Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by students (2)

(Part 1 is here)

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4th year of study: Autumn 2017

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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