Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by graduate students

* graduation year

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Autumn 2019

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I like the words of Elder Thaddeus (Strabulovich) of Vitovnica very much, even though one may not agree with them straight away at the beginning of their spiritual life. Converts or young people are not used to the concept of loving in response to bad things. Most of non-believers often say that they do not believe in God because if there is God, how can He let such terrible things happen, that are now happening in the world. That means that those people do not trust God’s Providence. In their turn, Christians believe in perfect God, which means that He is perfectly good and loving. Therefore, God can only let those things happen to people, that are useful for their souls, as there is not a single drop of hatred or desire to harm in Him. Cures tend to be bitter, and what we want is very often quite the opposite to what we need to get to the Heavenly Kingdom. People tend to have their eyes closed and not to see their sins, and that is why a true Christian accepts everything that happens to him and, moreover, gives thanks to God for that. As he trusts God and accepts His will, because he knows that he needs that, even if he doesn’t see why at the time. It is usually later when one understands why he needed this or that to happen to him. Hardships make our faith stronger and help us transform ourselves, and only “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”.

С.Ф. [(5) 67]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As far as I know, there are two types of communion with God: direct and indirect. We can read the Gospel and the Holy fathers, we can listen to sermons at Church, and it is very nice and saving experience, but only if we apply everything we read and hear to our lives. There is this other, more personal and reverent way to know God – to communicate with Him directly. But not everyone can do that. One should be of a certain state of soul to be able to see God. Saints due to their piety and devotion were granted this priceless gift - direct communion with God. What we can experience (and only by immediately experiencing God we can truly know Him, as there can not be any heresy in it) is receiving Holy Communion. This sacrament lets lay people meet God themselves, not only learn about Him from other, more righteous people. That is why a true Christian can never live without partaking in the Eucharist – otherwise his knowledge of God would be only theoretical, which is not enough. And if one wants to have more direct communion with God in his life, then he, as St. Mark the Ascetic said, should withdraw from the world and devote himself to God. One can be proud about his knowledge, but the one who truly knows God can never have any pride in his soul.

С.Ф. [(3,5) 43,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

“I was born in order to die. I die that I may live” – it is a very beautiful antithesis made by St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. Everything passes; everything changes in our world, so that no joy or sorrow could be everlasting. This world itself will one day end. Like everything in this world a human soul can change, too. Due to this constant change, constant movement (like the flow of the river) we are able to move towards the Heavenly Kingdom. Our bodies need to wither away in order to revive in their transformed form. If anything, our life doesn’t end, it approaches its true beginning, and we should make everything we possibly can to make our life in the age to come an everlasting joy, not a sorrow.

С.Ф. [(5) 40]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As they say, pride is the mother of all the vices. So, as it is the source of all our sins, we have to constantly tame it. Fighting against pride is extremely difficult as it is always there, tempting us to surrender to it. Humbling yourself is just one aspect of this battle, but we also oppose it by loving the others. By loving we learn to take something away from ourselves for the sake of the loved ones, when the inner pride is prompting us to do just the opposite - to accumulate. Love requires the absence of pride, and when we become irritated we lose this love to the neighbor, that Christ commanded us to have. However we should constantly strive to have it back again. If there are no battles how can there be any victory at all? We can only show our inner strength and love to God in the times of temptations, and only by overcoming obstacles we can excel. And we should be thankful for those irritations, for if these feelings arise in us then it means that we are not yet capable of loving, and God lets those things happen to us so we could learn to love. Personally I find it tremendously difficult sometimes not to get irritated with people, especially if people suffer because of some selfish individuals’ desire to reach their goals. But it is my pride that is revolting inside of me, as it cannot put up with the fact that someone neglected my interests and beliefs. So in moments like these I always remind myself that it is not for me to judge those people and assess their actions and behavior, my job is to love God’s people and always try to help those in need, and not let my pride hurt others.

С.Ф. [(3,5) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Life of a Christian consists of falling and getting up in search for God. People have free will and God lets them make mistakes to learn from them, and as long as we live we have something new to learn. There can be no perfect human being in this world, and monks are no exception. Their lifestyle helps them to learn more about God and His relations with people, their lives are simpler in this way, but contain no less temptations and difficulties. Monks, as well as lay people, make mistakes, they are sinful as all humans, but they have such deep love for God that they choose to devote their whole lives to Him. Everyone has his own path on the way to salvation, filled with temptations and ordeals, and they are different but they all are narrow.

С.Ф. [(3,5) 31,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I see why Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk says so. People, however righteous they are, can never know how their words or behavior will be understood by others. We may not want to offend others, but there definitely is something we don’t know about, that is unpleasant to them. As Virginia Woolf used to say, we can never fully understand other people, and we can never be sure they fully understand us. That is why all our intentions should stem from the desire to do good to another person. If we want to make a remark that may be unpleasant to him or may offend him, we should first think thoroughly how to put it, so that the person would understand, that we only act out of care for him. However, if we understand that it is unnecessary to say something to another person or that he would not agree with us anyway (even if there is sense in our words) – we should hold our pride and not disturb them at all. If it would only start a quarrel in which both of the interlocutors will be tempted to offend the other, then what is the use of this remark? If it’s not helpful, it should not be on our lips. Even if something happens against our will, it happens according to God’s will. We most definitely should not get angry because of that, as God’s will is for us to be saved. So we should praise God for his Providence, as God is always willing only the best for us. So it is of utmost importance to be considerate of other people’s feelings, as in this way we will both have good relationships with the neighbors and keep away from pride.

С.Ф. [(4) 28]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

John, Wonderworker of Krondstadt, said that worldly matters will end with the world. And by reading only worldly magazines and newspapers we only prepare ourselves for the current worldly life. We only develop our body and brain, which constitute just a part of a human nature. Learning how to cook or how to knit is very useful, but their usefulness comes from the spiritual meaning of those acts. Information in the magazine only prepares our bodies for the actual act of cooking or knitting. It is the love to out neighbor we learn about from the Gospel and the Holy Fathers that makes these skills beneficial to our souls, as it gives meaning to our deeds. It is the spiritual literature that teaches us that we should knit to give others warm clothes; that we build so that people could have homes, where they can cook and share meals with those who they care about and with the hungry. The worldly readings only teach us how, it is the Gospel that teaches us why and what for, so that when the world ends and our cooking skills are no more relevant, the spiritual lessons we got would have transformed our souls to be worthy of being in the Heavenly Kingdom.

С.Ф. [(5) 24]

1 PENTECOST – a celebration of the Holy Trinity which takes place on the 50th day after the Pascha.
2 TONGUES OF FIRE – a gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon the Apostles, allowing them to speak in many languages.
3 PROTESTANTISM – one of the largest Christian denominations, it belongs to the Western rite. It is influenced by the works of Martin Luther. Protestants place great emphasis on the Bible.

А.C. [(1,5) 79]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St Mark the Ascetic states that, to gain true knowledge, one must turn to asceticism and not theoretical sciences.
I partially agree with this statement. I agree that science isn’t everything. Many great inventors, scientists, psychologists, and theorists turned away from God when they discovered something for the first time. While indisputably useful, science feeds into the idea of “the man on top” which started with the Humanist era. Many natural theorists would turn away from God, and most of them would later find themselves miserable when already at death’s door. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the world’s greatest philosophers, stated that “God is dead”. And yet, having turned away from Him, he suffered a terrible mental illness, which is commonly thought to be dementia (though it is also sometimes linked with syphilis). I firmly believe that mental illness, especially one so sudden like in Nietzsche’s case, can’t be caused by a physical ailment alone. The philosopher is also said to have suffered from depression, which I also link to a Godless life. When a man turns away from God, he becomes truly lonely. This can lead to both depression and madness.
On the other hand, I do not fully agree that one must necessarily become ascetic to attain true knowledge. It is a fact that ascetic individuals are the closest to God, but I think that life in a society is just as important. If we live by the word of God, we will be able to express our spiritual knowledge among our peers, and this way find out more about ourselves. I view a Christian society as not only knowledgeable but also as self- improving.
Finally, I also think that there is a place in the world for science. We must find a balance in how we use it, because it still benefits our society greatly. I find the “science vs. religion” dispute to be rather nonsensical, and I think that we will truly benefit from both these virtues if we practice them in a correct way.

А.C. [(4) 61]

1. FRACTURE is a special moment in the Mass, when a priest breaks the Host over the chalice.
2. The Holy Gifts can be DISTRIBUTED together or separately.

А.Щ. [(1) 71]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). From the point of view of materialists, these words of the Scriptures may seem to be pessimistic and gloomy, as the words of St Tikhon. If we rely only on life on the earth, if we consider it the most precious thing for us, then it is the very way to feel disappointment and even deep melancholy. We cannot pause our life, prolong all its delights and remove sorrows.
However, for a person who loves and knows God, the news of finiteness of this world causes hope. It happens not because such people want to destroy the world, but because they wait the meeting with Christ, as apostle Paul says, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23) and also, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:14). The Holy Scripture teaches us that everything will pass in this life, and our aim is to reach the Fountain of Eternity – Christ the Lord.

А.Щ. [(5) 50]

1 DEIFICATION – the acquisition of the Holy Spirit by man. This is our aim as Christians.
2 THEOSIS – same as deification, meaning becoming god to get salvation, while also remaining a separate entity.
3 SAINTS are people who are the closest to God because they live by His word, and are also the closest to obtaining the life in Christ.

А.C. [(1,5) 57]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Tikhon talks about how fast human life runs by and compares it to a river. This river takes away all the things (like rubbish) with it.
From a Christian perspective, St. Tikhon is right. Life is shorter than it seems, and years often pass by quickly. The things that flow down life’s river cannot be returned, and they can’t be brought into the eternal life. Life is but a moment compared to the eternity that awaits us in the Kingdom of God. He says “I die that I may live” in reference to leaving the mortal world and awaiting the Second Coming of Christ.

А.C. [(5) 56,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

“I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.” (Ps. 69:2) – these words of King David are the best illustration for such a condition. It is evident for a thinking person that fasting, not sleeping or knowledge of ourselves do not make us saints – the devil does not eat nor sleeps at all and knows much more than we do, but he does not become an Angel. There is only one thing that the devil cannot comprehend – it is humility.
If we cannot bear a ‘single, rough, harsh word’, or do not ‘even endure the slightest contradiction’, we are proud and through our pride the devil can act in us. The main aim is to comprehend humility, and the first step of it is to keep silence when we are angry, to help a person who offended us, to do things which are unpleasant to us. It is really ‘the time of endurance’, and if we endure with God’s help all the attacks of the evil one, we will win this battle.

А.Щ. [(5) 45]

1 PHILANTROPIA – God’s love (lovingkindness) towards people.
2 RESURRECTION – Christ’s return as a Risen Christ after being crucified.
3 CRUCIFIXION – a form of execution in the ancient times which consists of nailing the convicted person to a wooden cross. This was considered to be a very humiliating form of punishment at the time, which is why some ancient paintings depict the crucified’s heads as that of animals.

А.C. [(1,5) 51,5]

1 HEAVEN – a name given to the Kingdom of God, where believers and people clean of sin go after Judgement Day.
2 HELL – initially a place where all souls went after death before Christ descended to liberate them, now a place for all unbelievers and sinful people, and the residing place of Satan.
3 LIMBO – a place that is neither Heaven nor Hell. The existence of Limbo is questioned by many, and its mentions are more prevalent in Catholicism. This is a place where sinless, but unbaptized people are believed to go.

А.C. [(1,5) 50]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Tito Colliander brings up an answer of a monk to a question about what he and his brothers do in the monastery. His answer, falling and getting up repeatedly, can be interpreted in different ways. The first, the most obvious one, is that they pray continuously. After all, monasteries are special places for worship, and people, not only monks, come there to seek help from the Lord.
But another interpretation is that the monks experience these rises and falls not physically, but spiritually. Even in the house of God are we prone to making mistakes. The brave people who resolved to spend their lives repenting of all their sins go through many spiritual tribulations. The more you pray, the deeper you dig and the more you unearth. It is inevitable that these confrontations function in a manner of a pendulum.

А.C. [(5) 48,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The usual life of a Christian is described here. Our life is full of falling and getting up. Sin penetrated our body and soul deeply, and it requires much time, often the whole life to get rid of it.
Apostle Paul says in one of his epistles, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1 Cor. 9:24). Many Holy Fathers follow these words and compare our spiritual life with a race. We run and often fall, however, we should not give up and grieve too much. St John the Climacus says, “Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly the angel who guards you will honour your patience” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 5:30). We should remember that this routine may continue all the life. And even if we are tired, let us pronounce the word of the Holy Scripture, “<…> but one receiveth the prize”.

А.Щ. [(5) 40]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This weeks quote 161 holds many different points: do not offend people, do not teach people, do not get angry, praise God when bad things happen. All of these things can be summarized by one principle - restraining one's self. I agree that restraining one's self is important because in it is shown inner strength and composure, as well as it being an element of good manners. Next, I do believe that quite often teaching people is useless. You might see someone's mistakes, but they won't. We are all in our separate bubbles which do not overlap, so we rarely understand each other. Thus, it is a waste of time and emotion to try to teach others. About getting angry - I think that anger is a negative emotion that is nevertheless necessary, because it is cathartic. It is necessary to control your anger, so that you do not perform any ill-conceived actions. However, it is likewise sometimes necessary to throw something across the room or have a good cry, in order to release the negative emotions that are building up inside of you.
Lastly, I cannot praise anyone, neither God, nor man, when bad things happen. I can grow angry, I can search for solutions, but I cannot praise or thank anyone for the bad situations that occur. I understand that praising God is a strategy for restraining yourself: instead of focusing on negative emotions, you replace them with positive ones (thanks and praise giving). However, this does not work for me.

Я.К. [(4,5) 54]

1 ADAM – a fundamental religious and historical figure, the first human being.
2 IMAGE – a word describing man’s likeness to God, which means man has free will and moral values.
3 LIKENESS – also a word describing man’s likeness to God. This one means that there is a connection between God and man, and that’s why we can come into communion with Him.

А.C. [(1,5) 43,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I believe St. Nikolai uses “light” metaphorically based on the Bible where God is often named “light”. So, the first sentence is metaphorical. By the light he means Jesus Christ, who Himself said “I Am the Light of the World” and “son of light” is every person on Earth because we all are God’s children. In the second sentence St. Nikolai says that God (Father of light) loves everyone with fiery love and calls everyone. He calls us to turn toward Him, to let Him participate in our lives, to start living according to His commandments.
We intuitively understand this quote. Everyone knows how important light is in our everyday life. We can’t see and can’t do anything in darkness and light brings clarity to our life. Therefore, based on such physical experience we can understand that without God it’s impossible to find the right path toward true happiness, toward our salvation.

И.М. [(5) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think metropolitan Gregory talks about the sin of pride. I am convinced that every person does good things which are worthy of praise, but we should remember what is said in the Gospel: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:4). He is definitely talking not about the physical benefit and harm, but spiritual. It is often said that the pride is the source of all the other sins. Therefore, if you really perceive in yourself something worthy of praise, it’s better to thank God for it and not to tell anyone.

И.М. [(4,5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Archbishop Seraphim teaches to never loose temper, to remember that not everything has to be according to our will. Everyone makes his own mistakes and we do not have the right to teach or get mad. We need to restrain such emotions because it won’t do any good, won’t fix anything but only harm our own souls. We should say “Glory to God!” to remember that He sees everything and if He loves this person, we should love and accept this person as well.
God does everything to help us grow spiritually. I’ve heard an opinion that if you ask God for humility and tolerance, He will give you an irritating person so that you could practice these virtues. So, we should thank God for all the challenges because facing them helps us to become better people.

И.М. [(5) 15,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Archbishop Seraphim states that we must abstain from getting angry and pray to God if we ever get mad.
I agree with him to an extent. On the one hand, it seems that this is the “correct” way to be. Wrath is a deadly sin, so it must be curbed. Wrath leads to many bad things, such as doing someone physical harm, destruction of property, vengeance, and even murder. It is obvious that this negative emotion must be kept in check at all times, and praying to God helps, of course.
On the other hand, and I speak from personal experience, I do not think that a person is complete without anger. Is anger not a natural thing? It stems from our instinct of self-defence and fear, and so it is appropriate to experience this emotion. Since we are conscious beings, it is up to us to moderate how we feel, so it is not encouraged to feel too much, because that is against society. But I can’t say that it is entirely possible to abolish anger from a person’s system. I for one feel anger often – sometimes for the whole day – and it affects my point of view greatly. But, nonetheless, it is one of the few things left in my life that actually let me feel alive, because otherwise I am a zombie who is always hard at work. As much as I try to be perfectly compliant, I can’t do it, and it angers me even more, but anger also fuels my productivity, so I have more energy for my next attempt. I think that certain compromises concerning human emotion have to be made while we are in this mortal world. If I feel continuously crushed under the weight of my responsibilities and everything else that comes my way, which I do, I cannot abstain from emotion. I know that I have to pray to God, but I don’t have enough spiritual strength to always do it, and that makes me angry too. It all always boils down to not being good enough.
So in the end, don’t be like me.

А.C. [(5) 42]

1. Before Communion a celebrant breaks the Host into small pieces - PARTICLES. The number of Particles depends on the number of those taking Communion.
2. There are different DISMISSALS, said after the Mass. They vary depending on the type of the Mass, liturgical rite and some other factors.

А.Щ. [(1) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

All things mentioned by Archbishop Seraphim show a certain condition of a person who does them, the condition of pride. If people do not restrain themselves, they do not train themselves in the struggle against sins (the word ‘askeo’ in Greek means ‘I train’; so, ‘an ascetic’ is literally ‘a sportsman’). In spiritual life, it means not to be in the position of an ‘offended righteous person’, not to think that you are the centre of the world – in fact, it is the beginning of humility.
We know the commandment of God, “<…> but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39). It is also connected with Archbishop’s words about offending somebody and growing angry. When we try to teach somebody from a position of the more righteous person, the reason of our actions is the same, “<…> God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are <…>” (Luke, 18:11). The only means that can help in the struggle against pride is thanksgiving, when we understand that nothing can happen without Him. In this case, we gradually become meek and receive grace to restrain ourselves.

А.Щ. [(4) 34]

1. We see it through the texts of prayers that Saints BEWAILED their sins. Unfortunately, I don’t always feel that way.
2. A LAY PERSON may baptize someone in an emergency: if a person won’t live long enough for a priest to come.
3. EPIPHANY is celebrated 12 days after Christmas. Many Russian people take icy plunge on this day but I, however, have never done it.
4. ASCENSION is celebrated 40 days after Easter. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s ASCENSION into heaven.
5. Being “warm” (Revelation 3:15) means to have FERVENT and ZEALOUS love for Christ.
6. The phrase “SANCTITY of human life” is based on the idea that each person is made according to God’s image and likeness. Life is given by God Himself and should therefore be respected.
7. THE BOOK OF GENESIS is the first book of the Old Testament. Almost everyone in the world is familiar with stories from this book: the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood etc.
8. The PRODIGAL SON returns home empty-handed but his father doesn’t REPUDIATE him but welcomes him back with celebration.
9. Theological VIRTUES (faith, hope and love) are imparted by God though Christ. The Apostle Paul named love the greatest of them.
10. God ENDOWED everyone with a talent. Each person should work hard enough to multiply this gift and direct it towards good and towards salvation.
11. Participating in Church life helps Christians to resist TEMPTATIONS.
12. GOD’S ECONOMY for us means His care of His creation.

И.М. [(6) 10,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I like these words of Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg as, first of all, he implies that people, though they should be humble, do have things that are worthy of praise. It is just sometimes Orthodox people get too concerned with humbling themselves and not improving and changing for the better. But we were created by God in His image and likeness, so we cannot be completely worthless. God gave us talents, and we should not assume that we have nothing in us to develop and excel, as such an approach can lead us into despair. Then metropolitan warns us that if upon discovering talents in ourselves we do not apply them in our lives, but simply tell everyone about them – there will be no good. It may as well be a lie, unless we demonstrate it. The Lord said that to those who have it will be given more, and the only way to thank God for giving us such priceless gifts, is to use them in the name of God with the best intentions and love and for the sake of His people. Christians should always be careful not to fall into sins of pride and idle talk. For virtues fade in words and die out without actions.

С.Ф. [(4) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos is undoubtedly right. People do have an unquenchable appetite. And the more they get – the more they want. Moreover, in our consumer society the appetite is whetted by the omnipresent advertising of things that could be bought. Outside the Church we can mostly observe an egocentric pattern of behaviour. We are prompted to think solely about ourselves and more about the comfort of the body, than about that of the soul. We are advised to think about money and materialistic goods more than about people. Therefore, people live in constant discomfort brought about by concern to have enough money to buy what they want, and the more they buy, the more they want to buy, the more discomfort they experience and the less they think about others. And it is often so that what we want is not what we need. By leading such a lifestyle it is easy to forget yourself, it is easy for our life to lose its real meaning. People today indeed tend to praise themselves, not God, for everything they have in life and being a ‘self-made man’, not depending on anyone, is stated to be a success. But such self- reliance is delusional and destructive. It feeds the inner pride, which true Christians should tame, not cherish. It makes people blind and cruel, and deaf to other people’s pleas for help. But God teaches us that we cannot get enough of things by ourselves, that the truth is the more we give - the more we get, and the more we want to give.

С.Ф. [(5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my mind, by saying this Saint Nikolai Velimirovich is trying to tell people that we should not seek God because we’re afraid of punishment and everlasting torture, but because God loves us and His love is truly worth all the sufferings we endure throughout our lives. ‘But blessed are your eyes, for they see’ says the Gospel, and the eyes of a true Christian see the light, no matter how dark and difficult his life is. In fact, light can only be seen in darkness and the darker it is, the brighter we see the light. Everyone once in a while becomes saddened and feels uneasiness, but if one is really keen to see God, he would find his troubles to be the very way leading to Him. He would notice that God is always calling us, that He never abandons us, that it is human beings who abandon God by sinning.

С.Ф. [(5) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think that when people argue with others about the faith and religion they often forget the good aim, what for they are doing that. Do they argue to share their faith and love with the interlocutor, praise God when talking about his goodness? Quite often people simply and proudly want to prove themselves right. They would not only offend others by trying to prove they are fools, not only violate the commandment to ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself’ (Luke 10:27), but they would indeed give those wayward people a chance to offend God with their words. It is in argument where the truth is born, but God does not want us to prove His existence, He wants us to love. Faith is not something that can be shared through words; it should be demonstrated, felt, experienced and strengthened during our whole lives. So the question is: does the one who only talks about faith really have it?

С.Ф. [(5) 5]

1. The PALL is a piece of cardboard covered with cloth. It is put on the chalice to protect it from dust, insects, etc. The colour of the pall is always the same as for the priest's vestments. 2. According to the 'classical' Roman rite, there can be no CONCELEBRATING PRIESTS during the Mass, but in the modern Orthodox Western rite practise it is possible. 3. The PATEN is the same thing as the Eastern 'diskos' - a plate for the Eucharistic bread.

А.Щ. [(1,5) 30]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

First of all, we should soberly understand that in fact we do not have anything really ‘worthy of praise’ in ourselves, even if we do all things from the Law, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do(Luke, 17:10). If we did not do things which are commanded, how can we say that we are worthy of something? All good thing proceed only from God, there is not any our merit (For every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from thee, the Father of lights <…> Prayer before the Ambo, The Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom).
However, when God gives us an opportunity to do something good, we should not appropriate it to ourselves, especially not to boast of our ‘achievement’. As it is said in the Scriptures, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matt. 6:3), the same about prayer and hypocrites, who “<…> love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward” (Matt. 6:5). They receive the reward of condemnation; so, we should not do it, to receive the reward of salvation.

А.Щ. [(4) 28,5]

1. The DOCTRINE of the TRINITY has been always difficult for me to comprehend, since it is difficult to imagine God as three separate, yet united beings.
2. I never thought about the complexity of Christ's nature: the DIVINE and HUMAN duality of his existence, before we studied Christianity in college.

Я.К. [(2) 33,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This week's quote (#159) is again from Saint Paisios of Mount Athos and concerns our infatuation with worldly goods. I agree with Saint Paisios that the situation which he describes exists: the more we have, the more we want, and the less we notice others. I understand how this comes about: when we get more, we realize that it is possible to acquire greater wealth, and therefore want even more. When a person does not have much wealth, he does not believe that it is possible for him to get anymore, so he is quite modest in his desires, but as soon as his possessions increase, then he sees the potential for more increase. Also, I think that it is a quite human desire to enjoy themselves and get the most out of each moment. Thus, I am not sure that I agree with the Church's doctrine that we should only focus on the heavenly life. We are very much ALIVE right now and we should not forget to live, and take advantage of each opportunity. For example, you can be quite happy living in once city for your entire life, if you have the right mindset, but I think that it is much more interesting when, instead of wearing only t-shirts and black pants all your life, you can spend more money on more expensive and better-cut clothes, and then feel better about yourself and enjoy the handsomer clothes. Therefore, I think that it is a perfectly acceptable to people to have much and want more, but of course they should not forget others. And yet, I do not consider great wealth to be a problem. Quite on the contrary, it is wonderful - you can enjoy your wealth yourself, and also spend some on charity. I am quite sure that God is pleased when he sees us spending money on ourselves and being happy and interested in life.

Я.К. [(4,5) 31,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In this quote, St. Paisios of Mount Athos states that the more goods people gain, the worse things get for them in a spiritual sense – they do not thank God and they don’t St. Paisios is quite right. Modern people don’t know how hard it was for their ancestors to receive material goods. People used to survive on the bare minimum. Used to getting everything with relative ease, we have lost the feeling of gratefulness and joy when we buy or receive some item. It has become so mundane for us that we never stop and think how fortunate we are to have all this. Some people on this planet don’t even have the luxury of having a roof above their heads. Because of this forgetfulness, we don’t thank God for what we have.
For the same reason we tend not to notice the hardships of those who actually have problems with money or physical possessions. People cannot relate to the problem enough anymore, so the poor are often ignored, either because of this, being viewed in a wrong light, or because people are in too much a hurry to gain more money. The rush of the modern world sucks a person in, and it’s very hard to resist. If we didn’t hurry as much and cared more, then we would have been able to help the poor. Realizing that God has blessed us with what we have will open our eyes to the hardships of others, and we will help them, not because it’s a “good deed”, but because we will know how truly fortunate we are to live in an age when so much is available so easily.

А.C. [(4) 37]

1 ENERGIES – what can be described as God appearing to us in our mortal world – invisible, through grace and divine light.
2 PERSON – one of God’s three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3 UNION – a relationship between the three persons of God, which is comprised of a perpetual love.

А.C. [(1,5) 33]

1. The feast of DEDICATION OF A CHURCH is the day when a church or a chapel is consecrated by a bishop. It has special PROPERS (psalms, hymns, prayers and other parts of the service, changed according to the Ordo).
2. ALL SOULS DAY, which is a day of commemoration of all the departed, is celebrated on the next day after Halloween.
3. THE SACRED HOST is a name for the Eucharistic bread. There are usually one big host and some small ones. All of them are broken and put into the chalice.

А.Щ. [(2) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Lord says to His disciples, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). Just one verse earlier He exhorts us not to gather treasures on earth, but rather in heaven, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matt. 6:20). In fact, the more goods we have the more power to manage them we need. It causes anxiety – people are afraid to be deprived of their goods – or deep immersion into ‘the deeds of flesh’ and, as a result, inability to comprehend true, Christian spirituality.
In such a way the goods become gods and lords for us. However, it is not possible to serve one true Lord and false lords at the same time, “No man can serve two masters <…> Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). That is the reason why people do not thank God for His blessings – they simply do not serve Him and cannot love Him. People are tied with their passion to goods as ‘with fetters of iron’ (Ps. 149:8) and are blind to all things happening around. They do not feel compassion, because their fellow-men are not important for them. Compassion, like any other virtue, belongs to God and is given by Him. If a person does not have ‘a telephony line’ (St Paisios) with God, he or she will not gain any virtue, as well as the right attitude to goods.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 22,5]

1. I have heard that although nowadays the SACRAMENTS of CONFESSION and HOLY COMMUNION are often viewed as two parts of one whole process, it is not really so. They are separate sacraments, that are simply put together due to traditions.
2. VESPERS are the daily evening services that Orthodox Christians attend at church.
3. Once I had an internship at Hillwood Museum, and in the museum's collection there were multiple items that the museum's founder had bought and thus "rescued" from communists in Russia, including multiple ornate CHALICES and VESTMENTS.

Я.К. [(2,5) 27]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This weeks quote #158 is concerned with achieving humility. St. Sisoes the Great said that in order to be humble, one has to believe that everyone around you is better than you. On one hand I can agree with this, on the other hand I am not so sure. I believe that the Orthodox Christian doctrine of humility is sometimes problematic because it encourages low self-esteem. I believe that you should love yourself and consider yourself the best person in the world, and be happy that you are who you are. At the same time you should also pay attention to your faults and work on fixing them. As for humility, instead of training yourself to think that everyone around you is better than you, you should train yourself to believe that you are no better than anyone else. That is a slight modification to the doctrine, that will help people both love and be proud of themselves and of others.

Я.К. [(5) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In the quote, Sisoes states that to attain humility one must first become humble and see every man as better than himself.
What Sisoes says is true. A true Christian does not pride himself in his abilities, knowledge or possessions. Rather, he puts others above himself, and humbles himself before God, because he can see the extent of his own sin. This should not be confused with being submissive or pathetic. In the Proverbs, it is said: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” [Proverbs 11:2] God welcomes the humble: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” [James 4:10]

А.C. [(5) 31,5]

1 HUMILITY is the act of humbling yourself before others and the Lord; not putting yourself above others and seeing your own mistakes, past and present.
2 APOPHATIC THEOLOGY – explaining God’s qualities by way of negation, because He is transcendent and therefore His qualities cannot be fully understood by man.
3 CATAPHATIC THEOLOGY – explaining God’s qualities by way of affirmation. It is implied that we only understand these qualities to a certain extent, as God’s qualities can’t be fully perceived by mortal men.

А.C. [(1,5) 26,5]

1. In the English tradition there is PAX or OSCULATORIUM, which is an icon of Christ, sometimes with the Mother of God and other saints, made of metal. During the RITE OF PEACE clergy and lay people kiss it by turns.
2. EMBER DAYS are four sets of three days (usually Wednesday, Friday and Saturday), specially devoted to fasting and prayer. In different rites different months for these days can be chosen.
3. There is a special POST-COMMUNION COLLECT, which is equal to the Eastern prayer before the ambo.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 18]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

«Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth» (1 Cor. 8:1), Apostle Paul says. Not everybody who has great knowledge has faith. In fact, knowledge and education are just tools, which could help to meet the Lord, but they do not guarantee this meeting. «But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word» (Is. 66:2). Here the Prophet explains what features a Christian should have to come to God. St Maximus the Confessor says, «From that it is clear that the Kingdom of the Father belongs to the meek and contrite of heart».
In prayers we ask the Holy Spirit ‘to come and abide in us’, but He can abide only in meek people. St Basil the Great and St Ambrose of Milan were highly educated, St Maria of Egypt and St Basil of Moscow were even illiterate. Anyway, all these people reached holiness. Knowledge is important, but it can damage us because of our pride. Repentance has even more importance. When we repent, we become meek, and if we become meek, the Holy Spirit comes and teaches us all we need.

А.Щ. [(5) 15,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Protopresbyter Theodore Zissis states that true faith is submission to the truth told by the Church and not to worldly knowledge.
I agree with Theodore Zissis completely. Many people view religious knowledge as bookish and outdated because it revolves heavily around old books. This is a very superficial way of looking at things. Those who have studied the Bible know that it should not be taken absolutely literally. It is not only a great historical document, but is also a book of great knowledge that tells us about the world and the nature of man.
Same goes for other holy books. Finding out this truth leads to faith. Therefore, faith lies not in superfluous knowledge but in the knowledge of the truth that the Church provides.

А.C. [(5) 25]

1 The TRINITY is God in His three persons – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2 FILIOQUE is the belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. The Orthodox consider this a heresy.
3 TRANSCENDENCE is a quality we ascribe to God when we talk about the impossibility of fully describing the true nature of God.

А.C. [(1,5) 20]

1) I have several friends and acquaintances who decided to go to SEMINARY, instead of college in order to study theology and explore their relationship with God.
2) For me it is important to go to CONFESSION before receiving Communion, even though I understand that the two MYSTERIES were initially separate, however I like knowing that I have at least tried to be responsible in admitting my faults.
3) Christians are encouraged to read HAGIOGRAPHY to learn more about the lives and thoughts of saints.

Я.К. [(2) 19,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This is quote 156 by Saint Paisios of Mount Athos and I agree with it, even though this is a complicated topic for myself. Although I like to sometimes argue or discuss, I am mostly interested in friendly discussions, not inflammatory arguments, but sometimes I force myself to join. This is mostly about educating people who express disgust with the perceived lies of the Church or priests.
Also, I would like to know what is included in and meant by "holy and sacred things" - does this include atheists expressing their disbelief and the personal lives and actions of Christian public figures, such as the Patriarch? Or is it limited to actual holy things such as relics and icons. When I hear people questioning Christianity, I try to defend it and explain points that might seem contradictory to them. However, in my experience, arguing with such people is pointless, so I try to ignore them and live my life. However, if I hear a deliberate slander, I try to speak up.

Я.К. [(5) 17,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Lord in the Gospel calls us to be meek when we are offended, “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:39). It is important to pay attention to the context: in the previous verse the Lord reminds to His listeners of the Old Testament morals, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth (Matt. 5:39). Here we can see the principle of equality: if somebody offends you, you can answer only equally: no more, no stronger than the damage you have received. But Christ offers us the higher principle, which is to resist no evil, caused to us personally.
On the other hand, the Lord gives to us one more commandment, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John, 15:13). If it is said about our friend, it has even more relevance to the Church, which God himself loves, as Apostle Paul says in his epistle, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (Ephesians, 5:25). The Church is a mystical Body of Christ, it contains the Sacraments and the fullness of life in Christ as it is possible on the earth. If Christ Himself gave Himself for the Church and for our salvation, should we not do the same? Should we keep silence, when our faith, our Church, all holy and sacred things being mocked or even abused? I think it is a rhetorical question.

А.Щ. [(3,5) 10,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos states that seeing sacrilege being committed and not doing anything about it or not acknowledging it is demonic.
I agree with him entirely. On the one hand, it is true that sacrilege is a sin most foul, and we as Christians should stand against the abuse of our Church: “…who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.” [Titus 1:11] On the other hand, we must also remember that we are, too, capable of bad things, so we must act kindly towards our faith: “You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” [Romans 2:22] Even if you can’t do anything about sacrilege, and a lot of people can’t, even recognizing the act as bad is a step in the good direction (Paisios says “not SAYING anything”). If you can’t do anything, prayer is the best option.

А.C. [(5) 18,5]

1 SACRILEGE is an act of abuse, desecration or destruction of holy items and places. For example, the desecration and destruction of Churches during the Russian Revolution is a major act of sacrilege in the country’s history, as well as the history of Christianity.
2 MEEKNESS is a collection of qualities that help a person be a good Christian, such as patience, boldness in spirit and the ability to speak not out of impulse but out of reason – both logical and spiritual.
3 DEMONS are evil spirits that ally themselves with Satan. They seek to confuse, distract and spiritually disempower people so that they don’t reach the Kingdom of God.

А.C. [(1,5) 13,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This week's quote (#155) is a statement meant to proselytize and attract new people to Christianity. It calls for people to start believing a God, who loves them and wants them, our God. The word "light" is used three times in just two sentences, and indicates not only the correctness of the Christian faith, but a connection between the person listening, the person being spoken to, and God. The listener or the target audience is called "the son of light", and God is called the "Father of light". This indicates that we are God's children and is meant to be welcoming and encouraging.
I am glad that this statement is so warm and welcoming, with no hint of an "or else". I believe that converting to Christianity is a good choice, but it is a choice and cannot, nor should be forced, especially with threats. Therefore, I do not support missionaries who say that people who do not choose Christ are eternally in the wrong. I do not believe they are. Even though God exists and I believe in him, and am utterly convinced that Christianity is the one and correct faith, I do not think that it is necessary for people to be Christian in order to live a good life.

Я.К. [(5) 12,5]

1. The Church can proclaim ANATHEMA on anyone who dabbles in heresy, but in my experience I have never met anyone who had been EXCOMMUNICATED.
2. I personally knew and really liked METROPOLITAN Jonah, before there was the confusing conflict between him and my Church. I am still happy whenever I get to see him.
3. My mother wanted me to be BAPTISED after Tsaritsa Alexandra, but she had yet to be CANONIZED when I was born.

Я.К. [(2,5) 7,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In this rather short statement Saint Nikolai Velimirovich tells us to turn our faces towards the light, where God is awaiting us.
This, of course, should not be taken all too literally. When he talks about “light”, Saint Nikolai very obviously means “faith”. We associate faith with good things, including love, happiness, and, of course, light. The ultimate light is God, because faith in Him leads to salvation: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
And since God created man, he is also a part of this light; but to remain in the light or to get lost in the darkness is his choice.

А.C. [(5) 12]

1 A CANDLE is a small wax stick that can be lit and placed in front of an icon as a sign of worship.
2 A DIKIRION is a special liturgical candlestick. It takes the form of two large candlesticks which are crossed and lit.
3 A TRIKIRION is like a dikirion, but with three candlesticks instead of two.

А.C. [(1) 7]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote fits squarely with my idea of Christianity. For me it is important to read the Holy Fathers to get acquainted with their experience of living a Christian life. Just like my parents can give me advice on my everyday life, the Holy Fathers can help me with my Christian life through their writings. Therefore, I believe what they say about reading the Gospel. Through this book God speaks directly to each of us and if you read it with due reverence, you can find the answers to your prayers.
However, I don’t completely understand the use of the term “sin” in this context. In my opinion not reading divinely-inspired writings is not exactly a sin. It may be a consequence of a not serious attitude towards your Christian life, but not a sin in itself.

И.М. [(4,5) 4,5]

1. In Western rite services COLLECTS are used as troparia, kontakia and sometimes DISMISSALS.
2. GRADUAL is a hymn, which is sung between the readings from the Apostolic epistles and the Gospel.
3. During the Lent, at some feasts and at Requiem Mass, instead of a gradual SEQUENCE, a long rhymed poem, is sung. The most famous sequence is 'Dies Irae' (The Day of Wrath), sung at Requiem Mass.
4. While the OFFERTORY VERSE is sung, the priest receives bread and wine for the Eucharist and prays for the people, living and dead. It happens in the middle of the Mass, because there is no Service of Oblation at the beginning.

А.Щ. [(2,5) 7]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This weeks quote is #154 and it was said by St. John of Kronstadt. Overall, the quote might make sense - after all, if you are a Christian, then you should be acquainted with Christian texts. It would not be logical if a Christian did not know what the Bible said, similarly if a Muslim was not familiar with the Qu'ran. But, personally, I am not a fan of religious or “divinely-inspired Christian texts”. The news or magazines (which I rarely read, anyways) seem much more pertinent to my life. They describe the events, trends and tendencies that are occurring or developing at the moment in the world in which we live. Still, I find most news boring, even though it does concern my surroundings. The same applies to religious texts - they often describe a world in the past, and I do not see how they have a bearing on the present-day.
I know the Ten Commandments and I have my own moral statutes and ideals, by which I live and to which I aspire. Thus, I find religious texts to be repetitive - why do we need to discuss things that are so simple? Why are there so many interpretations? I have my own view of the world and I hate arguing with others, defending my own perspective and having other peoples’ perspectives forced on me. I feel the same way with divinely-inspired texts: I have my own thoughts and I do not like hearing the interpretations of others, simply because I will not agree with them. I think that for a Christian - reading the Bible and Gospels is probably enough, and reading other holy or divinely-inspired works should be a matter of free will, with no accusation that if you do not do so, you are sinful.

Я.К. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Here St John of Kronstadt calls us to ‘keep balance’ between the sources of information. As for Christians, the words of the Scriptures, especially the Gospel, take the highest position; it is our ‘Constitution’ and the main source of the Law of God, as it is said in the Book of Psalms, ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly <…> but his delight is the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night’ (Ps. 1:1-2). It is evident that we live in a certain society and cannot avoid events which happen in the world. As the citizens of a certain country, city, town or village, we should partake in its everyday life – and newspapers, TV and other mass media help us in this. However, we are Christians, potential citizens of the heavenly country, and we should know news of this Kingdom – the Good News, the Holy Scripture. Jesus Christ Himself teaches us, ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they, which testify of me’ (John, 6:39). We strive to be heavenly citizens, so the Scriptures should be more important for us than any earthly sources of information.

А.Щ. [(4,5) 4,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt claims that to ignore Christian literature is sinful for a Christian person – they should strive to gain wisdom and profit from them as much as they gain it from worldly literature.
I agree with Righteous John – it makes sense for a Christian to read the Gospel and the writings of the Holy Fathers. If you ignore these books, then you will be missing out on a whole lot of critical information. To call yourself Christian and never touch a Bible sounds very strange.
But it’s not as simple as just reading the books and suddenly going “Aha!” when you stumble upon a phrase or sentence that you find clever. Reading Christian literature requires patience and deduction, as well as multiple readings. Knowing and, more importantly, understanding the Word of God is necessary to lead a Christian life and face the many troubles present in your own flawed self. This will help you make yourself a better person, for God, for others, and for yourself.
Knowing the Word of God is perhaps one of the most encouraged things one can find in any religious text. For example, Timothy says that you must “[d]o your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
All in all, it can be said that reading religious literature is definitely something a Christian should do, and to ignore this literature means ignoring the Word of God, therefore, it’s sinful.

А.C. [(5) 6]

1 THE THREE GREAT HIERARCHS are the three most well-known Orthodox writers of the fourth century – they are John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus.
2 TRADITION is that which has been set in stone for the Christian people to follow since the very beginning of Christianity. We must try our best to preserve the TRADITION as well as we can.

А.C. [(1) 1]

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