on his way to Him. From that moment and onwards the spirit takes charge of man's life, man accepts God and God dwells in man. His body as the vessel for his soul is transofrmed with it. People often say that all illnesses come from sins, but this works vice versa too: if the soul is being sanctified the body is being sanctified too.

С.Ф. [(5) 56,5]


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I completely agree with Fr. Seraphim Rose that Orthodoxy is life. It is not just a complex of theological doctrines you agree with. But as for me, to be a true Orthodox Christian means to believe in God, to be sincerely grateful for the gift of salvation (and to understand its importance), to receive the Holy Communion and to live according to His commandments. And yet not to be proud that you do all these things. For you do it because you want to - not because it's a task, by accomplishing which you'll be saved. If you live Orthodoxy your whole life is devoted not merely to repenting of sins but to changing your soul so that it will not sin again, because to understand your own sinfullnes and to repent is the first step on the way to spiritual improvement, but after that you receive the Holy Gifts and enter into a direct relationship with God. And to be in communion with God means to live Christianity.

С.Ф. [(5) 51,5]


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I agree with Elder Sergei of Vanves that everything concerning our salvation is important. Every small deed reveals the state of the soul and people's behaviour during ordeals corresponds to their understanding of Christiaity and righteousness. For every action has its own motive to be performed, even if it's not very clear. God teaches us that our nature is purified by sufferings and we should be humble to accept them. Humility if aquired is depicted in people's behaviour and attitude towards life and other people. Another important thing is Providence. A humble Christian believes that God watches over him and helps him bear his cross. One can never know what a mere trifle could mean to him, how it could affect his essence. People do not posses the ability to see their future and thus a meek, righteous person would face every misfortune, every joy, every rise and fall with confidence that it is sent to him for some reason.

С.Ф. [(5) 46,5]


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The Scriptures tell us: “<...> for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). As we know flesh and body are not synonyms in spiritual sense, nor are they completely antonyms; flesh is associated with all that is sinful, unfair, far from any good things. Flesh is not always just body, but also our soul. And it is obvious that God and sin are incompatible at all; besides God does not limit our freedom. That is the reason why “God does not come near to where flesh is in charge”.
God does not interfere in man’s life if that man does not want it. Our Lord wants us to come to Him freely, without any compulsion. Sometimes God just hints at His presence, His love. Then a person feels that he often cannot oppose this Love and starts to follow the Lord. After certain time such a man becomes better – more and more, not only with his soul, but both his soul and body, for a man consists of soul and body. Both of them require salvation. The man starts to feel fear of God. What can it be compared with? It is not fear of punishment, like before your boss, it is more like as if you are afraid of causing pain to a person whom you love. You do not want to commit sins because you love your Father. And if we behave in this way, the Lord will say: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23) which is our final goal.

А.Щ. [(4) 70]


1. During the services of the Lent we make many BOWS and prostrations.
2. After reading the Gospel we hear THE LITANY OF FERVENT SUPPLICATION.
3. In this kind of litany we pray for deliverance from ALL TRIBULATION, WRATH and NEED.
4. Before the Gospel reading the deacon exclaims, LET US ATTEND.

А.Щ. [(3) 66]


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I can’t agree with this quote more. This is typical of many people who claim to be Christians and teach others what to do right. Fr. Seraphim Rose teaches us that every moment Orthodoxy should be essential part of our life. But the main idea is not connected with formal rites. Mainly it is our deeds of mercy and the ability to empathize with and not to judge others. This is the most complicated but extremely important thing, because it helps us not to think high of ourselves. As it is written in the Scriptures: “For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

М.К. [(5) 32,8]


1. BELLS are the only musical instruments traditionally used in the church, although some contemporary churches are known to use other instruments as well. They are located inside a tower and usually signal the beginning and end of a service.
2. CHOIRS are used during the service and contain people with various vocal pitches but sometimes only few people sing with little variety.

А.C. [(1) 66]


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Fr. Seraphim Rose states that to be Orthodox means living an Orthodox life – as in, “living Orthodoxy”. Otherwise you cannot be considered Orthodox.
I agree with this statement. You cannot simply claim that you are Orthodox. You need to prove by your acts and thoughts that you are one. Of course, that’s not something you do to deliberately to show to others. It’s something that you do for yourself. Still, your life as an Orthodox person may affect others in different ways, which is why it’s important not to lose yourself in false or overly formal beliefs.
What comes to my mind is the life of King Edward the Confessor, one of the last kings of Orthodox England. He was admired both as a king and as a believer, and God bestowed the gift of healing upon him. Another king that comes to mind is King Oswald who also was proclaimed a saint after his death, and he spent many nights and days praying for his people and country. Both led a very “Orthodox” life.
However, many people claim or claimed themselves to be Orthodox while not being so. An interesting and rather disturbing situation arose in the 16th century in Russia where the Church observances became more important than the actual spiritual values. As a result people still claimed to be Orthodox while not living up to it by only sticking to formalities.
Of course “living Orthodoxy” is hard. But one should always try their best to stay on the right path and live the life of a true Christian.

А.C. [(5) 65]


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Father Seraphim speaks about Orthodoxy particularly, but the words from the second sentence can be said about any religion or philosophy. If you associate yourself with religious or philosophic community you should behave according to the rules of it. But let us return to Orthodoxy.
In the Gospels God teaches Jews and us, Christians: “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matt. 3:9). By that time many Jews did not live according to the Law of Moses, they implemented only the outer form of it – remember the Pharisees. They believed that if they belonged to the people of Israel, they would be saved. The Lord explains to them that it is wrong – it is not enough just to call yourself Orthodox, as it is in our case. You should live in that very way you preach and present yourself. “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Pet. 3:6). We belong to God, Who is Life – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11-12), that is, we behave according to His commandments.

А.Щ. [(5) 63]


1. As St. John of Kronstadt puts it, "The UNAPPROACHABLE God became APPROCHABLE to all in the aspect of a humble servant".
2. While still being God, He also became human, not ceasing to be divine. This WONDROUS and INEFFABLE condescension was hymned by all His angels.

А.Д. [(2) 12]


1. On the feast of the Ascension we celebrate the fulfillment of King David's prophecy, which is used as the PROKIMENON of the day.
2. A true missionary should first of all witness to the GOOD TIDINGS of the Gospel as it has been preserved by the Orthodox Church over the centuries without any changes, additions or omissions.

А.Д. [(1) 10]


1. After reading the Sunday Gospel which spoke of the BEATITUDES, the archimandrite delivered a sermon describing the characteristics of a true PEACEMAKER.
2. When there arose too many PROSELYTES while there weren't enough baptizing apostles, the consecration of oil was introduced, replacing the laying on of hands.

А.Д. [(1,5) 9]


1) The BEATITUDES are the main rules by which every Christian ought to lead his life.
2) He’s got an examination ticket with a question about the TYPICON.
3) As I remember, the previous class was dedicated to the different conceptions of word THE MEEK in the New Testament context.
4) The main end of his life was RIGHTEOUSNESS, that’s why he tried so hard to make his soul and thoughts PURE.
5) It’s very curious question, you know. A lot of scholars claim that this king wasn’t a PEACEMAKER, but a cruel warrior.
6) She used to REVILE the political system of our country, but now she doesn’t, because the conditions of life have improved.
7) Stand UPRIGHT, please, and do not hunch.
8) Should I sing the TRISAGION at the very end of this troparion?

А.М. [(4) 37]


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I completely agree with the author of this quotation. St. Seraphim of Sarov spoke about the harmful and destructive meaning of our negative moods. Apathy is quite a dangerous thing, because it has a power to ruin our inner light, leading us to sadness and depression. So we become estranged from God and our own salvation. Of course nowadays so many people are exhausted and tired because of busy and vain circumstances of life, but if they try to stay cheerful they can avoid weariness. The most terrible kind of weariness is the spiritual one – this way courage and hope can be lost and without them it’s hard to move further. In the Russian variant the word «upset» (рассТРОИТЬСЯ) brings and shows a very substantial meaning. It signifies «to lose the Holy Trinity», «to be without rhe Holy Trinity». That’s why St. Seraphim of Sarov mentioned that cheerfulness is so important and weariness is so amiss.

А.М. [(4) 33]


1. If we want to COMMIT OURSELVES UNTO GOD we should try to become one of THE MEEK and the PEACEMAKERS.
2. It`s a pity that contemporary Orthodox Christians shorten a lot of details from the TYPICON.
3. When the deacon says the EXCLAMATION: "WISDOM! UPRIGHT!", we should WORSHIP God with HUMILITY.

В.К. [(3,5) 61]


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Seraphim of Sarov is quite right in his simple statement that cheerfulness prevents man from falling into despair. In my view it is a somewhat overlooked fact that one doesn’t have to live a life of emotional suffering to live a true Christian life. In fact those who lead a life as a believer often come to realize the small yet important virtues of life that most people ignore or don’t notice.
Still, one must be cautious around what exactly “cheerfulness” should be. Cheerfulness can come during an excessive feast. Cheerfulness fills drunken men (and is usually followed by either rage of sadness). Cheerfulness can be sadistic. One needs to set the boundaries of their understanding of a concept first if they want to live by it.
Interestingly enough plenty of examples of this can be extracted from Shakespearean literature as well as other writers’ works of that time. One glimmering example is Falstaff of the Henry IV fame. His life is what appears to be an endless sin of varying proportions. Yet he is cheerful. It is evident that he does not lead a virtuous life. At the end he is the one who got the short end of the stick, not Henry.
Another thing that must be addressed here is the weariness that lack of cheerfulness creates. In a depressive state of mind man cannot sustain a stable faith in God, himself, others etc. The final destination of this state is usually depression and it must be avoided at all costs, religious reasons or otherwise. Climbing out of this situation has many times proven to be extremely difficult. This is why it is so important to work out the meaning of “cheerfulness” – not only to avoid sin but also to actually allow yourself to feel these positive emotions and lead a happy life.
In short, cheerfulness in its true and pure form is an important aspect of Christian life.

А.C. [(5) 60]


1. A TYPICON is a book containing detailed information on types of Church service and other practices.
2. A TROPARION is a short verse sung on a feast; it has several types that all serve a special meaning.

А.C. [(1) 55]


1. The Ten Commandments explain to us what we must not do; THE BEATITUDES - what we can do to become like God and be happy.
2. Without TYPICON you cannot serve any service.
3. We call our Lord WONDROUS IN THE SAINTS because we wonder at the deeds of saints which could be performed only with His help.
4. During all services we read or sing TROPARIA.

А.Щ. [(2) 58]


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Rejoice evermore (1 Thessalonians, 5:16) – Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle. Why?
People were created for the eternal joy and gladness. God put Adam and Eve into Paradise where all things were very good (Gen. 1:31). Adam was supposed to work there but he was also to glorify the Lord and be happy. After commiting sin the first people lost communion with God and lost Paradise but the Lord did not deprive them of gladness. As we know despondency is dangerous because it paralyzes our will, we cannot resist temptations and die spiritually and even our body can die.
It is healthy to find small gladness in our everyday events – that method will prevent us from loosing heart, our will won’t be paralyzed and we will be able to live at our full potential. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deut. 30:19).

А.Щ. [(3) 56]


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Our life consists of the small actions which we often pay no attention to. Every person has his own goal and wants to reach the purpose. And we are inspired by the results of those who have managed to succeed on their way. We see the results and want to be in their place, but we forget that there is no an easy way to success. We have to work hard every day, change oul life, never lose a minute. That is the necessary condition for those who want to see the changes. The same can be said about the spiritual life. We see the examples of the great pious ascetics who struggled with their passions, fasted to exhaustion, toiled and finally won the spiritual combat and became free from passions. But they wouldn`t have reached that without unstoppable attention to every step they made and every thought that came into their heads. So we should follow the example of the fathers and be careful of every action we take. We read in the Holy Bible: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). The "force" is our constantly continuing spiritual combat, our love towards others and our kind heart. And all these qualities can be reached only by permanent attention to the smallest of our actions.

В.К. [(3) 30]


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In connection with these words of Elder Sergei let us remember the parable about talents (Matt. 25:14-30). As we remember, the Lord says to those servants who completed His task: “Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:22). We see there the direct interdependence between being responsible for small and big things, that is, responsibility can project to larger things. If I am responsible for little tasks – both spiritual and secular – I will be responsible in that case if I receive a bigger one, because I used to be responsible.
This habit is especially important in spiritual life – if every small action, word, even thought can cause our salvation or death, we should be so attentive as not to decide that something is minor or does not influence our eternal life.

А.Щ. [(5) 53]


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I think that St. John Climacus by saying so wants to make people understand that a believer is not a person who only prays to the Lord and leads a pleasant life receiving help from God. It is obvious that Christians believe in the Almighty God who can do everything, even to be incarnate and die in order to save his creatures. But to understand faith on a more profound level is to realize that God cannot trespass a human will even in case of salvation. So a true believer is a person who not only believes in God's might but also knows that he won't be saved without his own desire to be saved. And realising that makes a Christian work on his soul. He really unites with God in carrying out a very difficult work - transforming a human's soul into the soul deserving the Heavenly Kingdom. He entrusts God to lead him, but he paves his narrow way himself. A believer prays to God not to give him everything but to make him worthy of obtaining what he truly needs on his way to God. And his faith provides him with confidence that he's doing everything right.

С.Ф. [(4,5) 41,5]


1. UNORIGINATE is one of the words by which God, usually the Father, is often referred to; this alludes to His being eternal and thus having no beginning.
2. PROSELYTES are people who have converted to a religion, sometimes from a different religion.

А.C. [(1) 54]


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Elder Sergei of Vanves states that every single action we perform bears a consequence and that it’s unjust to say it is not so.
In my opinion elder Sergei is correct in his statement. However, I also have to warn that in this particular case I come mostly from the scientific and not religious side. Still I shall try to relate to Orthodoxy more in this short essay. As I have mentioned, this opinion happens to coincide with mine. I believe that every action and event have their place and meaning, even the smallest ones. In science it is often referred to as the butterfly effect. But as we are not discussing science I shall give an example that is more Orthodoxy-friendly.
This one I can bring up from personal experience. It relates to my education in this university and is thus very recent. At the end of the second year we were given a choice of two disciplines which were optional, one of them being the study of the Russian Church History. I signed both and quickly forgot about it until I was reminded at the beginning of the third year. I began to lament my poor and hasty choice for I never considered how poor I was at history lessons in general. However, after a month it was very abruptly announced that everyone was to attend that class as the choice given to us earlier was a mistake. I was lucky to have learned a lot of information ahead of most of my classmates.
There can be numerous examples of God’s Will and, as Daniel Defoe would say it, Providence by which I and many other people were guided. My classmate Andrei consoled me when I was lamenting at my choice of classes, telling me that it was perchance God’s doing that I came to be that way. Now I can with utmost certainty say that he was right. With this we may conclude that yes, everything that happens is important and most of the time we unknowingly avert our gaze from the obvious connection between things.

А.C. [(5) 53]


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St. John Climacus claims that truly believing means not to simply think that God is all-capable but to think that everything can be achieved with faith.
While this is an interesting and deep thought, I don’t think it’s entirely correct. It’s true that simply believing in God’s might is not enough but seeing faith as a way of getting everything is also quite wrong. Both can lead to misunderstandings that may lead to sin and even heresy.
A plain yet true parable proves the first part of my point: during a great flood a man hoped that God would help him survive. Large objects that he could grab on to rushed past him but he did not get on. Others kept urging him on but he said that God would save him. Eventually he drowned. When his soul met God he asked why He didn’t help him. God answered that He did, very much so, as there were many ways for the man to save himself, yet he did nothing. It is perfectly fine to think that God can save you. But the folly of the man was in that he believed that God could just scoop him up, magically, as I would say, and place him on the ground, which, of course, is unreal.
Another extremity can be demonstrated by countless examples of the wealthy or privileged taking things for granted. Such are certain western extremists who look down on people of weaker or no faith and think that God is “on their side”, which means that they are allowed to do what others are not, and to get things without any repercussions. This is, of course, wrong, as they misunderstand the occasions in which God gifts us with good things for our faith as purely material.
In conclusion, both sides of the statement can be misinterpreted: not only that, they cannot function alone, which is why it’s important to consider both and keep a balance between them.

А.C. [(3,7) 48]


1. ENVY is the sin of intense desire to possess what others have, even if you do not particularly need it.
2. PRIDE is the sin of taking immense pleasure in one's achievements and boasting about them, however small they may be.

А.C. [(1) 44,3]


1. Jesus Christ DEIGNED to BE INCARNATE of the Holy Theotokos for our salvation.
2. We call God the Father UNORIGINATE, which means that He was not born.
3. The Lord LOOSES THE FETTERED both in the literal sense and in the figurative one, that is, He looses us from our sins.

А.Щ. [(1,5) 48]


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What does St. John mean by these words? Why does he oppose two different faiths: the faith in God’s omnipotence itself and the faith in His all-powerful help?
To answer this question we should firstly remember the words from the general epistle of apostle James, who says about the fallen spirits: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:20). The devils believe, but they do not turn to God. Without any doubt they, as the former Angels know well that God can do everything. The key moment is that they do not want to appeal to Him to be healed.
But let us return to people. We know, and many daily examples can prove it, that even if a person believes in God it does not mean that he starts to change. It is impossible to change yourself using only your power, but every deed becomes realizable when we desire to change, when we recognize our weakness and ask God for help. The Scriptures tell us: “Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
As a conclusion I would like to finish the phrase of St. John Climacus: “Faith paves the way for what seems impossible; and the thief proved this himself” (The Ladder 27:68). The last hours of the crucifixion of the Good Thief (Luke 23:42-43) show us faith which is really live faith. That is our goal.

А.Щ. [(3,5) 46,5]


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I am completely agree with the quotation of Fr. Seraphim Rose, as Jesus Christ set an example, sacrificing Himself in order to save people from the eternal sorrows.
We know that it was really difficult and scary, as Jesus prayed to the bloody sweat to God the Father, so that He could let Him not to suffer that much. But He did endure all the anguishes to the very end because of His love to the Heavenly Father and to humanity.
This quotation, of course, must be understood metaphorically. So we also, like our Lord Jesus, should take up our crosses, that is something particularly unbearable and hard for us, and sustain it throughout life, as only this way we can humble ourselves and get closer to God.
Another important issue is that Christ also showed us the praxis of forgiveness and mercy. And like Him, we should love our neighbours and be ready to help them when they are in need.

М.П. [(3) 23]


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I am absolutely agree with the quotation of St. Gregory Palamas, because I believe that overcoming the temptations of our fallen nature is one of the most important issues in attaining salvation.
Relying on my own experience I can say that fighting against those prevalent temptations in your character is much harder, as it requires constant work and causes certain discomfort. This, of course, is less pleasant than sacrificing something that is not so significant to you. For example, during the fast we don’t eat meat, but it is more considerable to deny yourself a pleasure that brings you only an amusement, but gives no profit for the soul.
It may seem, though, that our fixed tendency for some kinds of sins can’t be treated as inevitable part of our fallen nature and therefore can be easily corrected. But one should not forget that such kind of temptations is, in fact, a part of our personality. That is why it becomes impossible sometimes to force yourself to fighting against it.
We should not look for an easy way to God. The hardest one is the closest indeed.

М.П. [(3,5) 14,3]


1. We all should be GRACIOUS to each other and PERFORM DEEDS OF MERCY as our Lord Himself is PLENTEOUS IN MERCY.
2. COMPASSION AND MERCY do not PREVAIL in a cruel heart.

М.П. [(2,5) 10,8]


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It`s easy to read and to agree with the words: "The man who endures accusations against himself with humility has arrived at perfection". But it`s not so easy to follow them in practice. When we are abused for somethimg that we committed and even when we deserve the accusations we feel insulted. In case we are insulted undeservedly we feel that we are treated unfairly and try to prove our innocence by any means. St. Isaac of Syria said that it`s "perfection" to endure accusations against himself. But Lord Jesus Christ said that those who endure persecution for His name inherits the Kingdom of Heaven: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake". (Matthew 5:11) God is Love and Humility and if we endure accusations with these qualities we will be like God.

В.К. [(3,5) 27]


1. When I was younger I wanted to be one of THE CHANTERS. 2. THE CLERGY should also have such qualities as ONENESS OF MIND, BROTHERLY LOVE and PIETY. 3. We should be GRACIOUS to those in need and PERFORM DEEDS OF MERCY to them. 4. When someone was suffering and had INFIRMITIES, Jesus Christ was COMPASSOINATE to them. He performed the miracles in order to help THE SICK, THE SUFFERING and THE CAPTIVE. So it`s our duty to follow His example and be PLENTEOUS IN MERCY.

В.К. [(5,5) 20,9]


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People of great faith often say that God lets only those misfortunes happen to us which we are capable to endure. Moreover, He helps us not to give up carrying our crosses. Our Lord Jesus Christ could not avoid crucifixion in order to save his people, so we cannot avoid it either in order to receive the salvation. If there was only one way to save people then there is only one way for people to become true Christians and it is the way of crucifixion. To stay with Christ means to stay with him on the cross and it is a free choice. And it requires from one more will and love to voluntary choose the path of sufferings than to choose the path of earthly joy. If people are ready to follow Christ through the thorns of adversity He is ready to help them withstand all the pain they will feel and He won't let them traverse this path alone. Sufferings change souls, ennobles them. Torments strengthen faith as people must have really great faith if they do not renounce Christ even under tortures. That is why saints give us the example of true Christian life, that is why one can not amend his essence whithout following after Christ by the path of crucifixion which leads straight to the gates of Paradise. If Christians do not reject His selfless sacrifice for the sake of their salvation God will not reject their sacrifice for His sake.

С.Ф. [(4,8) 37]


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Being afraid of a failure is the thing that makes us doubt our inner stength. It produces uncertainty which faith is called to relieve us from. Those who hesitate over their faith can't have a strong belief in their salvation. They cannot even be sure if there is such a thing. And salvation is the aim of every Christian's life. Thus, those people doubt their very life's aim, and people living without purpose will always be afraid of everything: of being not understood or of being ridiculed, of failure and of death. They cannot reach the success simply because they don't have a goal to achieve. Faith doesn't give a person right to hesitate: you either believe in God or not, there are no other options. And if you have really great faith and believe in salvation of your soul you cannot simultaneously believe that you can fail in receiving it.

С.Ф. [(4,4) 25]


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Seraphim Rose thinks that being a true Christian means following Christ as an example of a real Christian and go as far as to accept death for your religion.
Although this is hard to accept for most people, this is at least partially true, if I am interpreting this thought right. Nobody wants to die or suffer, and when people are put between life and faith, those who are weak of faith choose life, and those who are strong of faith choose to die for its sake if for nothing else. However, the initiative is also in the person’s hands. Nobody knows how they will react when real danger comes, and there are often times where people’s spirits weaken.
There are a few interesting examples for both sides of my view. Those who manage to carry their cross all the way to the mountain are, unquestionably, true Christians. Such are the martyred Russian rulers during the period of the Golden Horde. Although the reasons for their execution was usually political the Khan would always offer the knyaz (the prince) salvation through accepting their pagan, and later Islamic, religion. Those who declined were executed. This showed their bravery as well as love for their country as most of the time executing a knyaz spared his town from destruction.
But not all cases are like that. When terror was upon Russia during the Communist revolution many people chose to side with the incredibly aggressive force of Communism rather that perish under its tidal wave of hate. A lot of people, especially those who were to be dekulakized, fled to neighbouring countries.
In conclusion, I think that Fr. Seraphim Rose is correct in most regards but there are moments where I may disagree.

А.C. [(4) 43,3]


1. SLOTH is the sin of laziness, lack of desire to do anything and not being active, thus losing one’s goal in life. 2. WRATH is the sin of excessive anger; wrathful people act destructive to themselves and everyone around them, causing both fear and hate from others.

А.C. [(1) 33,4]


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I begin not with a quote from the Holy Scripture, but with an old famous Russian proverb: “Who is without a Cross doesn’t belong to Christ”. Actually, in all Gospels we read that our Lord bore the Cross to Golgotha, was crucified, died and resurrected. Common Christians understood many years, even centuries ago that we cannot follow Christ if we do not bear our own cross – that is, different circumstances which sometimes are unpleasant or even painful for us. These circumstances cleanse our soul; deliver us into humility and salvation.
In the Scriptures we can find many examples which prove that God helps us to carry our cross, supports us in our own crucifixion. I think the Psalter is the leader in the number of such. For example, “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace” (Psalms 29:11), “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him” (Psalms 4:3), the Lord says to a man: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalms 91:1). And we can prove the absence of ‘another way to be Christian’ using Psalter again: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” (Psalms 34:19-20). There are also many examples from the New Testament, but I will show two of them: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) and “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:20).
So, as we can see, father Seraphim is absolutely correct – we should carry our cross as means of our salvation but at the same time remember – we do not do that alone, but with the help of our Lord.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 43]


1) Lots of CHANTERS sing in our church and most of them are children.
2) It is essential for people who are going to get married to have ONENESS OF MIND with their future husband (or wife).
3) Even her parents and close friends were unaware of the TRIBULATIONS she faced with.
4) He was scared of incurring his boss’ WRATH.
5) St. Gregory of Palama died in a state of GRACE.
6) The Apostles didn’t manage to protect their Teacher from the INIQUITY of the Pharisees.
7) St. Nicholas, his wife Alexandra and their children always performed DEEDS OF MERCY.
8) At every Liturgy while praying to God we call Him LONGSUFFERING and PLENTEOUS in mercy.
9) According to the story in the Bible, MOSES brought the Israelites out of Egypt.
10) If everybody followed the Ten COMMANMENTS of God, it wouldn’t be necessary to write so many laws.
11) The King held a DOMINION over a vast area.

М.К. [(5) 27,8]


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Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich gives a simple yet very insightful quote about the true power of great faith. He states that it does not back down no matter how hard things may become.
To my mind he is absolutely right. I also think that real faith knows no bounds and therefore will never cease. It is not an arrogant kind of self-assuredness but a confidence received from overcoming the trials of sin and realizing the true power of faith. Once man realizes this truth he will not back down.
I might be in the wrong, but the first example of unfaltering faith that came to me is actually Jesus Christ Himself. All throughout the four Gospels He poses as an example of true faith in God. There were many aggressors who wished Him to be gone but He never gave in and stood strong until the very end.
Unfortunately, just like Jesus, many people of great faith end up as martyrs or suffer during their lifetime. Matrona of Anemnyasevo endured great trials both physically and mentally but stayed strong in faith until her death.
In conclusion, I think that Nikolai Velimirovich is right in his assumption about the greatness of faith that man can achieve.

А.C. [(5) 32,4]


1. GLUTTONY is the sin of consuming copious amounts of food purely for one’s pleasure and rarely being satisfied with it.
2. GREED is the sin of being too attached to material goods, from items of luxury to cheap things, as well as absolute refusal to share with anyone.

А.C. [(1) 24]


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Again we need to address ourselves to the Scriptures. Apostle Paul tells us about Christian faith the following: “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:22-23). So one of the key words there is foolishness. Christianity is illogical according to the ideas of the world. During all periods of the existence of Christianity the world could not accept it. Our Lord said in the Gospel: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). He did not come here to built a kingdom on earth according to the people’s ideas and longing; He came to save us and to prepare us for the eternal life.
We should understand that we will not be accepted by this world if we are true Christians. “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your's also” (John 15:20). Our faith should be strong enough not to be embarrassed by all the ridicules from the world, not to lose Christian essence, not to give in to our secular environment.
Let us strengthen our faith by prayer, reading the Holy Scripture, taking part in the Mysteries, remembering the words of king David: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalms 34:19).

А.Щ. [(4) 32]


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Temptations are an indefeasible part of our life. By all means they lead us astray, make us lose heart or on the contrary become too proud. Our goal is “to endure courageously” these “unpleasant burdens”. Only in this way we can reach the Kingdom of Heaven. It is very disappointing to hear unfair accusations especially from our relatives or close friends. As Jesus Christ told us through Evangelist Matthew: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile ye, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven.” The Lord didn’t promise us that it would be easy to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. We must deserve this.
And St. Gregory Palamas proved his quote by his own example. His life was full of severe trials. His opponents in the Hesychast controversy spread slanderous accusations against him and he was imprisoned for four years. St. Gregory was released earlier and consecrated as the Metropolitan of Thessalonica. But because of the Hesychast controversy with Barlaam, the people of Thessalonica didn’t accept him and St. Gregory was forced to live in lots of different places. He was also imprisoned and beaten by Turkish pirates during a voyage to Constantinople. And the Metropolitan of Thessalonica endured these obstacles with extraordinary patience and courage. St. Gregory even managed to convert to Christianity some of the pirates. It is difficult to imagine how deep and unshakable his faith was. It is also known that his dying words were “To the heights! To the heights!” All of his life in general was devoted to achieving this goal.

М.К. [(5) 16,5]


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I absolutely agree with the quote of St. Isaac of Syria. People are used to blaming somebody for doing something wrong or for their own failures, but we should always remember that mainly our worldview influences our life. We are usually too selfish to blame ourselves for anything or blaming ourselves brings us to despair and despondency. Humility is a special virtue that is not so easy to achieve. Only spiritual experience can help us to reach this dispensation.

М.К. [(3) 6]


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Temptations are ordeals that if endured can be profitable for a person's spiritual growth. They are deeply hidden vices one may not always be aware of and which our souls gained with the original sin. Temptations reveal people's weak spots in their spiritual development and demonstrate that perfection has no limits and there is always much to be desired. A Christian person understands that he will be followed by trials until the very last breath as who is with Christ never has an easy life. Because comfort never prompts anyone to seeking for refining his soul. The only way of being likened to Chist is to have one's soul perfected and cleansed from sins. Only by enduring temptations people can truly see what virtues are. Because being virtuous by default is a very fragile thing: all the goodness may be vaporized after the first temptation. Only acquiring virtues amongst sufferings, like trophies in battles, will make a person see why they are called virtues and are the traits worthy of the Heavingly Kingdom. Only by resisting temptations people can keep being righteous as once you fall into temptation you will not see why can't you do it again. People are tested by afflictions, only in a difficult situation the true essence of a man is disclosed. It is often said that people do not write books about happy people. And I quite agree with it: people who are content with themselves will never improve their state of soul. And a true Christian may not necessarily be unhappy with the difficulties he has, as he understands that they are sent by God for the sake of his salvation, but he should never stop his struggle for the salvation for his every deed will bring him closer to God. And the harvest a Christian will reap after his zealous work will be much more pleasant than all the fortune of the world. As the brightest day comes after the darkest night.

С.Ф. [(4,8) 20,6]


1. On the way to salvation amongst all else one should PERFORM DEEDS OF MERCY.
2. WE ARE DUST but our souls are immortal and can be saved by our GRACIOUS God.
3. TRIBULATION AND NEED are not an excuse for being lost in INIQUITY.
4. ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA was the person who introduced the term GOD-MAN to Christian theology.

С.Ф. [(4) 9]


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This quote shows us that our spiritual perfection has to do with our inner work, which is the enduring of temptations. We can make out profit of different obstacles in our way, because only experience makes us wise and strong. That’s why the zealous enduring of voluntary and involuntary afflictions is so important. Without our persistence other virtues make no sense, because the main path to be saved is to fight with sin and temptation.

А.М. [(5) 29]


I really can’t imagine his personality without COMPASSION.
It is possible to avoid quarrels if we put up with each other’s INFIRMITIES.
He used to teach his son TO PERFORM DEEDS OF MERCY.
What a mess! There is DUST everywhere!
The most popular Sisters of Mercy’s song is «DOMINION».
This scholar did a lot of research on GOD’S TRANSCENDENCE.
Paradoxically, God is KNOWABLE and UNKNOWABLE at the same time.
This poem is full of medieval RECOLLECTIONS.

А.М. [(3) 18]


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Gregory Palamas uses a very familiar method of explaining things by using the images of fruit, wine, and harvest that are so often met in the Bible. His message, in my interpretation, is to fight against all temptation so that one may reach Heaven with no harsh sin weighting us down. Furthermore, he adds that refusing to do so will not save you even if you have good personal qualities.
I have to say that I agree with St. Gregory Palamas’ message, even though I have a hard time understanding it fully. It is very easy to give in to sin and this is why we are so harshly judged for it. One can do many good things and still be rotten from the core. At times what we may consider good intentions are actually things that stem from our temptations. This is why overcoming temptations is so important.
I find it difficult to give a straight example, but out of personal experience I can tell that enduring certain temptations can be excruciatingly difficult. Every day I find certain things hard to resist. This is why, for me, simply doing good things or having talents is not enough. An easy example of this is going out of your way to help others, thinking that you are doing a good thing, while in reality it comes from ambition and hubris.
My conclusion is that Gregory Palamas teaches us to fight for our salvation and eternal life in Heaven, no matter how difficult it is to do so while we are on earth.

А.C. [(5) 23]


1. THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS are the most basic and dangerous sins that plague every man and are the hardest to resist.
2. LUST is the sin of uncontrolled physical attraction to someone else, often more than one person.

А.C. [(1) 18]


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In today’s quotation St. Nicholas of Serbia tells us about the only two true ways of getting the idea of God: one either should trust those who are certainly close to Him or make an effort and find out about Him yourself. There is no other option.
I find this thought quite agreeable. Sure enough, people often stray in their attempts at understanding religion and Who it revolves around. It is not uncommon for them to attempt to find an easy way to do so, which usually leads to them missing vital elements. They may have a few unfortunate encounters with those who propagate heretical teachings but sound really convincing, and it is up to the person to find the truth. Finally, personal beliefs might stand in the way of a man’s progress towards God, as a human mind and soul are tainted with sin. The further you go the more tempting it is to fall into heresy or stop altogether, and, as St. Nicholas rightly puts it, one must make a real effort to advance as well as to find those whose impression of God is correct. These people will help him further in his journey.
This greatly reminds me of the Acts of the Apostles and St. Paul’s epistles. They document a vast variety of reactions to the teachings of the Holy Fathers and other apostles. Some people have trouble understanding, some don’t even want to, and some make a real effort. The New Testament is filled with a wide variety of examples of this. St. Paul’s Epistle to Philemon tells us about a stray slave who happened to meet Paul. The apostle taught him the word of God, and they also became good friends. The example of personal spiritual pilgrimage can be seen in the life of Pope Callixtus I, who used to be a light-fingered slave and money borrower but turned to God after he sank to the very bottom and later became a Pope.
It is evident that getting the impression of God requires someone else’s advice and help and/or personal input.

А.C. [(4) 17]


1. Of course, the Lord is LONGSUFFERING and PLENTEOUS IN MERCY, but we shouldn't use it in our sinful interests.
2. We commit lots of INIQUITES, but we also hope for God's COMPASSION.
3. In comparison with God we are just DUST; so why do we ANGER about each other?
4. The world is God's DOMINION; so we should not ascribe to ourselves too much.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 21,5]


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Our Lord told us through Evangelist Matthew: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matt. 11:27). We cannot understand God, but according to St. Nicholas we can “get an impression of Him”. Of course only if God Himself wants to open this mystery to us and if we are ready for it. St. Nicholas shows us two ways of getting an idea about God: we trust people who have already had this experience or we try to receive this experience ourselves.
These words are completely right, but require one little and quite important comment: we cannot “stand in immediate proximity to God” just using our own power. If we start to explain the Holy Scripture according to our own passions, do not pray to God in a right way, do not resort to the writings of the Holy Fathers and to our spiritual father, we will terribly fail. Yes, we should and even must take our own steps to God, but must remember the words of the Lord to His apostles and to us: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). And as a conclusion I would like to quote St. John Climacus. Here he says about trusting those who have this proximity themselves: “Those who wish to learn the will of the Lord must first mortify their own will. Then, having prayed to God with faith and honest simplicity, and having asked the fathers or even the brothers with humility of heart and no thought of doubt...” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, step 26:111). In other words, without trusting people who have the spiritual experience we cannot achieve it ourselves.

А.Щ. [(4) 19]


1. The book of Genesis explains that God made man from DUST (Genesis 2:7).
2. Being LONGSUFFERING in Christianity means not only suffering for a long time but also having a lot of emotional restraint, as the Greek word for “longsuffering” contains the word “temper”.

А.C. [(1) 13]


Their wedlock wasn’t stable and firm because they weren’t FELLOW-BELIEVERS.
The Protestants aren’t in accord with Orthodox OBSERVANCES.
Very few pieces of modern literature can be SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE unlike classic ones.
He claimed that sincerity and cardour are the THE main RULE OF DOMESTIC PRAYER.
His life was full of extraordinary PIETY and that’s why there was a sense of slight GRACE around him.
That monk elevated his hand and cried loudly: «GOOD GOD! Let this world be DELIVERED FROM ALL TRIBULATION, WRATH AND NEED!»
GREAT TRIBULATION was overtaking him when the First World War broke out.
A lot of saints around the whole world are famous for their delightful, outstanding and PURE LIFE.
They work as CHANTERS in the nearest Orthodox church.
The atmosphere inside this communion has a real spirit of BROTHERLY LOVE.
It was difficult to figure out that he would be my nearest friend and our relationship would be full of ONENESS OF MIND.
«MASTER, please give me your blessing!» - she replied with REVERENCE.

А.М. [(7,5) 15]


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I think that all the fullness of Christian tolerance and humility is noticed in this quotation. The world is corrupt and full of iniquity and too many people in our society feel strongly about each other. And the only medium to improve this situation is our humility, because thanks to it we are able to endure accusations and any manifestations of injustice. Very often when we receive accusations we can’t cope with our pride, that’s why we send this discontent in return. So, the evil becomes bigger and bigger this way and people drive the grace of God away. And, as it was said in the quotation, humility is the greatest and the hardest virtue, helping us to achieve the state of perfection.

А.М. [(4) 7,5]


1. ATHEISTS are people who reject the notion of the existence of God and often oppose Christians.
2. CHANTERS are people who chant hymns during a service.

А.C. [(1) 12]


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In this quote Isaac of Syria says that a man who can calmly put up with accusations has achieved greatness in virtue which is even highly regarded by angels.
I have to say that this statement quite confuses me. I do not think that it carries a wrong message – in fact, I can see that the message is wise – but this I can only trace to my perhaps not being spiritually educated enough to perceive it wholly. However, I do have certain inklings of what exactly Isaac wanted to convey.
First of all, I think that, by describing to us a man of such virtue, Isaac wants to show us a man whose idea is to keep the tempers of others calm by not confronting them when they confront him. By doing so the man causes less negative emotions, and so does less to tempt people into unpleasant thoughts or even sinful deeds. Because as the saying goes, hate only breeds hate, and it is not in the interests of a Christian to cause hate deliberately.
Secondly, I presume that such a person, having achieved a high level of spiritual and moral understanding, would see the actions of hateful people as simple follies. He does so not because he thinks he is above others due to his closeness to God but because he knows that the hateful things that people do most often come from their little knowledge or understanding of things. So, instead of condemning them, he asks God to forgive them. To forgive and not hold a grudge is a difficult task that everyone is not capable of. Numerous examples of Russian martyrs can be given who uttered “God, please, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” as their last words.
While I still think that I haven’t fully grasped the message yet, I can assuredly say that forgiveness is a great virtue. At the same time it leads us to be more aware of our own actions, so if we practice forgiveness our society will become less hateful as a result.

А.C. [(5) 11]


1. We should enter any church with REVERENCE.
2. CHANTERS have existed in the Church since the very early times.
3. During the GREAT LITANY we pray not only about spiritual needs but also about FAVOURABLE WEATHER and the INCREASE of the fruits of the earth.
4. We all need ONENESS IN MIND and BROTHERLY LOVE.

А.Щ. [(3,5) 15]


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Saint Isaac tells us about such virtue as humility. How much humility is necessary for our salvation, we can see for ourselves. Thus, the Lord Himself shows us an example of true humility in the Gospel. All His life was filled with humility, it is enough just to remember two cases.
First – when He was accused of using the devil’s power after healing the demon-possessed man: As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (Matt. 9:32-35). As we can see, Christ did not punish the Pharisees, but continued His ministry.
The second one – His crucifixion and death. We know from the Gospel that the Lord was spat upon, beaten, - but did not answer to this humiliation. And, of course, the famous phrase which sometimes causes to discussions: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:39). I read a lot about the explanation of these words of the Lord, but the form of essay does not allow me to spend too much space on it here.
I also cannot say that I succeed in this virtue very much, but I become assured every day that humility is the basis for reaching next steps. Apostle James writes in his general epistle: Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James, 4:5-6). Therefore as we remember other words of the Lord: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5), we can conclude: we cannot do anything without God’s grace, but we should have humility to receive it. How to receive it? To work on yourself, to endure all the offences, especially when they are not right and ask God for this virtue. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matt. 7:7-8).

А.Щ. [(4) 11,5]


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I fully agree with the point of Elder Sergei of Vanves. We need to struggle all our life. Every moment we rise or fall, and the consequence of such kind of events is called with struggle. Our lives can offer us some ordeals that it is rather hard to accept without anger and complaint. But at the same time these sorrows strengthen the power of our spirit, we become closer to God because we are capable of understanding those people who have problems too, console them and maybe our own experience will be salvific for them, they will find out that they are not alone in this world. So the main point is to be convinced of your sin and to realize that all events of our life are not accidental. I have also noticed that the multiple repetition of the word “struggle” in this quote indicates the continuance of the struggle.

М.К. [(3) 3]


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Everyone in his life is suffering. Someone murmurs that it is unfair. Sometimes it seems that there is no power to endure the struggle. But blessed is the man who thanks to God for the sufferings. I believe that the struggle is given to man for salvation. This is expressed by the words of the Lord: "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Mt 24:13). The kind God will always give a way out to ease the struggle, if we do not murmur: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13). I would like to confirm my opinion with the help of the one parable that Svetlana Kopylova sings in the song "Dodger". There was a crowd of people on the way. Each carried a heavy cross. There was a man among them who turned to the forest and cut down the end of the cross to make it not so heavy. There was the gulf ahead. All the people put crosses over the gulf and crossed it, and the cross of the cunny man was too small. Nobody gave him his cross, because someone else's cross can not save man. This is what happens to those who do not struggle and run away from God's Providence.

В.К. [(4) 15,4]


1. Sometimes it is difficult to overcome our HUMAN FRAILTY, but you must STRIVE in order to accomplish your END.
2. It is rather important to know all the PRACTICES and OBSERVANCES whithin the Orthodox church.

М.П. [(2,5) 8,3]


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I absolutely agree with the quotation of Elder Sergei of Vanves as, in my opinion, struggle is one of the vehicles of salvation.
One can say that the central idea of Christianity is love and struggle has nothing to do with it, because when you contend, it is inevitable not to hate the subject you are fighting against, and hate is not an appropriate feeling for a Christian. Nevertheless, it is rather relevant to realize that there is no chance to attain salvation if we are not trying to conquer something that is wicked and foul. Christians do not struggle against somebody, but against their own fallen nature and the temptations of the devil. They are persevering in achieving virtue, attaining unity with God.
Yet there is always an “unseen warfare” for every immortal soul and that is why we are always beset with carnal sins. The devil will never give up, so, when we decide to contend with him, we should be aware that this struggle will be lasting till the end of the days.
Is it possible not to become desperate? The answer is ‘yes’, as Elder Sergei of Vanves says: “The more you do, the better chances you have”. It is like the high-jumping in sport: the harder you train, the higher you jump. Thus the more you struggle, the closer you are to God.

М.П. [(4) 4]


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A struggle is a constant war with things that make you feel uncomfortable or miserable. By struggling people try to overcome the difficulties they have. And it is not an easy task to expend a huge amount of energy to become successful at it, to make even a small progress. To my mind, the life itself is a struggle. One can never have any rest, fighting for the financial security and temporal goods, education and job. But a Christian person has one more struggle on their battlefield of life - the battle to become free from the sin. And both wars, worldly and spiritual, require from a Christian continuous struggle, which will end only with their death. And the aim of life of a true Christian is to succeed in his spiritual struggle and often to help others in their battles. One should not long to finish the struggle, but to improve and to become more righteous and obtain virtues and understand what mercy is.
Also struggle brings sufferings, experiencing which people become closer to our Lord and which leave us less energy for hatred and vice.
Life teaches us that when we stop struggling and relax our spiritual war continues and we lose all the following battles and all the previously won prizes. So this quote is really useful for people who gave up their struggles. It reminds them that their war is still going on and it will stop only with their death. But it is for them to decide whether to win it or to lose.

С.Ф. [(5) 5]


1. The BOOK OF THE HOURS was widely used by Russian Orthodox people as a prayer book before the Nicon's reforms.
2. PRACTICES and OBSERVANCES should not be a matter of dispute.
3. The BOOK OF CANONS nowadays partly includes texts from the prayer book and the book of hours.
4. The main PURPOSE AND GOAL for an Orthodox person is to achive salvation and to EXCEL in God.

А.Щ. [(3) 7,5]


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In this quote Sergei of Vanves comments on one’s need to struggle in their life. He says that doing so will yield benefit which cannot be achieved with idleness.
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. To my mind, this statement expresses one of Christianity’s most important points. Every person in the world is given obstacles to overcome and those who do not make and effort suffer because of that not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. God helps those who try their best in life and don’t lament their predicament. This proves that man takes part in his own salvation. Many crippled people are an example of that. Despite their disabilities they keep on going, and some of them even became an inspiration for others. Such are the Paralympic athletes, who struggle not only through their daily lives but also endure training.
I have my own life experience to support my thoughts on this. I have always had both health and emotional problems, but a moment came when I decided that I, if I want to survive in this world, have to keep going no matter what, and this thought always gives me determination. However, I think that my understanding of the struggle as Sergei of Vanves describes it is not fully developed yet, as I still mostly live by the “kill or be killed” principle.
I’m sure that trying your best to overcome your personal obstacles will undoubtedly help you achieve a happy life, no matter how hard it may seem. People who don’t fight stagnate, and their life becomes empty, which should be avoided at all costs.

А.C. [(5) 6]


1. OLD BELIEVERS are Orthodox Christians who do not follow Patriarch Nikon’s church reforms.
2. An AKATHIS HYMN is a hymn that is sung in honor of God and saints.

А.C. [(1) 1]


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I am completely in accord with this idea. And I firmly believe that our life is a kind of the struggle at all. Of course it should be understood in a spiritual way – the main struggle is always inside us. There is a great amount of temptations, vices and obstacles which dog us all our lifetime. And if we overcome them, with losses or not, we can prove ourselves and be better and stronger. And only due to our experience we can be successful in our struggle. In addition to this I would say that the first thing we have to struggle with is our laziness, because it makes us listless and we are unable to move farther.

А.М. [(3,5) 3,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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The Holy Scripture tells us a lot that being faithful to God to the end is important for our salvation; for example, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 10:22), or “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb. 3:6). These quotes also closely correlate with Christ’s famous words: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
In comparison with these words, elder Sergei’s thoughts seem to be absolutely right. Our Lord doesn’t give us a promise to make us happy and free from any problems and care. We are promised to have life in Christ beyond this world, but here our task is a struggle which continues all our life to make us perfect. We do not ask God for struggle, but also do not avoid it.
We often hear questions like “Why cannot God stop suffering, diseases and temptations?” Of course God can do everything. But we shouldn’t forget that in our spiritual life, as at sport, the training is necessary. “Everything that doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”. We overcome different obstacles, which makes us more experienced, stronger, wiser. Just one condition – we should do that TOGETHER with God, with His help. I can prove it using very simple example from my life. During preparation for Holy Communion I struggle against my passions, but after that I very often relax and everything returns. It is vitally necessary to fight against the world, the devil and yourself and remember the fate of Judas.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 4,5]


1. DESERT FATHERS pray DILIGENTLY far away from people in order to win the SPIRITUAL COMBAT.
2. After the TRISAGION prayer one should bow three times.
4. It is important for the LATTER-DAY CHRISTIANS to fight against THE OLD MAN in us.
5. The VERY LIFE of a Christian is to be PIOUS.
6. Many monks who lead the UNSEEN WARFARE ARE often BESET by the devil.
7. John the Evangelist writes in the Book of Revelation that he saw the UNCEASING DOXOLOGIES OF GOD`S HEAVENLY COURT.
8. In Diveevo at the entrance to the Church there hangs the rule ON THE SIGN OF THE CROSS and ON THE ENTRANCE AND DEPARTURE BOWS.

В.К. [(6) 6]




В.Т. [11]




А.Д. [7,5]


2nd year: Spring 2016

1. Many adamant communists RENOUNCED SATAN AND TURNED TO GOD after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
2. My first BAPTISMAL CROSS happened to break, so that caused the talks of a bad sign among the fellow “babushkas”.
3. The baptism is performed through the TRIPLE IMMERSION.
4. To be truly PENITENT is the first and the main rule of any confession.
5. Nowadays the insignificant contradictions and the even petty fracas often become a ROCK OF OFFENCE between the highly respected members of the Church.
6. Although the laic MODERN SCHOLARS tend to detract the role of faith in our daily life, it is still unspeakably and unmeasurably high.
7. It could be difficult for someone to believe, but in these days it is possible to see and to venerate a MYRRH-STREAMING ICON at somebody’s home.
8. The church history is full of notable events, a number of those are full with bloodshed and sufferings, and the conflict between THE ICONOCLASTS and THE ICONODULES is one of them.
9. THE BETROTHAL always comes before the marriage, it is a shame that not so many couples feel like abiding the old tradition, so they simply discard both the betrothal and the SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE in favor of the civil marriage.
10. When I was little, I was highly impressed by the look of THE MARRIAGE CROWNS which were put on my parents’ head.
11. It is often said because it is right and true: if you want to show to a non-believer what the faith looks like, you should show him/her the beauty of THE ICONOSTASIS.
12. One of the usual means of pilgrimage is to visit the SHRINES all across the country.
13. The Christians PROSTRATE THEMSELVES before the icons and VENERATE them, meanwhile one should not WORSHIP them since it is kind of idolatry.
14. When priests enter the MINISTRY and PERFORM SACRAMENTS, they fulfill their duty to the Church and community; yet the most SPIRIT-BEARING servants of the God are often monks and hermits.
15. OBEDIENCE is not only the first and foremost virtue of a Christian towards the canons and PRACTICES of the Church, but the seal of righteousness.
16. The CHARITABLE WORK of the Church, which is performed today, helps the society to understand at least the basic role of faith in our life – aid in the most difficult moments of life.
17. The priests and the other servants of the faith could be vicious, INTEMPERATE or rude, yet they are humans so one should forgive and forget the non-righteous moments.
18. To lead the EREMETIC LIFE is the odd and strange perspective for my contemporaries, however even the holy teachers of the Church warn us of hardship and struggle of such life.
19. The SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT of the holy fathers is a common subject of rapture.
20. Every Christian should follow a CYCLE OF FEASTS AND FASTS during the whole year.
21. When I was little, the ADVENT was somehow the special time of a spiritual celebration in my family, although no one knows how it started.
22. I visited the Cathedral of Christ the Savior for the first time in my life at the MEETING OF THE LORD.
23. The event in the bible history which started my infant interests in the Church matters was the ANNUNCIATION, that is the one of the brightest memories I have.
24. The willow branches in my room remain untouched since the PALM SUNDAY in 2013.
25. The color of the priests’ vestments during the time of the DORMITION is blue of all shades, which symbolizes the purity of the Theotokos.
26. The frequent enemies of the Church at its earliest periods were the false teachers who were CHARGED with HERESY due to the lie they preached.
28. The Pan-Orthodox Council, which gathered the HIERARCHS of the eastern Churches and started recently, gained the notorious fame in the newspapers.
29. The PAPACY having the PRIMACY OF HONOR even now is supposed to solve the common Christian problems together with all the other Churches in spite of the DIFFERENT DOCTRINAL APPROACHES.
30. One of my attendances at the VESPERS gave the strong feeling of spiritual satisfaction.
31. Sometimes the supposed INFALLIBILITY of the clergy defends them against the just accusations of non-social behavior and public speeches that ferment wrath and hatred.
32. MORAL FRATICIDE is a common crime in all the social communities that tend to form diverse opinions.
33. Not many young men in Europe are eager to become servants of the God and protectors of the faith because of PRIESTLY CELIBACY; though the rule is violated through wiles and even perversions.
34. It is a frequent feature in the different western history studies that the papal LEGATES are meant to be treated with DEFERENCE.
35. One of the many forms of formal communication of the Pope with the communities is an ENCYCLICAL LETTER.
36. If the king is EXCOMMUNICATED, it often does not mean the lack of righteousness but the poor respect to the Pope and his external policy in Europe.
37. The anti-Popes appeared because they ENFORCED THE CLAIMS on the ecclesiastical independence from the Papal policies.
38. The PRIMER which is ornamented with Church-friendly approach heightens the chances of a child becoming a Christian.
39. Pilgrimage is not a way to travel but in its first aim it is a SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE activity.
40. All the Christians, even the poorest sinners, can eventually EXCEL among their contemporaries.

В.Т. [(23) 46]


1. According to Fr. Touma (Bitar), the feast of the ASCENSION is the fundamental feast in the Orthodox Church. The RESURRECTION wouldn't have had value without the ascension. Even PENTECOST was only given to us so that we might be able to participate in the act of the ascension.
2. GREAT LENT and the HOLY WEEK are two separate fasts. The Great Lent ends on Friday of the fifth week, before LAZARUS SATURDAY, and the Holy Week begins immediately thereafter.

А.Д. [(3) 101]


1. Reading Scripture is a SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE pastime.
2. Great Blessing of Water is one of the OBSERVANCES of the Orthodox Church.
3. 4. Nowadays there is a lot of religious literature to ENLIGHTEN people.
5. THE BOOK OF THE HOURS is the church book with texts of the prayers reading during daily church services.
6. Arius WAS DEFROCKED because of the heresy that he preached.
7. The first Christian community lived in CONSENSUS and UNANIMITY.
8. Orthodoxy preserves FIDELITY TO TRADITION.
9. Our FALLEN NATURE often HINDERS OUR JOURNEY.

В.К. [(5) 80]


1. I have a few PRAYER BOOKS at home which are kept in the icon corner.
2. Sincere prayer and repentance are the VEHICLES OF SALVATION.
3. By some theologians EPHESIANS are thought to be an ENCYCLICAL LETTER of apostle Paul.
4. According to the EDICT OF MILAN people of different faiths had to be TOLERANT to the Christianity.
5. Emperor Constantine the Great SUMMONED THE FIRST COUNCIL in Nicaea.
6. Jesus Christ has never inherited ORIGINAL SIN.
7. Three of the apostles witnessed THE HOLY TRANSFIGURATION of our Lord.
8. St. Patrick with his MISSIONARY TRIP brought Christianity to Ireland.
9. After receiving the Holy Gifts a communicant is supposed to kiss the CHALICE.
10. The main IMPLICATION OF THE INCARNATION is the REDEMTION of humanity.

С.Ф. [(6,5) 107]


1. On PALM SUNDAY people bring twigs of pussy-willow to church, so that a priest could bless it by SPRINKLING IT WITH HOLY WATER.
2. A true Christian should not accumulate material wealth, he should care for the fortune he will have in the LIFE EVERLASTING.
3. After THE MARRIAGE MAN AND WIFE "are no longer two but one flesh".
4. The day of my PATRON SAINT is on the 24th of July.
5. On Christmas Day, when ADVENT is over, people in Ukraine traditionally cook 12 dishes, which symbolize 12 apostles.
6. Throughout the CYCLE OF FEASTS AND FASTS priests change the colour of their VESTMENTS.

С.Ф. [(5) 54]


1. When the Orthodox Church celebrated the feast of THEOPHANY, the TRIPLE IMMERSION of the Holy Cross was performed at the monastery on Mount Athos in front of quite a number of PILGRIMS, who had arrived to this ASCETIC HOUSE on the ship.
2. Not only did Archbishop Theophan fulfill his MONASTIC RULE, often spending entire nights in prayer, but he also attended all of the divine services, which took place in the nearby Cathedral. If for some reason he didn't manage to do this, he would read the daily cycle of services, standing at the ANALOGION in the ICON CORNER of his CELL. This he did even during travelling, always carrying about with himself all the necessary SERVICE BOOKS.
3. One night in that church a catastrophe happened: the culprits penetrated the church through the window, entered the chancel, scattered about the SANCTUARY ITEMS from the ALTAR and the TABLE OF OBLATION, spilled the reserved Holy Gifts from the TABERNACLE, stole the church DONATIONS and other objects.

А.Д. [(7) 63]


1.One should be DILIGENT in AMENDING his FALLEN NATURE and ATTAINING SALVATION.
2. On the day of the HOLY TRANSFIGURATION priests wear white VESTMENTS.
3. During the study of the HOLY SCRIPTURES in our university we rely upon the BIBLE ACCORDING TO THE SEVENTY.
4. Because of the SCHISM there is no UNIFORMITY between OLD RITUALISTS and people having FIDELITY to the ORTHODOX TRADITION.

М.П. [(6) 94]


1) His circumstances of work were suddenly AMENDED.
2) Their relationships were quite strong due to their FIDELITY.
3) She made a bow GRACIOUCLY and invited us to come in.
4) The teacher will never allow me to pass the exam because of these heaps of DEBTS.
5) He needs her GRATITUDE to become more self-confident person.
6) I was told that the type of FONT is INCONSIDERABLE thing in this work.
7) During that time she was preparing a report about world-wide-known DESERT FATHERS.
8) The friend of mine is an OLD RITUALIST, and he claims that the way he believes in God is the right one.
9) Our native language, first of all, is our PRECIOUS HERITAGE.
10) Finally he found a job, which was more enthralling because the last one was full of UNIFORMITY.
11) He asked: «Have you ever seen how the sakura BLOSSOMS?»
12) This boy was different from other children, so he felt sad.
13) This ruby ring was given to me by my grandmother.

А.М. [(4) 43]


1. The translators always try to keep consideration of style and AMEND their work step by step.
2. Sometimes the translators have to make CONSIDERABLE corrections.
3. For the translator of sacred books it is necessary to keep the meaning with a great FIDELITY.

А.Щ. [(1,5) 117]


1. Saint Seraphim of Sarov's grandfather was a DEDICATED and fierce partisan of the OLD BELIEVER Church.
2. It's common knowledge that HOUSE BLESSINGS can be complete or abbreviated. The complete house blessing is performed only once, while a lesser one can be repeated often. A lesser house blessing doesn't have a fixed rite, but in every case there is the singing of the TROPARION of the feast of THEOPHANY and SPRINKLING WITH HOLY WATER.

А.Д. [(3) 56]


1. And the bishop ended his sermon with the following words: "Let us strive to exercise ourselves in the CONTEMPLATION of God, in the study of the true faith, in ZEAL for guarding ourselves from ERROR and HERESY, so that not only will we be free from these things, but we might be accountable to others in our hope and make wise the UNBELIEVERS".
2. While visiting the Holy Mount, they received spiritual attention and GUIDANCE from the not yet canonized ELDER Paisios of Mount Athos.

А.Д. [(3,5) 53]


1. There are some basic prayers, for example the TRISAGON, which have not changed because of the Orthodox tradition.
2. The language of prayers is opposed to the usual, PLAIN one.
3. One of the main advantages of the COOPERATIVE translation is that many mistakes can be avoided.
4. The translation of the sacred books should be made rather DILIGENTLY, or mistakes will be INEVITABLE.
5. When having a cooperative translation, every translator can make some EMENDATIONS.

А.Щ. [(3) 78,5]


1. After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday the SUPPLICATORY CANON TO THE MOTHER OF GOD was read and a CROSS PROCESSION with the wonder-working Icon of the All-Holy Theotokos took place.
2. While in Russia each Orthodox Christian has a PATRON SAINT, in Serbia every family has its own HEAVENLY PROTECTOR, on whose FEAST DAY the family celebrate its "slava".
3. When the GREAT SCHISM split CHRISTENDOM into the Greek Orthodox East and Roman Catholic West, Constantinople's Christians were largely alone on the frontlines when the Ottoman Turks began their assault upon the city. The Ottomans' capture of Constantinople was the final blow, marking the end of the world's most long-lived POLITY, the Roman Empire.
4. From a strictly THEOLOGICAL viewpoint, VESTMENTS are hardly a necessity for Christian worship. Liturgical SCHOLARS are largely in agreement that for the first several centuries of Christianity's existence its CLERGY officiated at services wearing the normal "street dress" of the Roman world. Only gradually did these items of clothing take on special significance as liturgical vestments to be worn only during worship. The TUNIC - worn by virtually everyone in Late Antiquity, regardless of age, rank or gender - was stylized to become the STICHARION, or ALB; while the outer cloak, the Roman paenula, became the vestment, known in the West as the CHASUBLE (from casula,"little house") and in the Greek-speaking East as the phelonion. By the 4th century special STOLES of OFFICE were added for the deacon and for the bishop (the ORARION and OMOPHORION, respectively), while the priest's stole, the epitrachelion, also worn by bishops, appears in textual records only several centuries later.

А.Д. [(9,5) 49,5]


The tradition of colouring EASTER EGGS dates back to early Christianity. The egg symbolizes Christ’s death and rebirth, while the colour, originally only red, symbolizes His blood.

А.C. [(0,5) 89]


1. Old Believers keep their LITURGICAL and DEVOTIONAL BOOKS carefully.
2. Old Believers' books are PRECIOUS HERITAGE of the whole Orthodox tradition.
3. One of the features of Orthodox tradition is that it doesn't know UNIFORMITY.
4. While translating Old Believers' books, every effort was made to RENDER these texts in good English.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 75,5]


DEVOTIONAL BOOKS are religious books that are purposed to be read by an individual or a family, usually at home.

А.C. [(0,5) 48]


1. Prosphora is a small loaf of LEAVENED BREAD which is CONSECRATED to become the Body of Christ during the LITURGY OF PREPARATION. 2. In our ICON CORNER we have a DIPTYCH with the holy images of Christ and the Mother of God. 3. I WAS GIVEN COMMUNION on the day of the ANNUNCIATION. 4. The aim of man's SPIRITUAL JOURNEY is obtaining salvation through confession, repentance and PIETY.

С.Ф. [(4) 49]


1. Nobody is allowed to MAKE PROSTRATIONS on Sunday.
2. A lot of people cry during THE FUNERAL SERVICE.
3. I always pray for THE DEPARTED in the church and put some food on the MEMORIAL TABLE.
4. A friend of mine always wanted to become a priest and now he PERFORMS THE OFFICES OF A BISHOP.
5. It can be difficult sometimes to find a PUSSY WILLOW for PALM SUNDAY as a lot of people take all of them.
6. People are always glad when a priest SPRINKLES them with holy water.
7. Every house should have an ICON CORNER.
8. One should always ASK FOR A PRIEST'S BLESSING when they see him.
9. I always go to THE MOLEBEN before the academic year.
10. When I'm in need of consolation I read THE AKATHIST HYMN TO SWEETEST JESUS.
11. Because of the FALLEN NATURE of man we have to PERSEVERE in our VIRTUE.
12. Demons HINDER our JOURNEY that is why man's life is an UNSEEN WARFARE and he has to struggle to ATTAIN SALVATION.

М.П. [(9,5) 54,5]


1. We, all Orthodox people, want to join to the UNCEASING DOXOLOGIES OF the HEAVENLY COURT.
2. Monks are sometimes granted CONTEMPLATION of the Uncreated Light.
3. Evil spirits are our enemies, HENCE they HINDER our salvation.
4. We should PERSEVERE in the pursuit of our salvation, it isn't so easy.
5. Tresspasses BESET a Christian all the time, so we should be careful.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 73]


In his Epistle to the Ephesians the holy Apostle Paul calls out to Orthodox Christians to prepare for the SPIRITUAL COMBAT that awaits them in the future.

А.C. [(0,5) 47,5]


1. The New Believers, that is, us, have MORNING and EVENING PRAYERS, but the Old Believers don't.
2. The Old Believers have lots of RULES OF PIETY; for example, there are special GUIDEINES FOR PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION; they also call it "The Right Canons".
3. Except the ENTRANCE and DEPARTURE BOWS the Old Believers have so-called Seven Bows, which they bow to the ground before and after every service.
4. All Orthodox people have PRAYERS BEFORE and AFTER COMMUNION.
5. CANON is one of the most ancient forms of prayer.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 70,5]


The PASCHALION is a special set of rules which tell the exact date of Pascha for the current year.

А.C. [(0,5) 47]


1. On PALM SUNDAY the faithful bring to the Church the twigs of PUSSY WILLOW.
2. There are a lot of ELDERS and LAY MONKS who serve God on Mount ATHOS.
3. St.Seraphim of Sarov led A LIFE OF STRICT ENCLOSURE before he started his MINISRTY to people. He had received a gift of SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT.
4. In Optina Hermitage monks lead both THE EREMETIC and COMMUNITY life.
5. On the feast of TRANSFIGURATION Christians remember how the Lord ascended MOUNT TABOR and Moses and ELIJAH appeared to Him.

В.К. [(6,5) 49,5]


1. While BLESSING THE HOUSE, the a priest SPRINKLES it inside with holy water.
2. Orthodox people CUP right hand over left when they ASK FOR A PRIEST'S BLESSING.
3. On Palm Sunday, branches of PALM, BOX or PUSSY WILLOW are blessed.

А.Щ. [(3) 66]


On PALM SUNDAY the palm or pussy willow branches represent the palm branches that were scattered before Jesus by people as He entered into Jerusalem.

А.C. [(0,5) 46,5]


1) The Holy Week also known as the PASSION WEEK is a really difficult and tense period for Christians, because it is usually intertwined with a mental strain and hard spiritual TOIL.
2) There were a lot of BOXEN vistas near the shore.
3) She’s never plucked pussy willows because she loves nature in every it’s form.
4) He was so talented as if a BOUNTIFUL HAND gave him these great abilities.
5) They BREAK THEIR FAST eating too much meat and drinking too much wine.
6) Without LOVINGKINDNESS it is impossible to be a good person.
7) It is very strange to see how he says something like «PEACE BE TO THIS HOUSE», when we visit our friends.
8) At that meeting we discussed the BULL OF EXCOMMUNICATION.
9) Michelangelo Caravaggio’s masterpiece called "DORMITION of the Virgin" and its setting is one of my most favorite pictures ever.
10) I’ve remembered a quote by Metropolitan Kallistos that the Jesus prayer is a prayer that makes our CONTEMPLATION active and our action CONTEMPLATIVE.
11) A CHARITABLE WORK is the inherent part of agape.

А.М. [(5) 27]


1. THE ANNUNCIATION is very important for our salvation, because without Theotokos' WILLING ACCEPTANCE Christ could not become incarnate.
2. On PENTECOST the Holy Spirit DESCENDED upon the Apostles so that they could preach and SPREAD THE GOSPEL.
3. At the TRANSFIGURATION the full glory of Christ was REVEALED to His disciples-apostles.
4. The PALM SUNDAY, or THE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM, is the Sunday before Easter, quite SOLEMN feast.

А.Щ. [(5) 63]


1. On the Sunday that falls on or immediately after the 11th of October, we CHANT the Service to the 350 holy Fathers of the 7th ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, which GATHERED AT NICAEA in 787 under the holy Patriarch Tharasius and during the reign of the EMPRESS IRENE and her son, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, to reject the ICONOCLAST HERESY, which had received imperial support beginning with the EDICT issued in 726 by Emeror LEO the ISAURIAN.
2. Through the GREAT SCHISM Eastern CHRISTENDOM and Roman Catholicism developed distinctive identities, e.g. Eastern Orthodoxy allows married CLERGY and rejects universal PAPAL AUTHORITY.

А.Д. [(5) 39]


1. The Orthodox Church celebrates TWELVE GREAT FEASTS.
2. During fasts, Orthodox eat A VEGAN DIET.
3. EXALTATION OF THE CROSS was established later than another eleven great feasts.
4. Sometimes people call CHRISTMAS 'the second Pascha'.


А.Щ. [(2) 58]


1. The word ANATHEMA means severance, rejection. When the Church anathemizes a teaching, it means that that teaching contains blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and for the sake of SALVATION it should be REJECTED and removed as poison is removed from food. When a person is anathemized, it means that he has irreversibly adopted a blasphemous teaching and through it DEPRIVES himself and those near him, to whom he HAS IMPARTED his line of thought, of SALVATION.
2. The ICONOCLAST HERESY REJECTED not only the icon as a window through which a ray of light may shine into the darkened human soul, but also the Orthodox teaching about Christ as FULLY GOD ans FULLY HUMAN in the HYPOSTASIS of God the Son.

А.Д. [5]


1. While fasting, besides praying Orthodox Christians need to eat VEGAN food.
2. Throughout the year students of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University have days-off on TWELVE GREAT FEASTS.
3. In Orthodox tradition NATIVITY FAST lasts for 40 days, it goes on since the 28th of November to 6th of January.
4. On THEOPHANY the weather in Russia is usually frosty and according to tradition many people plunge into the ice-hole.
5. PRESENTATION includes the meeting of Simeon the God-receiver and Jesus Christ in the Temple. There was also PROPHETESS Anna who offered prayers, praise to God for Jesus and spoke to everyone there of His significance for redemption in Jerusalem.
6. EXALTATION OF THE CROSS commemorates the discovery of the True Cross, made in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, during her pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
7. After the liturgy the MEMORIAL SERVICE will be performed.
8. The MEMORIAL TABLE has the food for commemorating the DECEASED.
9. BOILED WHEAT is a sweet grain pudding, which consists of wheat berries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar and several nuts.
10. During the FUNERAL SERVICE, people usually sing: “THERE IS NO SIGNING, SORROW, NOR PAIN, BUT LIFE EVERLASTING”.

М.К. [(7) 70]


1. The Great Lent is the longest FAST in Orthodoxy, lasting for forty days, and is also the strictest one. 2. THEOPHANY is a feast devoted to the birth of Christ as well as His baptizing.

А.C. [(0,5) 46]


1. The priest wears white vestments at FUNERAL SERVICE which symbolizes the joy of the Ressurection.
2. On the third, ninth and forteith days from the day of death MEMORIAL SERVICES are held.
3. In every church there is A MEMORIAL TABLE, where people light candles in memory of the dead.

А.Щ. [(1,5) 30]


1. A MEMORIAL SERVICE is a service that is held for the departed.
2. One can place candles for the deceased on the MEMORIAL TABLE.

А.C. [(1) 6]


1. A bishop’s STAFF represents the staff of a shepherd with which he watches over his flock.
2. The SAKKOS that a bishop wears represents the clothes that Christ wore and serves to remind of His humility.

А.C. [(1) 5]


1. A bishop belongs to THE HIGHEST DEGREE of the priesthood.
2. Besides vestments which deacons and priests have, bishops also have a SAKKOS, a MITRE, an OMOPHORION, and some other items.
3. A STAFF is a symbol of the bishop's duty TO LEAD AND SHEPHERD HIS FLOCK.
4. A PANAGIA, an icon of the Theotokos and Christ worn round the neck, reminds a bishop about love which he must have all the time.
5. One of the bishop's duties is TO OVERSEE THE AFFAIRS OF THE DIOCESE.

А.Щ. [(4) 28,5]


They said, she was HEALED due to the MYRRH and it was a kind of miracle.
He WAS TONSURED when he was very young.
Before Lent you can notice that large queues of PENITENTS emerge in every temple and in every church.
This ancient town is famous for Christian SHRINES.
One of the images of Saviour is the GOOD SHEPHERD.
When I worked out in the church of St. Nicholas in the Smiths' Suburb, I unexpectedly witnessed the BLESSING OF A MARRIAGE.
I want him to be my MAN, but he does not know about it yet.

А.М. [(3,5) 22]


1. The clergy have VESTMENTS, which are special clothes for worship.
2. A deacon has a TUNIC, a STOLE or an ORARION and the CUFFS.
3. A priest has an ALB, a stole which is sewn together, a CHASUBLE and a GIRDLE.
4. The senior priests are given an EPIGINATION, which hangs on the priest's hip.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 24,5]


1. In Orthodox tradition the STOLE shows the rank of a priest.
2. The liturgical VESTMENTS in the Orthodox tradition are very complicated. Every component serves a special purpose.

А.C. [(1) 4]


1. According to the tradition, the BAPTISMAL CROSS for the NEWLY BAPTISED should be bought by one of the GODPARENTS.
2. Tomorrow the SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE will be performed by Father Victor for John and Olivia.
3. My grandparents keep their WEDDING CANDLES in their icon corner.
4. ANOINTING WITH OIL, which is also called a sacrament of HEALING, helps every Christian to reach RECONCILIATION with God.
5. An icon reflects the CELESTRIAL GLORY and represents the victory of saints and the DISGRACE of demons.
6. All the FAITHFUL should visit Jerusalem, especially the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre.

М.К. [5,5]


1. There are several opinions about whether a healthy man should be ANOINTED WITH OIL or not.
2. But if you do not have any disease anointing with oil can not only be THE SACRAMENT OF HEALING, but RECONCILIATION with God.
3. THE GOOD SHEPHERD is a symbolic image of Jesus Christ, borrowed from the Old Testament.
4. ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD is a sacrament in which a Christian gets special grace which allows him to preach and forgive people`s sins.

В.К. [(2,5) 43]


1. In the sacrament of ANOINTING WITH OIL the oil is a symbol of HEALING and RECONCILIATION.
2. An ill person is anionted seven times, that's why seven COTTON BUDS are used.
3. The PRIMARY PURPOSE of this sacrament is reconciliation with God.
4. Bishop, priest and deacon are THE HIGHEST DEGREES of PRIESHOOD.
5. ORDINATION takes place within the APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION.

А.Щ. [(4) 20]


1. The image of THE GOOD SHEPHERD usually shows Christ with a lamb and symbolizes a priest – the pastor – leading his flock – the faithful.
2. The PRAYER OF ABSOLUTION is said by a priest for the person’s sins to be forgiven.

А.C. [(1) 3]


1. Orthodox people VENERATE ICONS, it is God who is WORSHIPPED.
2. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, DEIGNED TO LIVE IN MATTER, which was created by Him, in order to give salvation to the righteous people.
3. To BE RELEASED FROM THEIR SINS people should confess first with SINCERE REPENTANCE.

С.Ф. [(3) 45]


1. According to the Epistle of Ephesians, through the sacrament of MARRIAGE two persons BECOME ONE FLESH but keep their UNIQUE INDIVIDUALITY.
2. During this sacrament the couple are CROWNED.
3. Now BETROTHAL or ENGAGEMENT forestolls the sacrament of marriage.
4. RINGS symbolise ETERNAL PROMISE AND UNION.

А.Щ. [(4) 16]


1. THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE is a necessary step for any Orthodox family.
2. MAN and WIFE are blessed by God as the image of the spiritual marriage of Christ with the Church.
3. Before THE BETROTHAL you need to buy the WEDDING CANDLES, RINGS and MARRIAGE CROWNS.

В.К. [(2,5) 10]


1. In Orthodoxy going MARRIAGE for the second time for various reasons is looked upon with reproach.
2. People who are against icons because they see idolatry in venerating them are called ICONOCLASTS.

А.C. [(0,5) 2]


1. The CHRISM is prepared by the heads of various AUTOCEPHALOUS Churches.
2. A priest anoints a person with a BRUSH, then wipes off the Chrism with a SPONGE and TONSURES the tuft of the newly baptized's hair.
3. The PENITENT confesses to BE RELEASED FROM HIS or HER SINS.
4. CONFESSION is the sacrament of REPENTANCE.
5. After a person has repented, a priest covers the penitent's head with the STOLE and reads PRAYERS OF ABSOLUTION.
6. After prayers of absolution a penitent ASKS THE PRIEST FOR A BLESSING.

А.Щ. [(5,5) 12]


1. One of the miracles of Christ was the HEALING of the man who was born blind.
2. If a PARISHIONER wants to go to THE SACRAMENT OF REPENTANCE he must feel himself to be a sincerely PENITENT sinner.

В.К. [(2) 7,5]


1. All PARISHIONERS kiss PRIEST'S HAND CROSS at the end of the Liturgy.
2. After THE TRIPLE IMMERSION the NEWLY BAPTISED RENOUNCES SATAN AND TURNS TO CHRIST.
3. Each PENITENT can BE RELEASED FROM HIS SINS after THE PRAYERS OF ABSOLUTION.
4. After Confession the penitent should ASK THE PRIEST FOR A BLESSING.
5. There is A MYRRH-STREAMING ICON in our church and a lot of parishioners come to pray for HEALING in front of it.
6. The DISCIPLES of Christ were given THE SEAL OF THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT at the day of PENTECOST.

М.П. [(7) 45]


1. A person who is being baptised as an adult is not always immersed into the FONT.
2. All the sins of THE NEWLY BAPTISED person are forgiven and he is reborn to a new life in Christ.

С.Ф. [1]


1. A baptized baby usually has both a GODFATHER and a GODMOTHER, but it is enough to have just one godparent.
2. THE NEWLY BAPTIZED is dressed in the BAPTIZMAL ROBE.
3. The GODPARENTS answer for the child, read the Creed and RENOUNCE SATAN (or THE EVIL ONE).
4. A priest makes TRIPLE IMMERSION of the baptized child in the FONT.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 6,5]


1. The new FONT will be installed in our Church soon.
2. After every Liturgy all the congregation kiss PRIEST`S HAND CROSS.
3. I have never been present at someone's BAPTISM. But I would like to become THE GODMOTHER once. Each NEWLY BAPTISED dies to sin and is born again after IMMERSION in the water. Then he receives the Holy Spirit by CHRISMATION. Before baptising a child, parents should buy THE BAPTISMAL ROBE.

В.К. [(4) 5,5]


1. If a newborn child is baptized, a chosen GODPARENT will help during the process, performing certain actions that the baby cannot.
2. The TRIPLE IMMERSION during baptism symbolizes the three persons of the Trinity as well as the three days during which Christ was lying in His tomb after crucifixion.

А.C. [(1) 1,5]


There are nine RANKS OF ANGELS in total, with the rank of angel being the lowest and the rank of seraphim being the highest.

А.C. [0,5]


1) THE FORERUNNER was very humble and led an ascetic life, lived in the desert, wore rough clothes and ate locusts and wild honey.
2) When we sing THE CHERUBIC HYMN we sould leave all our thoughts and concerns about whatever earthly.
3) THE CREED is not a prayer, but the text containing the dogmas of the Orthodox Faith.

В.К. [1,5]


1. The contents of the CHERUBIC HYMN is based on the visions of prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel.
2. The SMALL ENTRANCE takes place after the LITANY and reading psalms.
3. During the EPICLESIS the Holy Gifts transubstantiate into the Precious Body And Blood of Christ.
4. After the first part of the Cherubic hymn there is the GREAT ENTRANCE, during which the priest prays for the leaders of the Church, the bishop, the local community and for all Orthodox people.


А.Щ. [2]




В.Т. [21]


2nd year: Autumn 2015

The DEACON from our church in Mytishi is able to RECITE LITANIES loudly and very distinctively.
All members of his family go to church every Sunday and PARTAKE IN THE MYSTERIES regularly and I can’t believe that 3 years ago they were NON-ORTHODOX at all.
THE LARGE VEIL symbolizes the shroud of Christ.
Next term we are going to study the EPISTLES.
The CHERUBIC HYMN can be rather complicated for singing because you should sing it feelingly and impartially at the same time.
A SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK is situated in the SANCTUARY behind the HOLY TABLE.
The TABERNACLE contains the PRECIOUS BODY AND THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST.

М.К. [86]


1. MONOTHELITISM is a Christian heretical DOCTRINE, saying that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will, it's a development of the MONOPHYSITE position in the Christological debates.
2. Gathered all together in a suburban CHAPEL, the priest and his FLOCK COMMEMORATED those who devoted their lives to Christ, being PERSECUTED during the civil war.
3. Entering this Cathedral be sure to find the image of the ANNUNCIATION on the HOLY DOORS.
4. St. John the Climacus, ABBOT of Mount Sinai, lived at the monastery of St. Catherine at the foot of the mountain, which itself is a VISIBLE symbol of ASCETICISM.
5. Knowing God in truth, participating in His life, UNION with Him through HUMILITY, prayer, love for your enemies, PENANCE and REPENTANCE before all and for everything - is the purpose of the Christian life.
6. Patriarch Tikhon captained the ship of the Church through the bloody storm of ANTI-ECCLESIASTICAL PERSECUTION and ENDED HIS LIFE AS "MARTYR together with his people, doing his duty to the limit, prescribed by God".

А.Д. [88]


If one upsets the CHALICE during Communion, the item on which the Holy Gifts fall must be burnt.
Only the people who are baptized can attend the GREAT ENTRANCE.

А.C. [108]


1. After the 17th century Russian Ortodox Church has been using FIVE ALTAR LOAVES instead of seven ones for the PROSKOMIDIA.
2. At the end of the Proskomidia before the Liturgy the HOLY GIFTS are CENSED.
3. When a priest says EPICLESIS, the Holy Gifts are consecrated.


А.Щ. [84]


There were few people at the MATINS, so he felt himself peaceful.
CHRISMATION in the Orthodox Church is similar to confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church.
THE LAMB, whom we can see in the book of RELEVATION, represents Christ.
She gave PETITIONS FOR THE LIVING very often, because she thought it is the main aim when she visited churches.
THE TRANSFIGURATION is described in LUKE 9:28-36.
The teacher asked us to learn by heart the prayer FOR THE DEPARTED.
I don’t want TO GO TO THE CONFESSION, because it is hard to speak aloud about what I have done.
In the ancient ALTAR old COMMEMORATION BOOKS were found.
The scene when JUDAS ISCARIOT betrayed Christ we can observe in MARK 14: 44-45.
He was not quite rich, but he made OFFERINGS every time he could.
In the next semester my group will study THE ACTS if we survive this session.

А.М. [71]


1. I always pray FOR THE LIVING and FOR THE DEPARTED during The Liturgy.
2. I like to go to THE VIGIL, it always feels so solemn and mysterious.
3. I try to PARTAKE IN THE MYSTERIES as often as I can, because only by RECEIVING THE HOLY COMMUNION we can become the part of the CONGREGATION and ATTAIN SALVATION.
4. One should always ask God to prevent him from DEVIATING INTO ERROR AND HERESY.
5. My mother EMBRACED THE CHRISTIAN FAITH only when she was a grown-up, therefore I was BAPTIZED in my early childhood.

М.П. [92]


In Orthodox tradition after RECEIVING COMMUNION one must kiss the foot of the chalice.
In Orthodox tradition the EUCHARISTIC BREAD contains leaven – this is the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

А.C. [84]


1) It is believed that the Supper of the Lord had been in THE UPPER ROOM and after the Resurrection Christ appeared to His DISCIPLES there.
2) The BREAKING OF THE LAMB is the essential part of the Liturgy which can be performed only by a priest.
3) The Holy Spirit is SENT DOWN by God every time when people ask with faith.

В.К. [91]


1. HOLY COMMUNION is the CENTRAL MYSTERY of the Church.
2. RECEIVING COMMUNION is A REALISTIC ACCEPTANCE of Christ's words about SENSE OF UNITY with Him.
3. After THE BREAKING OF THE LAMB parts of the Lamb are put into the Chalice.

А.Щ. [65,38]


The Catholic Church uses a different kind of SACRAMENTAL BREAD for its Eucharist – a thin, white disk-shaped wafer.
During a CONFESSION an Orthodox priest stands close to the person who is confessing and listens to them; a Catholic priest, however, cannot do that, as he has to sit in a special small booth called the confessional so that he doesn’t see the person’s face.

А.C. [83]


1) In the Old Testament people sacrificed a lamb to God and in the New Testament THE LAMB Jesus Christ sacrifices himself.
2) CENTURIONS were the professional officers of the Roman army which mocked and abused Jesus Christ.
3) Every Sunday Litugy one may write a note asking prayers FOR THE LIVING and FOR THE DEPARTED.
4) It`s a must of every Christian TO PARTAKE IN THE MYSTERIES.
5) THE SUPPER OF THE LORD was a defining moment for Christ because His Hour came.
6) JUDAS ISCARIOT betrayed Christ because of the love for money, as this passion had opened the door to his soul for Satan.
7) PETER denied Christ three times. But then he REPENTED. His repentance was so strong, that every time he heard a cock`s crow, he cried.
8) The first sermon of Apostle Peter was on THE DAY OF PENTECOST. It happened after the significant event - THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE APOSTLES, which is considered to be the birthday of the Church of Christ. After St.Peter`s speech about three thousand of the people EMBRACED THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

В.К. [72,16]


1)When he was younger he had no idea what the HOLY TABLE symbolizes.
2) Possessed people can’t stand the fragrance of INCENSE and the CHRISTIAN WORSHIP at all.
3) THE SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK has to do with ancient HEBREW’S tradition.
4) The SERVER is watching for the PRIEST, who is REMOVING PARTICLES using a SPEAR.

А.М. [57,4]


There are five types of ALTAR LOAVES, the most important of which is called the Lamb; each has their own special rites performed on them.
The image of a SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK bears an important role in the history of the Jews, as it is the symbol of Judaism; this particular candlestick is named Menorah and is even placed on Israel’s coat of arms.

А.C. [82]


1. The SMALL VEILS and the AËR are always richly decorated in Russia.
2. The HOLY TABLE symbolized both the throne of God and the cloth in which the Lord's Body was wrapped.
3. The laity receive Communion with the help of the SPOON.
4. COMMEMORATION BOOKS contain people's names to be prayed for during the PROSKOMIDIA or PREPARATION OF THE LITURGY.
5. A priest cannot serve the Divine Liturgy without the ANTIMINS.
6. A SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK symbolizes seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

А.Щ. [62,88]


1. THE PHILOKALIA (translated from Greek as "love of beauty") was published in 1782 by two ascetic monks.
2. One of the goals of this book is to teach the believers to RISE UP TO GOD theirs thoughts and prayers.
3. Our life is nothing compared to THE ETERNITY.
4. The eternity can be defined as the INVISIBLE DIMENSION that has neither begining nor end.
5. After CHRIST`S CRUCIFIXION holy people got the opportunity to inherit eternal bliss.
6. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to save both Jews and GENTILES.
7. A lot of disciples WERE CONSECRATED TITULAR BISHOPS by Apostles.
8. SAINT STEPHEN is the first Christian MARTYR.
9. He was STONED to death for his SERMON in Jerusalem.
10. THE HOLY GIFTS are the body and blood of our Saviour which can burn our sins.

В.К. [65,66]


1. Every iconographer should know the structure of ICONOSTASIS.
2. In my local church there is no deacon, so the priest usually comes to the SOLEA and RECITES THE LITANIES.

М.П. [74,5]


The Gospels written by Matthew, Mark and Luke are called SYNOPTIC GOSPELS because of how similar their contents are arranged; same does not apply to the Gospel of John, whose contents and wording differ greatly from the others, usually describing events that are missing in the other three.
The HOLY GIFTS – the bread and the wine – are presumed by some theologians to become real flesh and blood after consecration, but such transformation cannot be seen by the human eye, as it will plant fear into people’s hearts.

А.C. [81]


1. I like when a priest CENSES THE CHAPEL during the VESPERS, by SWINGING THE CENSER and thus filling the church with a beautiful fragrance.
2. During the Nero's governing a lot of Christians were STONED by GENTILES.

М.П. [73]


When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God declared his new name: «ABRAHAM» that means “a father of many nations”.
The VULGATE is the Latin translation of the Bible. The main part of it was written by St. Jerome.
God performed a lot of miracles through ELIJAH, such as raising the dead, bringing fire down from the sky and taking the prophet up to heaven “by a whirlwind”.
The sweet fragrance of INCENSE helps her to lift her mind into prayer.
Yesterday at VESPERS he saw this deacon CENSING the church.
Myra has never thought that incense can contain a GUM.

М.К. [57,9]


1. Leading an ASCETIC LIFE requires from one a continual self-discipline and a strong will.
2. The 20th-century martyrs SUFFERED relentless PERSECUTIONS and were cruelly killed but did not RENOUNCE THEIR FAITH in God.

С.Ф. [84]


OLD BELIEVERS came to be when Patriarch Nikon introduced several reforms to certain rituals of the Orthodox Church.
The BOTAFUMEIRO is the biggest thurible in the world, requiring eight men to swing it by a thick rope. It is located in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

А.C. [79]


1. A deacon or a priest always CENSES the temple, the HOLY TABLE, icons and PARISHIONERS before the Divine Liturgy.
2. Burning of INCENSE symbolizes our fervent prayer to God.

А.Щ. [58,38]


1. Once Christ conquered death for us, so we never should let our souls PERISH.
2. There is a special group of books in the Bible, that are not considered as canonical. They are called THE APOCRYPHA.

С.Ф. [70,12]


1) Much of the blame for the SCHISM is generally attributed to Nikon, ELECTED TO THE PATRIARCHATE in 1652.
2) The old CHAPEL was DEMOLISHED in 1907 to make way for the Centenary Memorial Hall.
3) As the disciples were at prayer in Jerusalem, awaiting PENTECOST, the HOLY SPIRIT came upon them.
4) Some pious people have complained about improperly dressed tourists, entering PLACES OF WORSHIP in our city.

А.Д. [61,37]


1. The Orthodox Church teaches us that as Christ Himself suffered, carrying His cross for His own EXECUTION, we should TAKE UP OUR CROSSES as well AND FOLLOW HIM.
2. We should have an eye on what we do and think in order not to let our souls PERISH because of sinful DEEDS.

М.П. [71,5]


1.​ The name GOLGOTHA translates to “place of a skull”, which is the reason why sometimes a human skull is placed at the foot of a cross.
2. The Byzantine variant of the cross is the THREE-BAR CROSS, with the bottom one usually slanted, and it can be seen in Orthodox Churches; however, there are other variants, such as the two-bar cross.

А.C. [78,5]


1) We should overcome our HUMAN FAILINGS and FOLLOW CHRIST to save our souls.
2) Because of DEEDS OF HIS HANDS he was doomed to failure.

А.М. [52,9]


1.We MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodox people use THE Greek CROSS, and Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian Orthodox Christians use the four-bar RUSSIAN CROSS.
3. The SKULL is placed at the bottom of the Cross very often.

А.Щ. [57,38]


1. Luke, one of the Four Evangelists, is considered to be the first Christian ICONOGRAPHER.
2. Embroidery is an integral part of Ukrainian culture, as lots of things were adorned with it, like chemises and shirts, worn by people, and DECORATIVE TOWELS, which were placed in the ICON CORNER.

С.Ф. [24,37]


1. I beleive that every house should have AN ICON CORNER because it is a good place to concentrate and appeal to God with a FERVERNT PRAYER.
2. My mother always put a TRYPTICH ICON in my bag when I go on a journey.
3. When I was a child I wanted to be an ICONOGRAPHER for I thought this work is full of REVERENCE and diligence. I still think so but it's really a hard thing to learn.
4. I never go out of the church when THE HOLY DOORS are open.

М.П. [28,5]


1) ARCHANGELS MICHAEL AND GABRIEL are the senior angels in the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
2) They discover the will of God, give PROPHECIES and strenthen people's faith.
3) Every PARISH has its CONGREGATION because all these people meet together to WORSHIP in church.
4) RESURRECTION is not only the main FEAST in the Church, but the basis of our faith, because our Lord Jesus Christ conquered the death and opened the gates of paradise to us.
5) SERVERS have a lot of duties, such as assisting during the Liturgy, reading the Book of Hours and sometimes ringing the church bells.

В.К. [60,66]


1) My grandmother uses a DECORATIVE TOWEL to cover with it a TRYPTYCH ICONS in the ICON CORNER, because she believes it is beatiful.
2) He is an ICONOGRAPHER, and he testifies that only the REVERENT PRAYER helps him to do this work well.

А.М. [24,63]


1.​ An ICON CORNER is a place in a person’s house where one can say prayers before icons or light an oil lamp.
2. An ICONOGRAPHER is a person who paints icons. He marks the names of people depicted on the icons, but never signs his name.

А.C. [27,75]


1. In Greek Orthodox churches you can see a large number of LAMPS.
2. Servers can’t PASS THROUGH the HOLY DOORS. They can use only SIDE DOORS for entering the SANCTUARY.
3. Often ARCHANGELS MICHAEL AND GABRIEL are pictured on the side doors.
4. Every Orthodox person should have an ICON CORNER at home to LIFT HIS MIND INTO PRAYER in this place.
5. TRYPTICH ICONS are really beneficial for pilgrims who travel a lot.

М.К. [54,9]


1. Though the name of Solomon is not directly mentioned in ECCLESIASTES, he is considered to be the author of the book because of references given in the title and in the text.
2. ANNUNCIATION is one of the twelve GREAT FEASTS in the Orthodox Church, which is celebrated every year on the seventh of April.

С.Ф. [22,87]


1) It was difficult to understand that the book of the SONG OF SOLOMON is about the relationship/u>s between God and the Church.
2) I saw him standing in the NAVE near the gilded CANDLE DESK.
3) When he was 25 he worked as a SERVER in the SANCTUARY.
4) That morning the ICONS SCREEN glittered brightly because of the spring sun.

А.М. [22,63]


1) If a Christian is BAPTIZED as an adult, he has to undergo special spiritual preparation.
2) The contemporary SHAPE OF THE LITURGY includes a lot of things taken over from THE OLD TESTAMENT.
3) ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD requires a lot of responsibility, such as, for instance, the performance of THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH.
4) One of the clearest examples of the AUTOCEPHALOUS Churches are the Russian Orthodox Church and the CHURCH OF JERUSALEM.

В.К. [18,75]


While the Orthodox Church exists, there have been many RELIGIOUS DISPUTES between Orthodox Christians, ROMAN CATHOLICISM and PROTESTANTS.
It is a pity that there are few Orthodox PARISHES and DIOCESES in Western Europe.

А.Щ. [24,63]


ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS have seven SACRAMENTS: BAPTISM, CHRISMATION, CONFESSION, HOLY COMMUNION, MARRIAGE, ANOINTING WITH OIL, ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD.
Alexey, METROPOLITAN of Tula and Efremov, often comes to our PARISH.
During the FASTS we don't eat milk and meat products, go to the church more often, abstain from any entertainments, often CONFESS and receive HOLY COMMUNION.

А.Щ. [7]


1. I always MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS while entering THE NARTHEX.
2. When I was a child, I tried to VENERATE all the ICONS in the CHURCH even when there were a lot of them.

М.П. [26]


1. At the university we studied the Old Testament only for five months, so we didn't manage to read all the books, including FIRST and SECOND SAMUEL, EZRA and NEHEMIAH.
2. It's difficult to be a VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, to go against the common opinions in the society is always hard, but it doesn't mean you are wrong.

С.Ф. [3]


1. When I'll learn all the doctrines of THE ORTHODOX CHURCH I'd like to have a RELIGIOUS DISPUTE with a PROTESTANT.
2. The Muslim CREED leads to the destruction of soul.

М.П. [3]


The CHURCH OF GEORGIA is one of the most ancient Churches in the world. Now it is in communion with other Orthodox Churches. Partial autocephaly of the Georgian Church was recognized by the CHURCH OF ANTIOCH in 486. It was fully autocephaly recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1993 and by the ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE in 1990.

М.К. [23,5]


1) Yesterday this PROTODEACON reread the Old Testament absorbedly, and he found a lot of rich moments in this book. 2)The Pentateuch includes such books as GENESIS, EXODUS, LEVITICUS, NUMBERS and DEUTERONOMY, and the Pentateuch is very significant for our knowledge. 3) "YOUR GRACE, - said the women flurriedly. - I have problems with my understanding and interpretation of the book of NUMBERS. Can you help me?" 4) She was PRAYING WITH ICONS, when her son came from school. 5) They MADE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS and left the CHURCH hastily. 6) The GREAT ENTRANCE has a symbolic meaning. 7) SENIOR DECON-MONKS lead very ascetic and temperate life. 8) HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA Kirill gave a sapiential sermon. 9) There are several ORTHODOX MYSTERIES in our church. 10) INCENSE has a saturated and peculiar smell. 11) FASTING helps you to make your soul cleaner. 12) When he was a little child, he wished he would to be a PRIEST in the future. 13) We can see the image of the House of God in the book of EXODUS. 14) The fall of man is described in the book of GENESIS. 15) John Milton in his poem about biblical events, which is called "Paradise Lost", gives his own views, but my good acquaintance HIERODEACON has an another opinion.

А.М. [8]


1.​ FASTING requires a great deal of endurance and self-control, as it will test how well a person can stand living without something more or less essential in their lifestyle, as well put their FAITH to the test, as some consider such a task too difficult and APOSTATIZE.
2.​ In 1054 the CHRISTIAN CHURCH divided into CATHOLICISM and ORTHODOXY due to their different views on the RELIGION’S fundamental principles, after which different approaches to CHRISTIAN FAITH were introduced in the West, such as PROTESTANTISM or ROMAN CATHOLICISM.

А.C. [26,75]


1. To wish me a good journey and a safe road my grandmother always MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS over me.
2. HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA Kirill led the religious procession to the Monastery of Saint Peter on the Ascent, in which many students of our university took part.

С.Ф. [1]


1. We managed to read eight books from the Bible that are called GENESIS, EXODUS, LEVITICUS, NUMBERS, DEUTERONOMY, JOSHUA, JUDGES and RUTH.
2. Last year we managed to see HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA in person.
3. We have to know THE SHAPE OF THE LITURGY, FEASTING AND FASTING by heart to pass this complicated exam.

М.К. [5,5]


1) When you come to the LITURGY, the first thing to do is TO MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.
2) As a reward for faithfulness to God and taking part in THE MYSTERIES, He makes our life bright and clear.

В.К. [1,5]


1) Having graduated from the seminary, my brother realized that he had a vocation to go into the CHURCH, so, shortly afterwards, he was ORDAINED DEACON and a year later was ORDAINED PRIEST.
2) THE PHILOKALIA (Ancient Greek: φιλοκαλία "love of the beautiful, the good") is a commentary on the innermost life in Christ.

А.Д. [16,62]


1.​ GENESIS in the first book of the Old Testament and tells the reader about the creation of the world and the first people.
2.​ When praying, people usually CROSS THEMSELVES at the beginning and at the end of the prayer.
3.​ When FASTING, people can’t eat meat and milk products, but they can sometimes eat fish.
4.​ People go to Church on Sunday mornings to RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION.
5.​ THE SHAPE OF THE LITURGY is very intricate and follows a pattern that depends on the time of year.
6.​ ICONS date back to the 1st century, where they were drawn on the walls of special catacombs.
7.​ ANDREI RUBLEV is one of Russia’s greatest icon painters and is known for his works such as Trinity and Christ the Redeemer.
8.​ Roman CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY differs from Orthodox Christianity in many ways. These differences range from art and language used in the Liturgy to the principles by which their parishes operate.
9.​ MARTYRS are people who have suffered torture and death for the sake of protecting their religion and religious people.
10.​ VENERATION is an act of honoring a special person who in their lifetime was connected to the Church, usually a saint.
11.​ The Christian CLERGY has many titles, the highest of them being a PATRIARCH, who is considered to be one of the most important and influential people in his country.
12.​ EASTER is the most important FESTIVAL in Orthodox Christianity, as it celebrates the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.
13.​ A SACRIFICIAL LAMB is an important symbol in Christianity, as it not only represents a sacrifice made for God in the OLD TESTAMENT, but also represents Christ’s sacrifice for the sake of humankind.
14.​ HERESY is a distorted view of certain elements of Christianity, such as the ICONOCLASM, which was at its peak in the 7th – 8th centuries in Byzantium.
15.​ EVANGELISM in an action of non-intrusively spreading the knowledge about Christianity in non-Christian places. This has helped to establish Orthodox and Catholic parishes in faraway places like Japan or Africa, both of whom had different religions to begin with.

А.C. [9]


1. My ex-classmate decided to READ THEOLOGY and one day he will be ORDAINED PRIEST.
2. Every Easter I go to CHURCH and RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION.

М.П. [1,5]




В.Т. [23]












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