Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by students (2)

(Part 1 is here)

Условные обозначения:
  • CAPITALS: active vocabulary words and collocations students have used
  • Underline: elements that have been corrected by the tutor
  • Underline and Delete: superfluous erroneous elements that have been corrected by the tutor
  • Italics: where appropriate, elements which explain the corrected mistakes
  • Dotted underline: elements not graded for various reasons (e.g. dubious or erroneous statements, vague in meaning).
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  • [(number in parenthesis inside the brackets)]: grades the student has received for this particular post
  • [underlined numbers in brackets]: mid-term grades (include grades for word tests, class attendance, posts, as well as deductions in fines)
  • [numbers in brackets in bold type]: total number of grades students have accumulated throughout the semester (continuous assessment) by the end of semester

4th year of study: Spring 2018

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Quite often we do not attach importance to words or actions that might offend and insult our neighbours. But even when it seems to us that we are wrong, we have a sense of guilt only towards a person offended, forgetting that even the most insignificant sin of ours causes offense to God. He created men clean, but men became sinners; He gave us Commandments and “while we were still sinners, [He] died for us” (Rom. 5:8), but all of this remains neglected. However not only by insulting our neighbours do we offend God, but also by unwillingness to forgive them. For as it is written in the Scriptures, “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done” (Mt. 6:14-15).

А.З. [(4,5) 28]

1. SPIRITUAL REGULATION forms social structures and regulates socially significant human behavior.
2. All CLERGY is divided into "white" - MARRIED and "black" – monks.
3. The permanent member of the HOLY SYNOD is the Chairman of the Department for external Church relations.
4. 14th century was a time of HERMIT and MONASTIC REVIVAL - this is the age of St. Sergius.
5. A community of persons, especially monks, bound by vows to a religious life and often living in partial or complete SECLUSION.

1. My father has a LEGAL RIGHT to HOLD all of our PROPERTY.
2. In our Church bookstore sells a variety of ECCLASIASTICAL PUBLICATIONS and thus people have the opportunity to receive RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION.
3. China is an officially ATHEIST STATE, which has promoted atheism throughout the country.
4. MILITANT ATHEISTs have a desire to propagate the doctrine, and differ from moderate atheists because they hold religion to be harmful.
5. DESECRATION of shrines is a crime far worse than murder.

1. The highest rank of the ECCLASIASTICAL HIERARCHY is the Patriarch.
2. Turkey now sought for a RAPPROCHEMENT with France, and endeavored to bring about her intervention in return for concessions as regards the holy places.
3. To EXCOMMUNICATE from the sacrament is the most difficult and unpleasant duty which is imposed on the priest.
4. Recently I read a book about the IMPRISONMENT of CLERGY.
5. The picture of a superstitious and SUBSERVIENT CHURCH is so deeply imprinted upon the minds of Westerners at present.

1. The LOCUM TENENS, in Orthodoxy, is a Bishop acting as Patriarch or Primate of the local Church.
2. The Dutch were forced to make three minor HUMILIATING CONCESSIONS.
3. The term "TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT" is widely used by legal SCHOLARS and historians.
4. Some people try to go to THE CONVENT not to serve God, but only trying to escape from their problems, so to speak, fleeing from themselves.
5. The old man in the black coat, stooping a little, stood in a SUBMISSIVE ATTITUDE.

Ю.К. [(8,5) 111]

Our Trip to Pechory

This year I’ve managed to visit the small town of Pechory in the Pskov region twice.

The first time, I went there with my friend Viktoria. It was the first week of Lent. We decided to rent a small apartment but we were faced with a serious problem. The heating system in the apartment was broken and it was colder inside (there) than outside.

It was fortunate that my friend Father Mark had recently visited this town with his daughter and he was familiar with a monk from the monastery. We managed to contact father Mark in America and he put us in touch with father Iosaf. He invited us to stay at his home, which is located just 5 minutes walking distance from the monastery. We discovered that one chapter from the book by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) “Everyday Saints” is devoted to our host Father Iosaf. As a child he lived with his parents in Beijing, London and New York and speaks excellent English.

We attended divine services every day in the Pskovo-Pechersky Dormition monastery. The area is very picturesque. The monastery is situated just a few kilometres from the Estonian border. I was surprised by the fact that this monastery is one of the few Russian monasteries that was never closed at any point in their existence even during World War II and the Soviet regime. This place is also an important spiritual centre for the Seto people.

We visited three churches there: the Сhurch of the Meeting of the Lord, St. Michael's Cathedral and the Cave Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos. In the Dormition church we venerated the wonder-working icon of the Dormition of the Most Pure Mother of God and the relics of the Holy Martyr Cornelius. By the way, a beautiful statue to abbot Cornelius is situated near the entrance of the monastery. He did much for the monastery. Abbot Cornelius collected a rich library, assigned literate monks the task of chronicling the history of the monastery and founded an icon-painting workshop. Thanks to him, this monastery became an important missionary center and stronghold of Orthodoxy on the western border of Russia. Tradition has it that, slandered by envious people, Abbot Cornelius was beheaded by Tsar Ivan the Terrible on the 20th of February, 1570 and is now numbered among the hosts of holy martyrs.

Next to the Dormition Church there are caves which are considered to have been specially created by God. The cave complex has two parts. There are those which are close to the monastery, and others which are deeper and further away. We managed to visit both places. In the nearby caves, there are tombs with the relics of the Saints Mark, Jonah, Lazarus and Vassa. The chains which saint Lazarus wore hang over his tomb. The distant caves are located behind the near caves and they consist of seven underground pathways with the cave church of the Resurrection of Christ at the end of the 6th Pathway. In the far caves we had to use candles to light our way. One has to make arrangements in advance to visit far caves.

We also visited the cell of the famous, and now reposed, Archimandrite John Krestyankin. His spiritual daughter and secretary Tatiana Smirnova told many edifying stories about him. She also gave us two books as gifts. There was also a basket with blessed candies near the entrance to the cell and we took some sweets.

One day Father Iosaf told us that he heard a confession of a Swedish woman in English. I really wanted to meet her but I couldn’t find her. However, I was lucky to meet another pilgrim who was also visiting the monastery on the train on my way home. She had met the Swedish woman in the Pilgrims’ Hostel and helped me to get in touch with her.

I found the town of Pechory calm and quiet. I felt a great peace there. I couldn’t wait to return.

Within a few months I did return! It was Easter. We humbly broke our fast only with just three eggs and a small Easter cake, but we were full of joy. We stayed in a hotel and our neighbour was a Finnish woman who also spoke Swedish. She is a convert to Orthodoxy and is planning to move to Pechory. We also managed to meet the Swedish woman whom I wanted to see. She was singing in the choir at the Easter service. She can speak Russian, English and Swedish. It was unusual for us to see the priest greet us with the words “Christ is risen” and then toss Easter eggs into the congregation. I’ve never seen that! The snow melted and it was very warm there. We went for a walk and enjoyed the gracious atmosphere of that place. We didn’t want to leave. We felt we could stay there forever…
I hope to come to the Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery again and, in addition, to visit the Pühtitsa Convent nearby in Estonia.

М.К. [(21,5) 59,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of Father Seraphim of Sarov because there is nothing worse than despondency.
A lot of people often mistakenly think that cheerfulness, especially laughing, is a sin since Christ didn’t laugh. It is seen as indecent and wrong. They claim that a person should be constantly aware of his sinfulness and as a result there can’t be any rejoicing. But then what can we feel when we look around and see all that beauty that God created? How can we not be happy when we hear the singing of birds? Don’t we rejoice when we see a kitten playing with its tail? And if it’s all a sin, why then there is nothing more beautiful and pure than children’s laughter? Children are cheerful most of the time and the Church considers them innocent. Isn’t that an answer?

М.П. [(4) 69]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of bishop Nikolai Velimirovich as he gives a true description of true faith.
When a person is really convinced that what he believes in is right, there can be neither doubts nor fear to be laughed at. Because he knows there is nothing ridiculous in what he does and believes. Also when you really believe God will help you, there can’t be any fear of failure. Those are all quite relevant examples, that bishop Nikolai gives us so that we can easily apply them to our lives. In fact he makes easier and more affordable the one well known example of true faith. That example is martyrs. Holy people that committed themselves to God so that there was no fear when they were persecuted, tortured and laughed at. We should always remember such examples when people believed in God so strongly that went towards their own deaths with prayer and smiles on their faces.

М.П. [(3) 44]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic since we should be longing for salvation not because of fear but because of love.
It is clear that punishment is a logical outcome of sinning, but it is not the main purpose. Beneath this simple structure "sin – punishment" there is something deeper. Our motivation should come from our willing to become better and achieve communion with God.
Because of the Original sin we have a fallen nature and as a result can’t feel God’s presence. We have a tendency towards sin and that is what must be improved. Our love for the Lord must be the main purpose for everything. If we do not work on our fallen nature – there is no opportunity to reach union with God and therefore obtain salvation.
Without God there is no sense in salvation, as God is Love. He is our Salvation Himself. So when we choose fear instead of love, we choose our sinful nature and don’t even notice it. That is why avoiding punishment will not change anything.

М.П. [(4) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic since we should be longing for salvation not because of fear but because of love.
It is clear that punishment is a logical outcome of sinning, but it is not the main purpose. Beneath this simple structure "sin – punishment" there is something deeper. Our motivation should come from our willing to become better and achieve communion with God.
Because of the Original sin we have a fallen nature and as a result can’t feel God’s presence. We have a tendency towards sin and that is what must be improved. Our love for the Lord must be the main purpose for everything. If we do not work on our fallen nature – there is no opportunity to reach union with God and therefore obtain salvation.
Without God there is no sense in salvation, as God is Love. He is our Salvation Himself. So when we choose fear instead of love, we choose our sinful nature and don’t even notice it. That is why avoiding punishment will not change anything.

М.П. [(4) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St John Damascene and think this is a very accurate comparison which helps you to visualize spiritual work as it is.
I believe that every habit is like a seed: very small at the beginning, it looks fragile and is quite difficult to take care for, but with time it’s getting stronger and bears fruit.
The same with habit: your hard work shows results after some time. But if you neglect it, thorns will come and strangle the seed, so there will be no fruit but only weed that is evil.

М.П. [(4) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of Ephraim the Syrian as it gives a good description of two most common kinds of people: those who labor faithfully for God’s sake and those who are weak and unable to force themselves to do the right things and therefore trying to lead astray the faithful ones.
It is well known that the most popular reason for being judgmental is jealousy. When you are not satisfied with yourself and see that other people can manage some things much better than you do, finding weak points in such people is the easiest solution. Since it makes your conscience keep silent, because you see that those people are not that perfect after all. This path usually leads to even worse actions. You turn your mistakes into temptation for the righteous. Instead of trying to improve yourself you start to destroy the attainments of others. But in fact the result is never successful. Since this doing only makes you look like a fool and bear no fruit.

М.П. [(5) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of Father Vojislav Dosenovich. I believe that every Christian should always keep that in mind and strive for it.
It is very well known that we can’t be saved without God’s help because of our fallen nature. It is very hard for us to keep away from sinning as it is impossible to overcome all temptations. To fully commit yourself to God is actually quite difficult. You should rely on Him in everything and because of our pride it sometimes seems impossible. We need to realize that without God’s help we can do nothing. We need to humble ourselves and that is a challenge. But once you’ve done that, reward is priceless. You receive union with God and His help. And with His help everything is possible.

М.П. [(4,25) 28]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, I agree with that quote. We must try not to sin because we love God. Nevertheless, many people have fear of punishment and therefore do not want to sin. "For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Now, knowing the fear of the Lord, we reason with the people..." (2 Cor. 5: 10-11). From the words of the Apostle Paul, it is evident that the fear of the Lord is the awareness that we must appear before the judgment seat of God. However, the fear of the Lord does not torment the revived person, because faith in the forgiveness of sins frees from guilt and punishment for sin.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 91,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, I agree with this quote. All we have in our lives is the gift of God. We must fully rely on his help, support, accepting everything with gratitude. In our time, people do not think about God, money is their main goal. In fact, they do not think about life after death. However, will they need their wealth then? Now, living the earthly life, people should think about spiritual wealth, repent of sins and prepare for eternal life.

Ю.К. [(4) 87]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, I agree with this quote. Sins are what really prevents us from living a happy life. They are the cause of our spiritual and sometimes physical illnesses. After we have firmly decided to take up the fight against sin, we must repent of it. Because only in the sacrament of confession we can get remission of sin. Repentance is the Foundation of spiritual life. Without repentance, it is impossible to approach God and overcome your sinful tendencies. The Lord gave us a great gift - a confession in which we are resolved from our sins, as the priest is vested with the power of God "to bind and to loose" human sins.

Ю.К. [(3,5) 83]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I would like to agree with this quote. I often think about this topic and sometimes I like to read spiritual literature related to it. Our life is full of difficult situations and it is possible to learn about a person from his actions. In my opinion, if we talk about sacrifice, it is born of love and inseparable from it. The loss of self- sacrifice is a major cause of the lack of peace in some families. The spouses do not want to sacrifice their tastes and affections for the sake of each other and from that they are usually in constant discontent. Children do not want to sacrifice their independence and do not obey their parents. The Lord does not expect us to do anything too hard. Sacrifice can manifest itself in the most ordinary situations, in habitual usual household cleanings. To yield to the offender, to forgive, to give alms, visit the sick, to sacrifice your character and refrain from accusations...

Ю.К. [(3,5) 79,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I would like to agree with this quote. If we adhere to Christian precepts, the Kingdom of heaven will be open to us for Eternal Life. And the Holy fathers showed us by their example how to live a life with purity and piety. Many elders left after their lives many useful books to help us. I think we must read these books every day, learn wisdom and humility. Nowadays there are fewer and fewer elders. In our life they help us to make the right decisions, how not to sin in a particular situation, how to be with God constantly.

Ю.К. [(4) 76]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I would like to agree with this quote. When we are offended, our heart aches, it starts to be angry, to resent, to judge, and sometimes to plot revenge. So our pride actually hurts. The man, not in the mind, but in the heart, puts himself proudly at the center of this world. However, the focus of the Christian should be the Lord. Christ says that resentment is not just a sin, but also a sin that deprives a person of the opportunity to even hope for forgiveness of his own sins! "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have anything against any one, that your Father in heaven may forgive you your trespasses; if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mk. 11: 25-26).

Ю.К. [(2) 72]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course I agree with that statement. The Lord has created us in His Image and Likeness, and we must follow His commandments and seek Him with all our souls. We do not know the image of God Himself, but we find Him in man. Man is a creative being, so God is the Creator. The Lord said: "Let us create man in our image and in our likeness" (Gen. 1, 26). The Image of God is the reality, the potential that each of us has. Likeness is the goal that we must achieve. If a person perceives the Gospel values as his own, if he consciously participates in the sacraments of the Church and is guided by the works of the Holy fathers, he is able to achieve the likeness.

Ю.К. [(4) 70]

The twentieth century in the history of our country was one of the most complex and bloody, but at the same time it produced a great number of THE NEW MARTYRS AND CONFESSORS OF RUSSIA.
During the feast which is called the Triumph of Orthodoxy, are remembered the iconoclasts who are announced to be ANATHEMATIZED.
The LIVING CHURCH is a renewal organization that arose in May 1922 with the active support of the State Political Administration under the NKVD.
The phenomenon of CRYPTO-COMMUNISM has a complex biological nature.
In the genre of dystopia authors basically described TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENTS.
The Soviet Union set as one of its ideological tasks the OVERTHROWING OF ALL RELIGIONS.
THE LEAGUE OF MILITANT ATHEISTS immediately directed great effort on the propaganda of atheism, the creation of museums and exhibitions, the production of scientific and popular science literature.
Only a few years later we learned that the abbot of this monastery had been SECRETLY PROFESSED A MONK.
Christ rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for their DUPLICITY.
We can say that during the Soviet era the Russian Church was in EXILE.
It is a great joy to see new churches are built in the country where in the last century CHURCH CLOSURE it was common practice.
This place suffered a lot, and during the reign of the great tsar, Alexei Mikhailovich, the monastery became a convent.
The first secret Orthodox communities appeared in the Soviet Republic shortly after the October Revolution – it was the CATACOMB CHURCH.
Christianization pursued the goal to make all warrior tribes worshippers of One God.
Some rulers who were against Christianity used 'INDERECT' METHODS OF PERSECUTION.

А.М. [(5,5) 53,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

There is only one creative force in the world - this is love. Because God is love and everything that comes from Him is good. But then, there is also a destructive force - this is fear. For the first time when fear touched human nature was when man tasted the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Fear is like a certain derivative of sin, a signal that a person begins to distance from God. A person who always remembers that his whole life is in the hands of God can’t fear anything. Therefore the rejection of sin must be based on the love of God, and not on fear of being punished. I noticed there are several stages of attitude towards sin. The first stage is when a person refuses to do something sinful because he is afraid of God. He thinks that God will punish him, give him sickness and sorrow. But this is only the initial stage of the formation of a man as a Christian. A true understanding of the Christian faith comes when a person does not want to offend God by his sinful act - as he does not want to offend a beloved and loving parent.

А.М. [(5) 32,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with the words of Father Paisios. Confession often turns into a formal action. As if just going through the motions, a person goes to the priest and reads out a list of sins. But does a person realize in his heart that this is really a sin? Repentance should include pain for the deed, awareness of the wrongness and sinfulness of this act and a burning desire not to do it again. This requires a deep spiritual experience and trial. Only in this case we repent before God, and do not make a simple announcement of sins. A lot of saints repeatedly described the essence of sin, trying to explain its nature and give a specific definition. Obviously, sin is a deviation from the commandments given by God. Surely sin is a voluntary choice. Archimandrite John Krestyankin compared a non-repentant person to one who does not wash away material mud from the body for a long time. Repentance is the foundation of spiritual life, a kind of instrument through which the soul is purified and calmed.

А.М. [(4,5) 27,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with these words. The Lord sends each person, according to his strength, various tests and trials. In my opinion, the most sophisticated ones relate to our interaction with people and the way we get along with them. In these spheres we demonstrate if we can be restrained, compassionate, kind and patient or not. And very often the relationship in the family, at work or at the university may become a serious test for a person whether he can treat his neighbor as himself. But even then, how do we treat strangers (for example, the poor people) reflects whether we have accepted Christ's love doctrine with our hearts. So in a real Christian life, a person must be tolerant and merciful not only with his friends and relatives, but with everyone. Here we can give an example of the parable of the merciful Samaritan. Our neighbor is someone we can help.

А.М. [(4) 23]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Everyone knows that only God is perfect. For a human being the process of becoming closer to perfection lasts for his whole life and means constant struggle with sin and passions. To be perfect for a human means to be in the image and likeness of God, that is to try to be as good as the Infallible and the Sinless. As humans were created in the image and likeness of God, then to be perfect means to simply be an original Human, to try to transform your nature into that of the human before the Fall. And to do this we need to deserve God's forgiveness. Although He is kind and merciful, he can only save those who struggle for salvation, not merely want to be saved. If one really strives to be with God, he then follows his commandments and lives by the example of Christ. A perfect human is a human to be saved.

С.Ф. [(5) 68,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

People always say that God often acts through his people. It means that everything good in our lives comes from God, and all the nicest people were sent by him. But all the offences people commit to each other come not from God, but from the evil one. A Christian person must not be led by the evil, as it drives him away from God and he is no more praising God with his acts and his life. Crimes committed against God are sins, and sins destroy Christian's soul, so he cannot be in the presence of God any more. The Lord has given us an example of a righteous life, has shown us how to treat others and, most importantly, how to forgive. Forgiveness is the central concept of a Christian's life. If he, who is unworthy of the Heavenly Kingdom, who has committed crimes against God, is forgiven by Him - then why wouldn't he himself forgive others? One can see in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant: if there are people who forgive us, what right do we have to offend others? If a person believes that he serves God, then he is happy, and a happy person should not get angry and offend anyone, even if they insult him. It simply means that they are unhappy and it is better to pray for them so that God could help those poor people. Taking care of others is a godly thing, and by going against God's will people commit grave sins.

С.Ф. [(4,5) 36,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Life of a virtuous person is never easy. Such person's faith is tested every day of his life, as there is no sense in testing someone who is already astray - there is nothing to put on trial, this person has already rejected God and has no faith. However, trials are extremely helpful, like a bitter medicine, they strengthen faith: if a person does not renounce Christ in ordeals, pain and sufferings, it means that his love for God is enormous and sincere, genuine and selfless. Being with God is easy when it brings you joy and worldly goods, but being with God when it threatens your life in this world - is true faith and true love. Christ's sacrifice was made for these very people, who, inspired by his example, could never reject God despite anything. Such people have a true spirit of sacrifice and it means that they only seek to be with God - not to have a comfortable life on Earth. They love people as God loves them, they learn from Him to be loving, caring, forgiving and merciful. They, indeed, live in the image and likeness of God.

С.Ф. [(5) 32,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with elder Paisios of Mount Athos that confession is not merely admitting that you have committed sins. In the heart of true confession lies repentance. Without repentance it is just enumeration of the bad things you've done. Making your Father Confessor being aware of the sins you have committed is not really a confession. To admit you have done some bad things does not mean to understand their influence on your soul. If one only wants to renounce sins he has committed, but doesn't want to stop committing sins in the future - then why does he go to confession at all? Admitting you have committed sins is the least you can do, it doesn't require great effort. Only when confession of your sins has for its aim to try to stop leading such life which doesn't praise God, there appears true repentance and desire to change. Only then one will work hard in order to transform his nature, his heart and become worthy of being with God. Confession will only cure a Christian's soul if he sincerely repents of his former life and strives to never lead such life again.

С.Ф. [(5) 27,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my mind, the problem of people caring only about material things is one of the most prominent problems of our age. People nowadays live in extremely comfortable conditions and as they do not put much effort in order to get something, they are never satisfied with what they already have. However, why would we want more material things than is enough for us to sustain our material body? St. Maximus the Confessor explains that very well, in my opinion. As people concerned with material things think less about their souls, they subconsciously try to solve their spiritual problems with the material, for example wealth. When people do not struggle with their passions they become self-indulgent, and such people only care about comfortable life and everything they want is all their needs to be satisfied. Self-important people, instead of working on themselves and improving, want to get love and respect from others by making them see how wealthy they are. However, wealth says nothing about its owner's soul and virtues. If people have many ordeals in their lives, they must trust God and hope upon Him to help them, as He gives us only those ordeals that are beneficial for us, even if we don't see it. He will always help if we cannot fight by ourselves. Everything we need is faith. If we lack faith - again, we try to lean on material things. A true Christian puts all his trust in God and lives according to his word, as he knows: the Creator would never leave his creatures in sufferings. Otherwise we live according to our desires, not according to God's idea of what our lives should be.

С.Ф. [(5) 22,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

If a person refrains from sin only out of fear that he will be punished then he knows that sin contradicts to God's will. If he is afraid of punishment, then he is aware that he has committed sins worth of punishment: as people's propensity is for sinning and he knows he hasn't resisted it much. But how can one escape the punishment if he keeps committing crimes against God and his creatures? Sins turn his nature into something dark and rotten, and unworthy of being with God. Being afraid of punishment is being concerned only with the destiny of your soul without any attempts to heal it. Admitting you have committed sins is not enough to avoid punishment. Confession is only helpful when one confesses his sins with true repentance and desire to change in order never to upset God, whom he loves. Confession is all about changing a Christian’s soul so that he could not fall away from God. If someone goes to confess his sins then he does it in order to always stay with God. If not - then he only cares for himself, and it is not a confession, not a sacrament, if a person doesn't think of God when he goes to it.

С.Ф. [(5) 17,25]

1. Almost all varietes of the Western rite have ANTIPHONES - a small pieces of psalm verses, which are read before and after psalms or services.
2. In the celebrating of the Eucharist or Mass, people, MINISTRANTS, A SUBDEACON and the CELEBRANT, who is a priest, take part.
3. ASPERSION, or sprinkling the church, people and icons with holy water, is performed before the SOLEMN MASS.
4. The priest and ministrants say special PREPARATORY PRAYERS before the Mass.
5. A COLLECT is a kind of troparia, mixed with DISMISSAL, which is said at every service. During the Mass there can be from one to three collects.
6. INTROIT is a kind of antiphon, which is sung before the Mass or Matins.
7. GRADUAL is a number of psalm verses which are sung or read after the Lesson from the Scriptures and has a structure of prokimenon.
8. At the Mass the NICENE-CONSTANTINOPOLIAN CREED is sung or read, at the so-called the Liturgy of Hours the Apostoplic creed is read.
9. THURIBLES in the Western rite are fully equial to those in the Byzantine one.
10. Before the Eucharistic Canon PREFACES, which depend on the season of Church year, are said.
11. THE LAST GOSPEL, usually the beginning of the Gospel according to St John, is read in the end of the Mass.

А.Щ. [(7) 36,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In his 40th HomilyOn the Holy Baptism’ St Gregory the Great cites three conditions of those who try to be saved, “I know three degrees of those who want to be saved, a slave, a mercenary, and a son. If you are a slave then fear to be beaten. If you are a mercenary, mention just one thing – to receive. If you are higher than a slave and a mercenary, even a son, be ashamed before God as before the father, do good [things], because it is good to obey the father”. St David the King calls us in his psalms, “Depart from evil, and do good” (Ps. 34:14). Why should we do this? To be closer to God, as it is said before, “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). If we love somebody, we hate all things which prevent us to be with this person. Evil is such a thing concerning our relationship with God. However, the degree of love is, according to St Gregory, the highest degree, which belongs to sons. Until we achieve this degree we are slaves or mercenaries. As soon as we are unable to hate our sins yet, our task is to hold ourselves from committing sins and ask the Lord according to His word, “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you” (Luke, 11:17).

А.Щ. [(4,5) 19]

1. In the case of MARRIED CLERGY, the wife of a Priest or Deacon is also informally addressed with a title.
2. THE HOLY SYNOD of Jerusalem is the senior ruling body of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre.
3. THE SPIRITUAL REGULATION of 1721 embodied Peter the Great's blueprint for the perestroika of the Russian Orthodox Church.
4. In the canon law of the Catholic Church, A PROCURATOR is one who acts on behalf of and by virtue of the authority of another.

1. ASCETICISM describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals.
2. When I read some books about the HERMITAGE OF OPTINO, I learn how not to be SEVERE, but to be INDULGENT and GENTLE.

1. All of the MONASTIC REVIVAL of the Middle Ages looked to the desert for inspiration and guidance.
2. Our PARISH PRIEST told us about a CHARITABLE WORK in our country and we decided to help people.

1. It is very difficult to live with a man with AN ATHEIST STATE of mind.
2. Our PARISH LIBRARY is very popular among children and elders. All books from that library GIVE to us SOME RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTIONS.

Ю.К. [(7) 66]

There is a CLOSE ALLIANCE between government and industry without any DISPUTE.
IRREFUTABLE proof is that SERVICE BOOK is a part of our life.

1. At the TIME OF TROUBLES there were more DEVOUT people, ANCHORITES, they all KEPT FASTS as a PARISH CLERGY had done.
2. THE AUSTERITY OF THE FASTS nowadays is not as RIGOROUS as it was earlier.

1. According to historical books some LAITY used THE TWO-FINGER SIGN OF THE CROSS many ages ago.
2. Prayer of the Cherubic hymn singing is really a MYSTICAL PRAYER, which is expressed, among other things, by THE ABSENCE of a loud exclamation after it.

Ю.К. [(5) 59]

1. The term "proto-orthodox Christianity", coined by New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman, describes the Early Christian movement which was the PRECURSOR of Christian orthodoxy.
2. THE OBSERVANCE of this family tradition would make your grandmother very happy.
3. At the time, military CHAPLAINs have UNDERGONE sufferings from atheists and INFIDELS.
4. THE PERSECUTION of the Orthodox Church began under Peter I and continued under Anna Ivanovna.
5. THE AUTOCRAT of all-Russian Emperor Nicholas II was never a denial, not wrote AN ABDICATION by hand, and not signed.

2. WORDLY WAY could be very difficult, but we should undergo all troubles, SHOW our HOSPITALITY and give ALMS to hermits.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 54]

1. THE COUNCIL OF FLORENCE was held in Florence, Italy, during 1438-1439, as a second reunion council to heal the Great Schism between East and West, the first being the Council of Lyons in 1274.
2. TITHING in Ancient Russia – is also a kind of IMPOST levied in favor of the clergy, authorities and religious communities.
3. The JANISSARIES participated in all major battles in the early history of the Ottoman Empire, including the Siege of Constantinople in 1453.
4. Some would hold that VAINGLORY is to be distinguished from pride, and so they give it a special place and chapter.
5. Avoid UNEDIFYING movies, videos, worldly magazines or unwholesome jokes or books that will stumble each other.

1. By the FREE WILL of God and His GRACE and SANCTIFICATION of the elders many of us can save their souls, no matter how STERN will be our path to the SALVATION.
2. Calvin’s double PREDESTINATION represents an outcome of the theological evolution in Western Christianity.
3. According to Catholic scripture and catechism, souls spend time in PURGATORY after they die before being able to enter Heaven.
4. There are three hierarchical levels of the priesthood and each of them has its own HIERARCHES.
5. THE LOCAL COUNCIL of 1917-1918 is, without a doubt, the most important event in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church.

1. SPIRITUAL REVIVAL comes after true repentance.
2. A SPIRITUAL REAWAKING in St. Petersburg began with the higher circles, and the Word of God, mostly, preached to aristocratic houses.
3. FREQUENT COMMUNION is the Roman Catholic practice of participating in the Eucharist frequently, as opposed to the usual medieval practice of receiving it once or a few times a year.
4. During Orthodox participation of many decades in the ecumenical movement, no representative of a Local Orthodox Church has ever BETRAYED Orthodoxy.

Ю.К. [(7,5) 49,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In a time of moral decline it is necessary to read spiritual literature with real life examples of the Holy fathers and the righteous. Thus, we will strengthen our faith in God, learn from the elders in humility and patience. Sometimes reading Scripture we can get the answer to our question. To live like a Christian, to hold to the Orthodox Church. To live the Christian life. Once a month communion is necessary, at home use Holy water and a part of the Holy communion bread in the morning. This is the rule of an Orthodox Christian.

Ю.К. [(3,5) 42]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Each of us can see ourselves not for who he really is. Only the Lord knows the purity of your thoughts and the kindness of your heart. People also need to remember only their sins and sincerely repent of them before God, work on themselves and to cultivate virtue. The Apostle Paul advises to find youself in Christ and to find Christ in yourself. In my mind it is the true wisdom to know yourself.

Ю.К. [(3,5) 38,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Humility for me, as the love of God, is the basis of Christian doctrine. Let us remember, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (Jas. 4:6). He admits into His Kingdom broken, humble, loving souls. Selfishness caused the disintegration of many families. If the spirit of selfishness enters the Church, it leads to spiritual disease. It is also true that none of us is completely free from manifestations of the carnal "I"; therefore, the Apostle Paul emphasized the value of humility in the Christian life.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Prayer to God is the only path to salvation. Only in this way you can see God's Providence. There, where man himself is trying to manage his life, he is "blind" and can hurt and maim his soul, and like a foolish stubborn child will get in trouble. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it." (Mark 8,35)

Ю.К. [(4) 30,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Sorrow reminds the person about the impermanence of earthly well-being and the temporality of earthly life, which is only a preparation for eternal, blissful life in the heavenly Fatherland. Each person has his own life cross, which is composed of all that ails our spirit, that torments our heart on the right way to the Lord, all the days of our life. During earthly life man must cleanse himself from all passions and sins. Along with other means of purification, sorrow and troubles that come from Our God have a beneficial effect on us. Moreover, we must overcome these troubles with humility and prayer to God.

Ю.К. [(3,5) 26,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

God has given to people a great gift - love. We need to use this gift, to respond with love to the anger and envy of many people, to show a great example to others that Love will kill any spiritual enemy and sin. "From the love of God can flow true love to his brother," says St. Makarius of Egypt. A man who sincerely loves God cannot be indifferent to his creatures and especially to the image and likeness of of God in man.

Ю.К. [(3) 23]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

"Silence is gold". The virtue of silence depends on the inner work associated with it, on the purposes for which it is done. Bodily silence is not always saintly. If in external silence man sins in thought, then his silence is in vain. St. Isaac the Syrian calls the silence of the mystery of the future age, "the word is the essence of the weapon of the world." I would also like to add one short wisdom. A brother asked an elder: "Father, how long we must preserve silence?" The elder answered: "Until that time, when someone asks you. If you're silent, then you will retain the spiritual peace".

Ю.К. [(3) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Yes, unfortunately in nowadays many people do not understand the main purpose of prayer. Prayer is a conversation with God. In prayer, we ask God for help, for the salvation of our souls, the gift of reason and health to our family and friends. However, when we pray, we must understand that everything is a God's Will; a Christian can trust God because God is the highest love and the highest goodness. Nevertheless, unfortunately we are often suspicious and distrustful. Often it eludes us and we forget it, and do not feel the leadership of God in our lives.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 17]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I would like to quote from the letter to the Romans: "We are strong," says the Apostle Paul, "ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself." (Rom. 15, 1-3). Christianity teaches us to serve others; this is the strength and happiness of life. Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be happy for the neighbor, than to remain silent and envy.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 12,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, I agree with this quote. Each of us sees in the other person the sin that he himself has. This is probably due to our sinfulness. And also the opposite is true: if a person is righteous and honest, the people surrounding him are like him. It all depends on the purity of intentions of the person. In any case, from all of us Christians everyone needs more true love and patient Forbearance toward each other.

Ю.К. [(4) 8]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, I agree with this quote. Sometimes when we are discouraged, we think that no one loves us and we are alone. Nevertheless, the Lord is always with us, we should feel his presence everywhere and every second. After all, everything that happens to us, troubles and difficulties, God sends to us for our salvation. In addition, we should remember that there is nothing above the Power of the Lord God.

Ю.К. [(4) 4]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Humility helps us to become ourselves. It helps us to get closer to what God wants from us. Humility is the singleness of heart. To achieve it we first need to stop doing iniquities and to purify our heart. So we must beseech God to grant us humility. Secondly, it is necessary to struggle against our passions. It's good to remember the Passions of Christ when he was led to the place of a skull. In addition we must love our neighbors. Humility is the means to salvation, but not the goal. It is impossible to achieve humility, it is necessary to cultivate it during a lifetime. If we follow the recommendations, our heart will always be moderate and restrained.

В.К. [(4,5) 45,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In the first centuries of Christianity the Church was persecuted. Those who did not renounce Christ were tortured and subjected to physical death. Today we have no any physical persecution, but there is spiritual one. Nowadays nobody asks us to deny Christ or die. In our age of comfort and spiritual decline we deny Christ slowly on a subconscious level, we deceive ourselves by being lazy and believing all the mass media market. Spiritual laxity penetrates even into the Church environment. However, today there are righteous people in on earth, such as, for instance, John Krestiankin, Daniil Sysoev, Archimandrite Kirill Pavlov. Such people prove that it is possible to be a true Christian in any century. The main things are the inner struggle against sins and passions and self-restraint.

В.К. [(4) 7,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Unfortunately, sometimes we face the case when some people try to understand the Holy Scripture with their own mind. They forget that the Bible is a Book inspired by the Holy Ghost. As a result, such people join a sect - for example, Protestants. To understand the Bible we must be deified. We have many interpretations of various holy fathers, such as John Chrysostom, Theophan the Recluse, Ephraim the Syrian, Theodoret of Cyrus, Theophylact of Ohrid and others. We can use their works to understand the Bible better. But the main circumstance is our life. If we don't lead a real spiritual life, the true meaning of the Bible will be closed for us. God does not open His revelation to the unclean.

В.К. [(3,5) 3,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

God gave man a priceless gift of speech. As with any treasure, you need to handle this gift skillfully. And also you need to be aware of how to use it in a profitable way. How often can we hear that a word can kill or save a person. We have to make sure that our words are dedicated to good deeds. Not to offend someone but to comfort him. Do not foul or complain but thank and praise. But to do it sincerely you need your heart to be full of God.

А.М. [(4,5) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Prayer as our ability to address God directly is very important. But there is a threat that a person will distort the meaning of praying. As the Gospel says, do not show off when you pray, thereby you are hypocritically demonstrating your «righteousness» and «virtues». Prayer should come from the heart and it should have as its goal a humble conversion to God. In one of the books of Victor Hugo it is said that it doesn’t make sense in what position the person is, for sometime the soul itself is on its knees. So, during prayer it is necessary to concentrate mainly on your heart, at its very depth.

А.М. [(5) 14,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

There is a remarkable expression – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This means that the beauty must be in the person himself to make it possible to notice the beauty in surrounding things, people. The person psychologically assesses the world and all people according to his spiritual state. And always if a person sees in another one any sin, then he himself is sick with this particular sin. The world is a mirror where we see the reflection of our thoughts or moods. The words that describe the world and people – are, first of all, our main characteristic. And I have a lot of examples of it. That’s why I completely agree with St. Macarius of Optina.

А.М. [(5) 9,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Paul says: “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances” (1 Thes 5:16-17). Following the Holy Scriptures, Holy Fathers define prayer as “a spiritual weapon” and the source of salvation and immortality. They call prayer “the mother of virtues”, for nothing helps us to increase in virtue more than our sincere and humble prayer. But as soon as we quit prayer, we cease to seek help from God and consequently cease to grow in virtue, – that is we voluntarily renounce salvation. Tikhon of Zadonsk wrote that a Christian without a prayer is “as a bird without wings, as a soldier without arms <…>”. So we should strive to pray persistently, not letting prayer leave our hearts if we seek to gain salvation.

А.З. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Maximos the Confessor as those people who don’t have faith in God put all their trust in money as the only guarantee of their life and safety.
How can we think only about money and be sure that this is the one possible option to live well? What is good life for us then? Respect, wealth and comfort? What is left for our soul then? How money may help us to become closer to God? Or it is not as significant as living in wealth? These questions do not require answers if you know what is truly important for us here on earth. Every faithful person would tell you without any doubt that this material life is nothing in comparison with the spiritual one. Our task here is to prepare for the eternity. Everything else is insubstantial. All those money amusements will only distract us. Jesus Christ said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24). Obviously this excludes any questions.
Some people may answer to this that they know it but still there is always a need for food and clothes to keep us healthy, so we cannot live without money anyhow. Well, yes, we need a place to live and food to eat but we should not give those things a priority. We should learn to rely on God, to trust Him fully. Because He Himself told us: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7).

М.П. [(4,5) 23,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of elder Paisios as Confession is not a formal action but a true repentance of your soul.
When we come to Confession and pronounce our sins without deep thinking, our soul remains untouched. We did that formally, but did we really feel we were guilty? If we do not realize we have actually been wrong and made mistakes, that means there is no Confession happened.
Why do we need Confession? It helps us to analyze our behavior and regret our mistakes. We come to tell about them because we don’t want them to happen again. When we receive forgiveness that means we are cleansed of them, they are gone from our life and we have an opportunity to start a new, better life as we’ve understood it was wrong and we’ll try never to make such mistakes again. In fact, Confession is our guide to spiritual growth.
Another the most important reason is that Confession prepares us for the Holy Communion. How can we receive Christ if our soul is still possessed with temptations and sins? That would only harm us as our soul was not prepared for Christ. So this is very important to take up Confession seriously as any neglect may cause a disastrous result.

М.П. [(3,5) 7]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of elder Paisios as it is very true that only difficulties can in fact make us better or reveal something important, for example, if we really believe or have the spirit of love.
It is not a secret that in good conditions of life we usually get too relaxed and do not care for crucial things, such as spiritual growth or righteousness. If we don’t come across difficulties getting something – then we don’t value it. We do not think whether it’s important or not, how our life would change without it or if we desperately miss it. We do not think properly in such cases: since there is no trouble – there is no need bothering.
The same actually happens to our beliefs. It is quite easy to follow some ideas when they don’t require any effort. But once we are challenged to stay firm for what we believe to be true, the attitude towards it may change. If we are ready to bear everything that stands in our way we have the right to be called believers.
It is also can be applied to the understanding of love. Love is impossible without sacrifice. They come together. As elder Paisios put it “love, a true spirit of sacrifice”. Sacrifice is love in action and its proof.

М.П. [(3,5) 3,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Scripture teaches us, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of man, in whom there is no help” (Ps.146:3), “I am the Lord thy God, <…> Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:2-3). During all its history, humankind tries to invent gods for itself. Our weak and naughty flesh is always looking for comfortable and easy life – that is the reason why we adore everything that relax us. Saint John the Climacus gives us a good example of bitter irony in the title of the chapter of his “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” – “On the clamorous, yet wicked master—the stomach” (Step 14). It could look funny, but in fact, such an attitude to wealth is a real idolatry that is strictly prohibited by God Himself. In case of that we add to our sins not only idolatry but ingratitude to God, Who is the only Cause of our existence and well-being and instead of Him we put our trust in powerless creation, not in the mighty Creator.

А.Щ. [(4) 14,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Elder Paisios states that it is not enough to just confess your sins to a priest. The most important part is to truly inwardly repent of one’s sin.
I completely agree with this statement. If a man mechanically lists all his sins to the priest without even thinking about correcting himself later and, most importantly, realizing the weight and implications of his acts, his act of repentance is pointless. It sometimes appears to me that people like this think that God does not see outside of the Church, so that when he repents and comes back home, he continues to sin again, as it has become his daily business. This afflicts most people – I am one of them, too.
To simply state your sins without repentance in the Church as if you were laying out a list of your crimes in the courtroom is a materialistic understanding of confession. We often accuse Catholics to be materialistic in their legalistic take on religion, yet we ourselves seem to fall into this trap.
To me, religion teaches you to make yourself a better person. How else are you supposed to “love thy neighbour as thyself?” (Matthew 22:39) Note that this quote speaks about both those who are around the person and the person themselves. If we truly repent, we realize the mistakes towards others and ourselves, and learn to love and respect ourselves and others. By becoming a better person, we become closer to God, and we learn to cherish His love more, too.
In short, confession in the Church is an important thing, but repentance is a necessary part of it.

А.C. [(4,5) 57,5]

1. A POLYKANDELON is a large chandelier in the Church containing many candles or sanctuary lamps. Its many lights represent the many people of the parish as if they were stars in the sky.
2. A SANCTUARY LAMP is a lamp usually hung in front of icons that symbolizes faith in God.
3. A PEW is a special chair used in various services. The pew can be assigned to different persons for various occasions.

А.C. [(1,5) 14,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As we know, Confession or Repentance as a Sacrament was introduced by Christ Himself, “<…> he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John, 20:22-23). The Apostles were authorized to perform Sacraments and through bishops and priests, we have them even now.
The Greek word metanoia, which is used in the Septuagint translation, means ‘change of mind’. The matter is that with the help of this Sacrament and God’s grace we should gradually change ourselves. If we come to a priest and confess without a feeling of repentance, we do not receive forgiveness. ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit’ (Ps. 51:17) – God needs our humility and acknowledgement of our iniquities to heal us. All the Sacraments, not only Confession, do not work automatically, we should be ready to receive the Holy Spirit and to change.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 10,5]

1. HYMNS, or ANTHEMS are usually sung during the Mass and the Liturgy of Hours.
2. ASPERSION is made before the Mass.
3. DISMISSAL is said after the prayer of thankgiving.

А.Щ. [(2) 6]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Lord tell us in the Scriptures, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit” (Ps. 51:17). God Himself does not need any sacrifices, but they are useful for us, first, as a kind of training, second, as the imitation of Christ’s behavior. Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I [am] of Christ” (1 Cor. 4:16). If a person is able to sacrifice with himself or herself that means he or she has true love, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John, 15:13). Christ did not feel pity for Himself, but suffered because He loved humans, and so long as we are called His disciples, we should follow His example.
But where can we try ourselves if we have this spirit of true love? Only in different troubles in our life, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zech. 13:9). As gold is being cleansed from all impurities, in the same way our soul is being cleansed from sins through difficulties, one of which is the necessity to sacrifice. For the ability to sacrifice yourself was the cause of our salvation made by Christ, we should follow it to become real Christians.

А.Щ. [(4) 4]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with these words. The Lord sends each person, according to his strength, various tests and trials. In my opinion, the most sophisticated ones relate to our interaction with people and the way we get along with them. In these spheres we demonstrate if we can be restrained, compassionate, kind and patient or not. And very often the relationship in the family, at work or at the university may become a serious test for a person as to whether he can treat his neighbor as himself. But even then, how do we treat strangers (for example, the poor people) reflects whether we have accepted Christ's love doctrine by our hearts. So in a real Christian life, a person must be tolerant and merciful not only with his friends and relatives, but with everyone. Here we can give an example of the parable of the merciful Samaritan. Our neighbor is someone we can help.

А.М. [(4,5) 4,5]

1. ALTAR CANDLES are candles that are placed next to the altar cross on the altar. They are used in Western denominations, such as Catholic.
2. The PRESENTATION OF JESUS AT THE TEMPLE is an Orthodox celebration commemorating the day when Jesus was brought to the temple forty days after his birth.
3. SIMEON was the man who was to receive Jesus at the temple during His presentation. He was given a promise he would not die until he sees the Savior.

А.C. [(1,5) 13]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Elder Paisios says that one is tested during his life; the ultimate test is sacrifice. I completely agree with his thought and find it to be very inspirational.
There is always a time in our lives when we are presented with a situation in which we need to give something up, even ourselves, for the sake of someone else. It is during these moments that we prove our love towards our brother or sister. By giving away something, we show that we care more about that person than earthly goods. Sometimes it is directly connected with the sin of greed. It may not be a dire situation, but if you still refuse to sacrifice something for somebody, even if it is not so important for you, it shows your greed. But the real challenge is the challenge of self-sacrifice. Risking your well-being, success, or opportunity for the sake of someone else brings us closer to Christ, who went through the ultimate sacrifice to save all people. We should all strive to be as kind and loving as Jesus was.
However, there is also a difficulty concerning sacrifice. One might think that God will be benevolent towards him because he sacrifices something, so he tries to do it as often as possible and ties to get as good at it is possible. This is not the way things should be. This shows that that person only actually cares about himself, not others. The act of sacrifice is first and foremost selfless. I once read a newspaper article in which a priest gave such an example. A fantastically talented surgeon went out of his way to cure everyone around him. He was well-known, and a priest was amongst his close acquaintances. But when the surgeon died, the priest admitted to the surgeon’s mother that he was actually conceited and did his job without pleasure or love for others, only because he “had to”, and it annoyed him.
This is why sacrifice is most definitely a difficult test in our lives, but we must also understand why exactly we are doing it. If we sacrifice only hoping for God to give us something in return, we are mistaken.

А.C. [(5) 11,5]

1. An ENKOLPION is a small case containing a piece of prosphora that one usually wears around their neck for protection.
2. A PECTORAL CROSS is a large cross that is worn by a priest above his clothes, usually suspended by a heavy chain with big links.
3. The ALTAR CROSS is a big cross that the priest gives the laity to kiss at the end of the liturgy.

А.C. [(1,5) 6,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Archimandrite Cherubim states that, the harder we try to live like the Fathers, the more likely it is for us to reach an end of life similar to theirs.
I agree with this statement. I think that every person has the potential to live such a life close to God, although most people do not realize themselves in this way. We should remember that the Fathers were also human beings, meaning they were also flawed.
Apostle Paul is a great early example of a man who turned from an Orthodox opposer to an apostle himself. Although his story happened not without God's intervention, he, as a man of will, began a mission to spread the faith and for that was blessed.
However, we shouldn’t hurry in our efforts to imitate the Fathers. It is a long and difficult journey, and some people discover that they cannot go further once they reach a certain threshold. For example, I watched an online series about questions about the Church, and one young man said that he wanted to become a priest, but didn't because he had some doubts about the Church at the time, and becoming a priest felt untimely to him. So that's why we should try to follow in the Fathers' footsteps, but also know our limits.

А.C. [(5) 5]

М.К. [11,5]

С.Ф. [12,25]

4th year of study: Autumn 2017

I became interested in the Western Christianity and especially Orthodoxy before I came to Great Britain. So I decided to study some features of it in Nottingham and in other cities and towns. First, I will talk about the Protestants and Roman-Catholics, then about the Orthodox Church.

My first aim was to explore as many churches, chapels, and cathedrals as possible. I was lucky because in Nottingham there are plenty of them. Unfortunately, because of the Reformation all the Catholic monasteries, convents, priories and abbeys were demolished. Only toponyms such as Lenton Abbey and St Anthony Priory remained.

Having visited many Anglican churches I noticed the tendency, first, to place icons on the altar and on a special poles and to light candles before them. I was surprised when I saw an icon of the Holy Trinity (Andrei Rublev’s icon reproduction) in St Peter's church in the centre of Nottingham! Many times I was there and all the time almost all nests for candles were filled! The second thing I noticed about the Anglicans is quite sad and negative. The Anglican Church is turning into a kind of charity association. I did not manage to find any books about worship, principles of true Christian life, but mostly they have books about social work, tolerance, etc. The Anglican parishes widely use musical instruments during services, which also looks awkward – I do not mean organ, of course. The Anglicans are now divided into many parts – from very conservative, like Anglo-Catholics to quite radical, similar to the Calvinists. The Methodists separated from them because they considered the Anglicans to be ‘inconsistent’ Protestants.

The next denomination I explored was Roman Catholicism. The Catholics returned to Great Britain in the middle of the 19th century and had to build new churches. Now approximately the third part of all parishes in Nottingham belong to the Catholics. They also have a magnificent St Barnabas cathedral, famous for its choir. The Catholic services after the Second Vatican Council are quite similar to those that the Anglicans have, especially the Mass, or Liturgy, which takes about half an hour. In the cathedral there are five sanctuaries, one of them (St Barnabas) is called ‘high altar’, others are chapels. The sacred vessels are the same for the Anglicans and the Roman-Catholics – both of them have chalices, veils and patens, but do not have spoons, spears. They also have the corporal – a special piece of cloth, which is used in a way similar to our antimension. The Roman Catholics’ main books about spiritual life are the writing of St Thomas Aquinas, of the Teresas (‘Big’ and ‘Small’) and of the Pope Francis.

There are at least four Orthodox parishes in Nottingham. They belong to Constantinople, the Russian and the Romanian Patriarchates. The Greek and the Romanian parishes consist mostly of the immigrants from Greek diaspora and Romania, which means that they serve predominantly in their native languages. There is one more parish of Constantinople, the former Moscow Patriarchate parish. There are mostly English people in it, and services are in English.

We attended services in the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, the diocese of Surozh. This parish of St Aidan & St Chad consisted of people from England, the former USSR and Bulgaria and became for us a real family we miss much. Many of the English parishioners converted to Orthodoxy from the Anglican Church or from the Catholic one. Together we were on pilgrimage to Lindisfarne, ‘the Holy Island’, a place where many ‘martyrs, confessors and virgins’ shone forth during the first millennium of the existance of the Church. We venerated holy relics of Sts. Aidan and Cuthbert who lived there and were buried outside the island, and St Bede, "Nestor the Chronicler" of Old England… I am afraid that it is impossible to describe the Liturgies we celebrated on this island in the church built in the 8th century. All the members of the parish helped us a lot, father Gregory has managed to create a real Eucharistic community.

The last thing I would like to describe is the Western Rite Orthodox service in London. Father Thomas, a priest from Nottingham, became Orthodox in St Aidan & St Chad parish, then was ordained and now serves in London. He is the only priest in England who serves the ancient Roman Liturgy, which was ‘stolen’ by Rome after the Great schism. Due to Fr. Thomas, we attended this Liturgy or Mass on the day of Nativity. All people in the parish of St Edmund including us sang in English and Latin during the service. The service itself was so unusual! We used ancient Gregorian chant called in this way after St Gregory the Great. Western rite services are more similar to those of the Catholics than to the Eastern Orthodox ones, they are more quiet, and the texts are simpler. Many texts are taken from psalms and prophets’ books. All the psalms are sung, the same is true for the so-called ‘canticles’ (texts from the Bible, which are not from the Psalter but should be sung). For a person grown up in the Byzantine tradition, such a service is a real breaking of stereotypes!

In conclusion I would like to say that I received a great experience in the Christian life in England – mostly, of course, from St Aidan & St Chad and from St Edmund parishes, but also from the people of different denominations who were not Orthodox but strove to live according to the Gospel.

А.Щ. [(55) 66]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Holy Scripture tells us,“For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Prov. 3:12). We should pay a particular attention to the second part of the phrase. God, like a loving father, does not allow us to be punished to torture us. However, He wants to protect us from something worse or to show our real possibilities. We are like those who take alcohol or drugs: such people often start to realize that they are destroying themselves, but they are dependent on their killer. Only their own will and special conditions can save them.
There is one terrible example which is cancer. Many people know how painful this illness is. Those who suffer and treat it are truly martyrs. The same we can say about sin – it is our spiritual cancer, very cruel. And the treatment is painful. But if we want to be healed, we cannot avoid it.

А.Щ. [(5) 11]

My Experience in Nottingham

    Over the past few months that I have spent in Nottingham I have found out much about the country’s culture, people, and religion.
    Every Sunday I would come to the local Orthodox Church in Nottingham, the Church of St. Aidan and St. Chad. Father Gregory is the only priest there. He gets help from the deacon, Father Paul, and Viktor, the altar server. The Church itself is small because it is a rented space from a Methodist Church. The room in which the liturgy is celebrated has many icons and crosses on the walls from different times and places. There is a table where one can buy prayer books, Bibles, crosses, and icons. They had a beautiful plate with wooden Easter eggs which I wanted to buy, but somebody bought them before I did.

    The Church has other rooms, mainly the hallway, the library and the mess hall. In the hall, there is a big icon of the Theotokos on the wall. The library is full of big, ancient books on Orthodox Christianity. This is where one of the girls, Julia, leads the Sunday school for the kids, although she doesn’t always have time. The mess hall has many icons in it as well as photos of different events and people. I was surprised to find several photos of St. Tikhon there.

    I really liked the people from this Church’s parish. They were very interesting to talk to and we shared many stories together. I noticed that there are many Russian parishioners – even kids. Andrei and I made many good friends there whom we met outside of Church times.

    We also travelled to Lindisfarne together in a group of around 12 people. This was a fantastic trip – I never expected to visit the island. We stayed at a hotel where Orthodoxy was in favor. There are different Churches on the island catering to different confessions. There were no Orthodox Churches, so we had services in the Anglican Church. It’s a massive stone building with beautiful frescoes, but very cold on the inside.

    I also started singing in the choir on Lindisfarne – initially because there were only two singers, but I continued to do it later because I was interested. There are many types of texts – hymns, kontakions etc, all have several tones to them. They sound different from our Russian ones. My favorite to sing was the Cherubic Hymn.

    While I was on Lindisfarne, I also visited the Durham Cathedral. This is a magnificent gothic building which is so big that it even has a small museum inside. We were lucky because having Father Gregory lead us meant we got a free pass. There we visited the relics of St. Bede and listened to the Anglican mass. Their singing, altar, and vestments are much different from ours. We watched how the parishioners took communion – they don’t take their bread and wine together, but separately. Their candles are also small, round and flat. I noticed that most of their icons are from the Orthodox tradition. I was told that it’s because they don’t have much of their own.

    We also visited St. Aidan’s Church. It’s smaller and the architecture is different – it’s the classic blocky old English architecture. It’s surrounded by gravestones. Among them is the grave of Grace Darling – a brave young woman who saved many people from drowning in a storm almost entirely on her own. Although she is not a saint, her selfless act is still greatly honored, and there is even a museum about the event.

    On Lindisfarne there is a small adjoining island called St. Cuthbert’s Island on which the saint of the same name lived. It’s very small and one can only get there when the tide is low. It’s a tough way with many obstacles – water, sand, rocks on which one has to jump to progress, slippery seaweed, rocky hills, and carpet-like grass that feels a bit like a swamp. On the island, one can find the leftovers of St. Cuthbert’s monastic cell – it’s very small. Andrei held a short service there. We also discovered that the sea throws out huge shells against the rocky cliffs which unfortunately makes them break, but I still managed to find a small whole shell which was a radiant pink with sparkles. There was also a mysterious howling in the distance which sounded like a wolf’s, but we decided that it was the wind.

    Overall, I was extremely happy with my trip to Lindisfarne. I found it spiritually enriching and I had prayers sounding in my ears for days. If I ever had a chance to go on another pilgrimage here, I most certainly would come. The only thing that keeps me wary are the giant spiders (there was one in our hotel). However, I was disappointed that a lot of people who came there weren’t on a pilgrimage and simply treated it as a tourist attraction. A lot of them were wandering around aimlessly or just walking their dogs. Not many of them actually went to Church, and those who did didn’t pray but just stared at us while we held the service as if we were an attraction. Although there are non-religious places worth visiting like the Lindisfarne Castle (which is under reconstruction at the moment), I still find it pointless to come to such a sacred place if you don’t seek spiritual enlightenment.

    When we returned to Nottingham, we continued exploring its many Churches. There are countless denominations and it confuses me. I’m very glad we don’t have that many. We found a leftover of a massive cathedral, a single column, that was destroyed by Protestants. That is a shame. Now there are special hotels and flats for monks and priests who come to the city. The streets all have biblical names.

    Another interesting occasion was me and Andrei going to an Orthodox mass in London with Father Thomas. This special liturgy follows the Western Orthodox tradition and is held in English. We celebrated Christmas and sang Noёl. There were very few people, and the space was just a tiny room because it was rented from an Anglican Church. I found it interesting how the Anglicans have musical instruments like drums and tambourines.

    We were also supposed to go to Father David but never got to see him. We never had the opportunity. In the end Andrei got some free time and tried to go to the vespers, but Father David was nowhere to be found, nor was his parish. This is rather mysterious.

    One hugely disappointing thing I discovered in Nottingham is that churches are falling out of favor and are being sold to secular companies that turn them into business buildings. On the way to the city centre there stands a huge, beautiful cathedral which has been turned into a pub. I found this extremely disheartening. Sometimes you can see “Church for sale” signs hanging around. I also discovered that English people don’t like talking about serious things, including religion. Unless I talked about deep things with my parish, they would all try to steer away from the subject and switch to something more light-hearted or something that requires less thinking. This gives me an impression that they are afraid to come out of their mental comfort zone. The subject is not necessarily religious, but it definitely concerns religion, or lack thereof. In the university I also encountered people who made up their own religions and said that they were their own gods. This is very unnatural and strange.

    Overall, my religious experience in England was positive, but I wish people in this country took religion more seriously. I hope our Orthodox Church there stays strong and that people won’t lose faith.

А.C. [(65) 86,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Probably everyone during the course of life chooses an example to follow. Generally it is a well-known figure - a politician, an actor or sometimes even a saint. But in the Scriptures we read Christ's words quoted by apostle Peter: "<...> it's written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter, 1:16). These words indicate the Perfect example for us, as only God is perfect. St. Athanasius the Great said: "God became man so that man might become God". This saying may serve as guidance for every Christian so that each of us could get better by the day.

А.З. [(5) 34]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Quite often we consider our actions to be only right and "judge too favourably of our faults". However it's essential to bring ourselves up to be critical to all we do, especially towards our neighbors. It might be easier to accomplish if we try to see the situations through other people's eyes. As soon as one is able to objectively estimate himself and his deeds, he will be a wise person indeed. To begin with, it's necessary to limit our self-love. As St. Hesychios the Priest said: "There is no venom more poisonous than that of the asp or cobra, and there is no evil greater than that of self-love". It is our self-love that prevents us from being critical towards ourselves and eventually from loving our neighbours - therefore - from fulfilling the new Commandment of Christ: "love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John, 13:34).

А.З. [(5) 29]

1. Apart from Russia there were also SLAVOPHILS in Hungary, Poland and Greece.
2. The RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN EXILE is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
3. Usually there is a seven-branched CANDLESTICK behind the HOLY TABLE in the sanctuary.
4. The etymological root of the word CHASUBLE comes from Latin "casula" (small cottage).
5. The PROPHETIC BOOKS were written from the time of Elijah until the days of Malachi.
6. Saint THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE wrote about training young people in the faith, so probably I have to read more of his writings.
7. Lutherans and Anglicans also use PATENS.

А.З. [(4) 24]

1. St. Anastasia the Patrician lived in SECLUSION for twenty-eight years in a very remote cave.
2. ASCETICISM is a spiritual exercise which is undertaken for the health of the soul.
3. St. Ambrose considered VAINGLORY and pride one and the same thing.
4. The Latin-speaking church in Rome began TO RECITE THE CREED with the FILIOQUE included at the beginning of the XI century.
5. Among the Lenten services the Liturgy of THE Presanctified GIFTS, performed on Wednesdays and Fridays, is very important.
6. The SUBDEACON’S role is generally to assist the bishop during the Divine Liturgy.

А.З. [(3,5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Paul says: “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances” (1 Thes. 5:16-17). Following the Holy Scriptures, Holy Fathers define prayer as “a spiritual weapon” and the source of salvation and immortality. They call prayer “the mother of virtues”, for nothing helps us to increase in virtue more than our sincere and humble prayer. But as soon as we quit prayer, we cease to seek help from God and consequently cease to grow in virtue, – that is we voluntarily renounce salvation. Tikhon of Zadonsk wrote that a Christian without a prayer is “as a bird without wings, as a soldier without arms <…>”. So we should strive to pray persistently, not letting prayer leave our hearts if we seek to gain salvation.

А.З. [(5) 16,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Holy Fathers define prayer not only as a “spiritual weapon”, but also as a “double-edged sword”, for prayer can both repel the attacks of the devil and cause immense harm to the supplicant. A prayer is harmful if it is done without humility and repentance. Such prayer leads to spiritual deception or prelest and eventually kills the soul.
Likewise we imagine very often that we know ourselves what is good for us and pray unto God and ask Him for the things we need:“How many times have I prayed for what seemed a good thing for me, <…> [and] I found myself in distress because I had not asked for it to be, rather, according to God’s will” (St. Nilus of Sinai). That is also a false understanding of prayer, while true prayer according to St. Theophan the Recluse is the unceasing turning of mind and heart to God.

А.З. [(4,5) 11,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

“He who is silent for a good end nourishes friendship and goes on his way rejoicing, for he has received the enlightenment which dispels darkness”: here St. Maximos the Confessor touches upon two ‘benefits’ of silence. Firstly, if one is silent, he is unable to offend his friends by saying mean and hurtful words. However Holy Fathers also teach that silence has to be reasonable, for sometimes being silent we might embarrass and upset our neighbours. Secondly, St. Maximos says that the one who is silent receives the enlightenment. The soul achieves the enlightenment through prayer, so we should compel ourselves in silence. For “when one is silent, he is given time and freedom for prayer and gathering” (elder Ephraim of Mount Athos).

А.З. [(5) 7]

1. In early Medieval Europe ALB was normally worn by secular clergy in non-liturgical contexts.
2. Before the liturgical reforms of 1972, the use of the AMICE was mandatory for all Roman Catholic Masses.
3. In the Roman Catholic Church, the STOLE is conferred at the ordination of a deacon, by which one becomes a member of the clergy after the suppression of the tonsure and minor orders after the Second Vatican Council.
4. A priest wears a MANIPLE only when he is vested in a CHASUBLE for celebrating Mass.
5. My task in the church of St. Nicholas in Kuznetsi was to clean the CANDLESTICK from wax.
6. Now we can see a great number of ROOD SCREENS in Anglican and Lutheran churches.
7. There are rules for PATENS that are laid down from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. They say that sacred vessels should be made from precious metal.
8. He wanted to be a great THEOLOGIAN in his childhood, but instead of that he became a successful dentist.
9. The priests went to the VESTRY to put on their vestments.
10. In some cases, women are permitted to visit the CHANCEL AREA with the blessing of a priest.
11. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the ANTIMENSION is folded in thirds, and then in thirds again, so that when it is unfolded the creases form a cross.
12. Our VAINGLORY distances us from the salvation of the soul.

М.К. [(6,5) 51]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of Elder Porphyrios appeals to me. As it is written in the Scriptures: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:29) It shows the perfection of the conduct of God and great care for them. It is immeasurable providence of God for people and it denotes ineffable love, for nothing in us is hidden from God, and even insignificant and idle words do not elude His judgement. A lot of grief and disaster can occur in our life. But illnesses, poverty, any suffering that God can send on a person can help him to overcome pride, learn compassion, see and fall in love with true values. And also every human is free in his choice. We decide ourselves what to follow. God never forces a person to perform deeds of mercy because it won’t be his or her own decision.

М.К. [(3,5) 28,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I couldn't agree more with this quotation. Everything that we think about others stems from our vision of this world. If we have pure thoughts, we see everyone as good persons despite their limitations. In contrast, if everyone around us is a fool, it means that something is wrong with us. We do not know all the circumstances of this person's life and we can’t condemn him or her. As Jesus Christ said “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3) We need to look after our actions, because we are responsible for them. At the Last Judgement we will give an answer for every word that we said during our lives. That’s why it makes no sense to think bad of others. As it was also said “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:1-2)

М.К. [(5) 25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Modern society is spoiled by mercantilism and different vices, which are very common and familiar as if they are part of our life. We are taught bad habits and selfishness. We are told that if a person is kind and honest, then he will not achieve recognition and success. Therefore, Christian values in the world are being destroyed. But examples of holy people and martyrs must always be remembered – they help us not to lose ourselves and ignite a zeal for godly living in accordance with the Divine commandments. They show us that life in this world is not the most important thing. This is only a preparation for the eternal life. That's why it's important not to forget about the heroic example of righteous men and women and try to follow them.

А.М. [(5) 45]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with this quote. It's incredibly profound. If we recall the life of Christ, then from the very beginning we will see that He was born in a manger. He was not born in a beautiful, rich palace, as the Jews thought. From the very beginning of His life He showed great humility, although He is the Сreator of this world, the almighty God. But He chose the path of humility, because only thus could the original sin, which arose out of pride, be overcome. And if God showed innumerable examples of humility because of love for people, then why should we be proud and arrogant and consider ourselves better than others around us?

А.М. [(4) 30]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Prayer is inextricably linked with our salvation. This is a special personal connection with God and conversation with Him. I completely agree that our attitude to prayer reflects our attitude towards salvation. If the prayer is just a formal daily routine and the person does not put the heart in it, it means that he takes a superficial attitude to his soul.

А.М. [(4) 26]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with this expression. Our life is very often filled with passions. And sometimes it is very easy to succumb to temptation. Our heart can be filled with lies if we take everything from this world. Humility can teach a person to live in a right way and not make serious mistakes. With the help of it, we become able to adequately perceive ourselves and our heart will be closer to God.

А.М. [(4) 22]

Many witches during the Inquisition were BURNT AT THE STAKE.
In the Dostoevsky’s novel “Idiot”, Rogozhin's ancestors were OLD BELIEVERS.
On this canvas you can see a terrible woman in a sleigh with THE TWO-FINGER SIGN OF THE CROSS – she is the noblewoman Morozova.
In the film «Amadeus» I especially remember the Salieri’s words, that he will speak for all mediocrities in the world, because he is their CHAMPION and their PATRON SAINT as well.
My friend's grandmother does not understand what are THE THINGS OF CAESAR AND THE THINGS OF GOD.
In the history of Russia there were several periods when SERVICE BOOKS were corrected.
Many Protestant denominations view the WORSHIP AS A PERFOMANCE.
He could not pass the exam because he did not answer in what century the concept MOSCOW THE THIRD ROME was born.
She was invited to a conference with her famous report about THE ENDS OF RUSSIAN SECULAR IMPERIALISM.
The DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE is one of the oldest symbols – it was widespread in the Sumerian culture.
During the reign of Peter the Great, RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE deteriorated.

А.М. [(6) 18]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It happens that most often people turn to God only when they are desperate, when they suffer and they ask Him for help. However, when they are more or less well-off they forget to thank God for what they have. To ask - it is just one aspect of praying. To ask for the absolution of sins, for spiritual strength, for health is a usual thing, but when one gets used to asking, he starts to request material things. This is a wrong concept of prayer. After all, God gives us everything we need, why whould we need more of worldly goods? Such prayers are fruitless and they harm our souls as we become lazy and proud. That is why we need to develop a right concept of praying. Not only we ask, we need to thank God for everything we have and don't have in our lives. Then we become more humble and trust God more, as we commit our lives to him.

С.Ф. [(5) 86]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

People usually hate those who harm them, and they treat them accorningly. Our Lord taught us to love our enemies not because it is good to like bad qualities in people, but it is right to love them in spite of their sinfullness. Only by approaching people with sincere love and care we can show them that we are actually worried about them, that we do not care about their mistakes, as God does not care about ours. We should follow Christ in loving all people, and forgiving them. If because of bad treatment of us we sow evil, it means we are trying to punish those people, and we should never judge or punish our offenders, as it is for God to do. Love changes people's souls, love makes people understand that they are wrong. A true Christian should always treat those who offend him with patience and sympathy, because they push God away by doing evil - and that is the worst punishment they can get. Show them love and care, and through the love of God's creature they will see the love of the Creator. And it will heal their souls.

С.Ф. [(4) 59]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully support the idea of St. Theophil of the Kiev Caves that we should not give way to sadness and despair. We are used to the idea of comfortable life and when we face any deprivations or misfortunes we think that something goes wrong in our lives. But it is a usual thing to suffer under a penance, and we forget that we are actually being punished. How can we earn forgiveness without suffering under penance? How can we realize our sinfullness if we let sin cotrol us? God's love makes us suffer less, our prayers to Him are heard and we receive all the help we need. If the Son of God suffered for us, why can't we endure all the troubles that come into our lives for His sake? It happens that people very rarely think of God when they are happy, so through suffering we come closer to God. Being sad when one repents is abslutely normal, as one can never feel happy dealing with sin. But giving up to this sadness means giving up on improvement, on getting rid of sin, and losing faith in God. It means a lack of the desire to be saved, and one cannot be saved without his or her own will. That is why Christians should struggle until the very end. If we keep resisting sadness, we keep truly believing in God, as we believe, that everithyng that happens to us is for our own good and salvation.

С.Ф. [(4) 55]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In order to fight your enemy you have to learn who he is first. Similarly, to fight a sin you have to know how much power it has over you. That is why it is extremely important not to lie to yourself thinking "I'm a good guy and I deserve to be saved". We all are proud to an extent, and we love hearing good things and to be praised, but we are in exile on earth. Our lives is a chance to change and to become like God. We have to show that we are ready to reject the sin and cleanse our souls from it. It is unpleasant to realise your own wickedness, viciousness and sinfullness, but there is no other way to get rid of them without spotting them first. And then after a hard work on your soul you would have the same good image of yourself, but in this case it will be true.

С.Ф. [(3,25) 51]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Learning to be humble is one of the most challeging tasks on the way of becoming a true Christian. Living in a consumer society we become more self-involved, we cherish our pride and revolt against everything that does not meet our will. But by satisfying our pride we become lazy in regard of self-control and behaving. We start to indulge our passions and whims, we stop struggling against our sinful nature. That is why humility is an integral part in educating our souls. It does restrain our hearts indeed. Only by learning that you are a faulty creature and learning to think of yourself as of the chief sinner, one can tame his pride. And pride is the mother of a sin, so one can never become a true Christian without destroying the core of his damnation.

С.Ф. [(4,75) 47,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Our age is the age of permissiveness. We are taught to love ourselves the way we are and accept other people's views. It is the age of gadgets which are supposed to make our life easier. But do they? People become too lazy even to clean their flats without any help from technical inventions, so how are they supposed to clean their souls in the age when they have a right to be accepted the way they are? We see injustice everywhere and we grumble. We have lots of examples of vicious lives but we also have many quite the opposite examples. There are people who show us that it is possible to change and not to fall into temptation to keep being a fallen creature. After all, we only think something is impossible until it's done. Every good deed causes another good deed. We see poeple helping each other, and we get inspired by their selflessness. We wish and strive to become a part of that chain of Goodness in every aspect of our lives: social, religious, personal. That is why truly heroic examples of zealous Christians strengthen us in our desire to become closer to God - we can see them succeed in it, and we know that we can do this too. And we can see how their righteous lives change their and other people's souls.

С.Ф. [(4,75) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of Elder Prophyrios as it is very important to realize the presence of God in our lives.
We usually tend to forget about God in our everyday life, when we are busy and full of bustling. We get upset of mischiefs and become frustrated when something is not going the way we’ve planned. In such cases we don’t think of God’s providence, and that is a mistake.
To rely on God in every aspect of our lives is a difficult thing to do, but an essential one. We should feel His love and dwell in it like a child in mother’s arms. We should think about Him every moment we breathe and this presence of God will make us thousand times happier. Because only with God we could overcome everything.

М.П. [(4) 64]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Macarius of Optina, as we usually tend to recognize those qualities in people which are the reflections of ourselves.
In our lives we manage to differentiate only those things that we are familiar with. We apply our experience and knowledge to everyday life and always try to explain everything we come across through what we already know.
The same thing can be said about out thoughts. If you’re used to judging everyone or to grumbling all the time – the same you would expect from others. If you’re unfamiliar with kindness and mercy – you just won’t see it in other people because you don’t know what it is.
So every time you think badly about someone – try to look at yourself and ask a question : May be it’s me whom I should criticize first?

М.П. [(3,5) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I don’t particularly agree with the quotation of St. Ignatius Brianchaniniov that false understanding of prayer always leads to its uselessness.
I believe that God always hears us and cares for us. He is a loving parent that will help His children if they ask. As it was said in the Gospel: “Ask and it will be given to you”. So if you pray to God with all your heart full of love – it can’t do you any harm. In fact, that is a true communication with our Father.
Your own praying words give you the opportunity to be fully devoted to the act of prayer whereas fixed regulations without particular knowledge and understanding may distract you and be of no use at all.
Prayers the meaning of which you don’t understand may lead you to a mistake, while the true prayer of your heart may prevent you from distractions and confusion.
In conclusion I would like to note that in both cases we equally should be very careful as praying is always hard work and without proper attention may cause bad consequences.

М.П. [(3) 39,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I partially agree with the quotation of abba Pimen as we should never judge others from what they do or how much they talk.
On the one hand it is a well known fact that there is a big difference between the things we think about and those we actually voice. Unfortunately falsehood is quite typical for a human being. Therefore we can often meet a person who says only nice things but is faulty inside.
On the other hand, a lot of saints known as “foolish in Christ” give an opposite example. Most of them were constantly talking and sometimes even saying rude things, but their mind and heart were purely Christian and their intention was good.
Still we should keep in mind that most of the saints and elders advised to practice silence. As we are not saints it is very hard for us to keep our mind clean therefore the abundance of words may harm us.

М.П. [(4,5) 36,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Theophil of the Kiev Caves. I believe that it is a good example of meekness and we all should try at least to get a bit closer to such state of mind.
Nowadays there is a large amount of people especially atheists who are constantly asking the same question: “How can we believe in God, how can we love God when the world is so cruel and unfair?” That is the result of our fallen nature, of our sick pride. We dare judge our Lord but it’s us who made the evil appear in this world.
Of course it might be difficult to put in words this idea and realize it ourselves. Therefore St.Theophil gives us a clear explanation and reminds us one more time that this world is not as important as the heavenly one. We are here to get healed, and dropping most of our habits is not an easy task. But we should humble ourselves and keep in mind that our Lord is a loving parent Who helps us and pushes us to the path of righteousness. Just because of our pride we don’t usually listen to Him and therefore we need to be reclaimed through sorrows.

М.П. [(4,75) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov as it is impossible for us to achieve salvation without communicating with God constantly. But how can it be possible if we don’t pray? Most people usually think that it’s enough to attend Liturgies on Sundays and be happy for the rest of the week without keeping in mind God’s presence. But Sundays are not enough.
It is impossible to achieve salvation ourselves. It is God Who helps us. But how can He help us if we don’t ask Him constantly day by day?
Our fallen nature tends to slip into sin every day therefore Sundays won’t solve the problem. We need God to look after our each single step, because every single step is essential for salvation.
There is an opinion that heaven and hell are the same place. Just those who are not longing to be in constant communication with God would feel themselves as in hell. Our souls would feel God’s presence everywhere and those who denied Him would be unhappy everywhere.
But how can we not pray if we love our Lord? Aren’t we usually eager to talk to a person we truly love every possible moment? So how can we be saved without praying, talking to God?

М.П. [(5) 27,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Nowadays we often hear that people want to achieve success, fame and glory. But such wishes are completely contrary to the commandments of Christ. Human glory is usually achieved by humiliation of others. People tend to be the first and the best among others. The Lord said to his disciples: «But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant». (Matthew 20:26-27) In order to follow these words, we must crucify our pride and love our brethren not only when we need something from them, but in different cases. We must also love our enemies and be always ready to help them. This displays humility and through this we can inherit everlasting life.

В.К. [(5) 36]

Godunov’s reign was one of the shortest during the period of THE TIME OF TROUBLES.
There are four multi-day fasts in the Russian Orthodox Church, and all of them SHOULD BE OBSERVED strictly and honesty.
Often priests don’t give penance because they make CONCESSIONS TO HUMAN WEAKNESS.
THE AUSTERITY OF THE FASTS defines the Church book called Typikon.
The RIGOROUS OBSERVANCES of fast, first of all, are the purity and correctness of thoughts and actions, rather than a particular diet.
We figured out that he is a Catholic priest due to his MANIPLE and the CHASUBLE.

А.М. [(3) 12]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

People can not know what is going to happen to them in the future, so they are always afraid of it. But true believers know that God protects His flock and wishes to save every human being. That is why instead of being depressed because of worrying about the future we should entrust ourselves to God and understand that everything He lets happen to us is for our own good. We should do our best to live a righteous life and God will always help us. Only in this way, by forgetting about fear, we can concentrate on getting rid of that sinfullness in us. Because if we have no fear about the future God will provide for us, we then are not afraid of God Himself and we are willing to be saved by Him.

С.Ф. [(5) 38,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with St. Markus of Optina that we see the world from the point of view of our souls. None of us sets the standard view on the state of the world, we see it in the way we want to. God commanded not to judge, but as sinful people we cannot fully fulfill His will and we always try to assess and define everything around us. And there is a bit of pride in every person, which makes him think that his opinion is the only right one. So by taming this pride we become humble, and the more humble we get, the less we see ourselves as the only perfect creatures. Humility helps us to understand our personal unworthiness to jugde and our personal imperfection.
What is "the evil" in the world? Is it the feature of some people's souls or of our attitude to them? According to a person's approach to life and the world it is conventional to divide people into optimists and pessimists. Optimists think that people are good, and that their deeds do not define who they are. Everyone can be wrong simetimes, we are all imperfect, we all make mistakes. A pure soul is not the sinless one, but the most humble. A humble person accepts his own imperfection and sinfullness, and thinks of himself as of the greatest sinner. That is why he will never think of others worse than he thinks of himself. That is why by becoming closer to God he sees other people becoming closer to Him too.

С.Ф. [(5) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my opinion, being silent at the moments when one wants to speak the most is very useful sometimes. If quarreling with a friend or anyone else, this silence will stop the argument which has nothing beneficial for anyone. Also, in cases when you see that your opponent does not want to understand or accept your point of view, it is better to stop argueing in order not to continue the empty and silly dispute. And not feeling this need to prove yourself right will make you feel more free and joyful. One will learn then, that "enlightening" someone is less important that being in good relationships with that person. Because there is no such thing as complete rightfullness, and everyone has the right to think the way he does. Only God is perfect, only He can pass judgement and guide us, only His will we should fulfill. So, I agree that the person who keeps silence when it is not neccessary to express his opponion "has received the enlightment which dispels darkness".

С.Ф. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Man's attitude to prayer reflects their attitude to God. Prayer is communication with God. Every day we should pray at least in the morning and in the evening. But there exists some distortions about prayer. People begin to say prayers formally, without thinking about the meaning of them. Others pray only when something is asked of God. In such way they show their consumer's attitude towards Him. To learn how to pray properly, it is necessary to do it regularly and pray with humility.

В.К. [(5) 18]

1. The SPOON is used to give communion to the communicants. It is a golden spoon with the image of the Cross on it.
2. The CHALICE is and important vessel that contains the bread and wine during the Eucharist. It is an ornamented chalice or goblet.
3. An ANTIMINS is a cloth that is located on the Altar and has a relic of a saint sewn into it. It is used during the Liturgy.

А.C. [(1,5) 21,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Maximos the Confessor’s opinion is that an enlightened person is the one who is silent for a good end and thus has good relationships with others and is overall a happy person.
The main subject of this phrase is “silence”. There are many references to it in Orthodoxy, and I agree with St. Maximos’ views on its beneficial influence on us. However, the subject itself is not so easy to understand, for it can be interpreted in various ways.
If we understand this quote literally then we shall perceive silence as not speaking. If so, then we can surmise that what the author of the quote means is being spiritually enlightened enough not to offend others or say unnecessary things. Religion teaches us to be kind to others or, as Matthew puts it, “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). One might want to criticize a friend or say something hurtful because they think that it’s in some way justified. But here we see that you do not make thing better by putting others down. By keeping this social tact we do not alienate others and lead a happier life.
Another interpretation of silence is the spiritual silence. This is the kind of silence that many great theologians talked about. This is something not easily attainable as it requires prayer and concentration. The action is not as mechanical as it sounds – a “silent” person doesn’t simply possess calmness of mind during prayer (as Kallistos Ware appropriately compares loose thoughts with monkeys jumping from branch to branch) but a calmness throughout their life. These people are more sound of mind and spirit, and it shows through their interactions with others. This is why a person who is spiritually silent is a happy person too.

А.C. [(5) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Our passions close our spiritual vision. They do not allow us to see the world the way God created it. In our head we can have thoughts of several types: 1) from devils 2) from our own mind 3) from God. Based on these thoughts we assess other people. Thoughts from demons make us judge others, think about them very badly. But often we condemn through our own fault - because of the passion of pride. One day I asked my spiritual father what virtue I should exercise in first. He said that it`s better to exercise in the good thoughts about all people. When a saint came to the cell to his brother and saw that he had a clean tidy room, he thought that his brother was neat and diligent. When the same saint came to another brother and saw his dirty and messy cell then he thought: «I'm far from this brother. He despises earthly things for God's sake, he probably prays very much». And we should always seek such purity of thoughts.

В.К. [(4) 9]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Macarius of Optina states that, if our thoughts are pure, they will see everyone in a positive light.
I can’t say that I agree completely. It is true that faith changes your outlook on life, but it doesn’t mean that you will see everything positively. While I support the idea that every person has at least a bit of good in them, that won’t change the fact that some of them may become complete monsters, like Hitler and his closest followers. In fact, the closer you are to God, and the more vices we see in people – and in ourselves.
Sure enough, there are different ways of thinking that somebody is a fool. One may think that way about another to establish themselves as superior, while others will do so with compassion, knowing that that person is plagued by sin. As Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." [Luke 23:34] I think that there’s nothing wrong with seeing wrong in people. Even Jesus reproached sinners, as did great saints.
That is not to say that we shouldn’t try to see people in a better light. We just have to know that people are flawed.

А.C. [(4) 14]

1. A PATEN, or DISKOS, is a large plate on which the lamb is placed during the liturgy.
2. The ASTERISK, or STAR-COVER, is a star-shaped top placed on top of the diskos, mainly to prevent the Aër from touching the bread. It symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem.
3. The SPEAR is a diamond-shaped knife used to cut the liturgical bread. Its size may vary according to its uses.

А.C. [(5) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Many people who deny the existence of God, explain this with the fact that God has forgotten people and allows a lot of grief. They believe that if He existed this would not have happened. In fact, everything happens because of God's love for people. If you give a man everything he wants, make him happy, then he will get his reward here on earth and will never remember God. Everything God permits, both joy and sorrow, is to change us, to make us better. We think primitively. But if we saw God's Providence, we would realize that our life is a picture, and every situation in life is a puzzle. Now we see only the puzzles, and after death we will see the whole picture of how God cared for us. We should be grateful for his love and care for us, despite our weakness and sins.

В.К. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

«But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered» (Luke 12:7) – said the Lord in the Gospel. We should remember that, first, God is our Father, as we pray, and we are His spoiled but loved children. We are not able to survive without His help and support. These are very common words, nevertheless they are true.
God does not create evil but He can turn it out into good for our salvation. If we do not trust God that means we do not believe that He is really Almighty. All of us remember the psalm 91 (according to the Masoretic text): «He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler» (Ps.91:4). Not only in this psalm but in a number of others David shows us the protection of God. Moreover, in another place the Lord said, «If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?» (Luke 11:11-13). The Lord notes that even people being evil can do good thing, all the more He Who is sinless can do it.
We also have many examples of such help in history, even in our personal life. So we should not despond and afraid, but rather remember about all things the Lord has already done for us earlier and love Him in response.

А.Щ. [(5) 6]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with this statement. I am absolutely positive that God loves all people, even if some of us are “bad”. If a person is in peril, they should always pray and believe that God will hear them, and He will. It is also good to pray for others, as I think that a true Christian should spread God’s love, as it is commonly said.
Evidence of God’s love to us humans is shown all over in the four Gospels. Jesus taught people without using threats or physical punishment, but calmly and with patience to those who opposed Him. He only scolded the Jews and the Pharisees for their misjudgments. The new teachings of the Gospel are different from those of the Old Testament: our conformity to the Ten Commandments was based on strict rules and fear of God’s wrath, something akin to listening to a very strict parent. If the Jews didn’t follow them, they were punished. Now we follow God’s Word out of mutual love. Though it doesn’t mean that we should forget about our fear of God – everyone will be judged in the end. I also think that “Father” is a key figure in understanding God’s love – He is like a real father to us who loves and judges us accordingly. In fact, as Nilus of Sinai says, “God is love”.
We should always remember to pray during difficult times, although it is easy to forget (I myself am guilty of this). Many miracles happened to people thanks to God’s kindness and love. Of course, this is not something that can be abused – it’s not just a case of asking and receiving. If God sees that you are misguided, what you’re asking for is very unlikely to happen. In this way God shelters you from a dangerous mistake or from something that you want but are not ready for, like money, even if you are not from a well-off family.

А.C. [(5) 5]

1. In Orthodoxy Roman Catholicism a CIBORIUM is a special container where the host is stored for special purposes such as performing the Eucharist outside of the church.
2. A TABERNACLE is a special vessel in which the bread and wine for the liturgy are stored. It is located in the altar.
3. A SION or a JERUSALEM is a variant of the tabernacle which stores an extra reserve of bread and wine. It is shaped like a church.

А.C. [(0) 0]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote expresses an idea, which is the fundamental one for Christianity. It is about the boundless and merciful love of God. Very often people forget that God is always near them because of disbelief and faint-heartedness. Many problems and difficulties appear because of the fact that God does not hear our prayers, but it is not so. He sends adversities from above to make us better and enlighten our souls and hearts. And it is really important to understand that everything in this world and in our life is sent by Him with the only aim – to save our souls and make us worthy to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. He is like a caring father, who does anything to give us mercy.

А.М. [(5) 9]

А.З. [2]

Ю.К. [1]

М.К. [20]

М.П. [22,25]

3rd year of study: Spring 2017

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

True Christians are those who live and work for God's sake. However, it often happens that in the same society or even in the same family we meet unbelievers. But that's not surprising. God said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law" (Matt. 10:34-35). But this does not mean that God wants us to be indifferent to their error. Instead, we should pray for them. We must not relax, not to take their example because it`s said in the Book of Psalms: "For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall parish" (Ps. 1:6). We must give them the example of our behavior, and preach to them in deed and word. But if they don`t listen to us, we shouldn`t bother them anymore, but pray secretly for their change. The rest is in the hands of God.

В.К. [(5) 38,5]

1. THE LITTLE ENTRANCE is the final moment of the initial part of the Liturgy.
2. The DEACON is a clergyman of the Orthodox Church, and this post signifies the first degree of the priesthood.
3. The GREAT ENTRANCE reminds the Christian of the procession of Jesus Christ to suffering and death.
4. The CREED consists of twelve parts, and each of them contains a special truth, or, as they are usually called, the dogma of our Orthodox faith.
5. Many priests claim that it is better to be BAPTISED in childhood.
6. The GODPARENTS should teach the godchildren how to be members of the church.
7. BAPTISMAL CROSS must be consecrated in the Orthodox Church.
8. In Orthodox theology, because of the use of identical terms, the concept of CONFESSION, as a church sacrament, is often combined with repentance.
9. Before the flight he ASKED THE PRIEST FOR A BLESSING, because he was afraid to fly the airplane.
10. The SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE is very important therefore it is necessary to choose the husband in a careful way.
11. The establishment of the Sacrament of CONFIRMATION dates back to the apostolic times.
12. CHRISM is a special mixture of vegetable oils, fragrant herbs and fragrant pitches; it is a symbol of HEALING.
13. The Russian Orthodox Church as a part of the Universal Church has the same DEGREES OF PRIESTHOOD as appeared at the dawn of Christianity.
14. Her brother WAS ORDAINED a priest against the will of parents.
15. In the first two centuries of the history of the Christian Church there were no PARISHES in the modern sense of the word.
16. A STOLE is a long ribbon, enveloping the neck and descending to the chest by the both ends.
17. A GIRDLE is a part of the liturgical vestments of the priest and the bishop.
18. This book tells us about VESTMENTS such as: the PANAGIA, the STOLE, the EPIGONATION, CUFFS, the SAKKOS, the MITRE, the PALITSA and the ALB, the OMOPHORION.
19. BAPTISMAL ROBES are an indispensable element of the Sacrament.
20. THE PRAYERS OF ABSOLUTION is a prayer which the priest utters at the end of the sacrament of confession.
21. In ancient times those who were married wore CROWNS for seven days.
22. According to the teachings of historical churches, the grace of the Holy Spirit is shared by APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION.
23. The priest's VESTMENTS may indicate his position in the Orthodox Church.

А.М. [(15,5) 54]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The struggle against the passions - is the task of every Christian. All people are students, and our life is a spiritual university. Like in any institute, there are those who succeed more than others. In the spiritual life we call them elders. Therefore it`s better to follow their experience of struggle against evil habits. The elder Abba Dorotheus advises to analyze how you have spent the day every evening, and every morning to analyze how you have spent the night and repent before God for what you have sinned. "Not those, who once got angry, are called the irascible, and not the one who gave alms once, is called merciful. Our soul obtains the skill of doing good or bad things." (Abba Dorotheus) So we should do good deeds not to let evil habits take root within us, and also we must constantly analyze ourselves.

В.К. [(3,5) 33,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

At the first sight it seems uncertain how to trust God fully. It seems to us that if we cease to care about a lot of stuff our life will stop, we will become poor and will have no food and clothes. But of course we shouldn`t think in such extremes. The task of any Christian is to do all that stuff, but not to give ourselves to it, not to give it our heart, but give it to God. In practice, it is easy to do it. Any work should start with prayer. Before starting anything, think if you really need it or not. Every little care needs to be commited to God. And we must always remember that He is watching us right now. If we keep this way of life, then gradually we will learn how to sincerely understand the meaning of the words «Thy will be done».

В.К. [(3,5) 30]

1) The communists DEFILED a huge number of shrines and churches, but fortunately it ended.
2) Man sees the world in a distorted way because his nature is CORRUPTED.
3) Every Christian perceives Jerusalem as HALLOWED ground.
4) Boris and Gleb were ones the first PASSION BEARERS in Russian history.
5) Today, the HOLY DOORS are an integral part of the iconostasis.
6) CONDEMNATION is the most difficult sin to struggle against.
7) It is necessary to accept people as they are, despite of their TRANSGRESSIONS.
8) A queue of COMMUNICANTS lined up in front of the priest.
9) H.P. Lovecraft wrote about GUILISH things.
10) One of the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch illustrates THE DREAD JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST.
11) Christians should look for THE AGE TO COME.
12) A huge number of Russian temples were DEFILED under Soviet power.
13) Holy relics are usually not CORRUPTED.
14) The members of the Imperial Family who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 are notable PASSION BEARERS.
15) Unfortunately, many people don’t think about PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS of Gospel in their lives.
16) Don’t be afraid to rely on him – I have known him for a long time, so I can figure out he is rather FAITHFUL.
17) Materialism and an irresistible desire to acquire new things can lead you to a LATENT IDOLATRY.
18) As the tradition says, the Icon of the Virgin of Iveron was saved from THE ICONOCLASTS by a devout and righteous widow.
19) THE DISGRACE OF THE DEMONS is described in one of the books of the Old Testament.
20) I’ve never seen a film called «BEGOTTEN», because according to the reviews it’s atmosphere is sinister.
21) In the MUSLEM tradition God is able to make a person believe and love Him, despite of one’s will.
22) THE MONOPHELITE HERESY was rejected at the sixth Ecumenical Council, so it was false.
23) He led THE SOLITARY LIFE, that’s why his colleagues had no idea about his traits.
24) THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY is rejected by the sect called Jehovah's Witnesses.
25) SAINT CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA was a brilliant commentator of the Bible and in his interpretations followed the allegorical method.
26) A lot of Old Believers DEVIATED INTO ERROR AND HERESY after the Russian Orthodox Church split into two parts.
27) The Slavs had sculptural images of deities - idols - at the time of PAGANISM.
28) We can notice some features of PAGAN RITES in our modern culture.
29) She was famous for her great CHARITABLE WORK and suppport for the poor.
30) The contemporaries of Lermontov said, that at first sight he was rather ACRIMONIOUS.
31) He did not get on well with the team, so he was extremely INTEMPERATE.
32) The Feast of Orthodoxy, also known as THE TRIUMPH OF ORTHODOXY is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent.
33) Aristotle wrote about MATTER and existence.

А.М. [(15) 38,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is important to understand what is a cross in a person's life. The cross has a symbolic meaning. To carry it signifies to follow Christ, to believe in Him and strive to live by His commandments. When we lose all these things our life becomes tepid, which is very terrible. Such a person will not move in the direction of light or darkness. His life is not cold, when he rejects God, and is not warm, when he tries to intertwine his life with God. Tepidness is a kind of indifference, when one does not care about God and belief. It means spiritual death. That's why it's important to carry the cross and not to lose it.

А.М. [(3) 23,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this statement. If a person is convinced that he is telling the truth, is it right to try to prove something? The real truth does not need any evidence.
Sometimes when we prove our opinion, we want to rise above the interlocutor, to point out his wrongness, because we have pride in us, and we will not miss the opportunity to show off. Such situations can lead people to a dispute and quarrel. And sooner or later the interlocutor will understand that he was wrong. Only humility, patience and love help other people correct themselves.

А.М. [(4,5) 20,5]

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