24 February 2009

What a wonderful day...

...this past Sunday. My wife and I traveled to Sylvania, Ohio for the elevation of Dcn. Daniel Hackney to the holy priesthood, and my son John's elevation to the subdiaconate. Naturally, his first litany was in Slavonic! :-)

I'm second from the left; John is next to me; Fr. Daniel is fourth from the right and Fr. Steven Salaris is third from the right. Bishop MARK stands in the center, of course, and next to him stands a 90-year-old priest from Syria, Fr. Gabriel.
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07 February 2009

One picture is worth a thousand words...

...or so goes the saying. Consider this icon of the Lord's baptism.

This icon is used for the feast of Theophany, or "God's revelation." Based on the gospel accounts, the Church sings,

"When thou, O Lord, wast baptised in the Jordan,
worship of the Trinity was made manifest.
For the voice of the Father bore witness to thee,
calling thee his beloved Son.
And the Spirit in the likeness of a dove confirmed the truth of his word..."

Note the Persons of the Holy Trinity in this icon. The voice of the Father is heard from on high. The Son is baptised in the Jordan. And the Spirit proceeds from the Father and rests on the Son--just as the Church confesses.

To those visitors from the West, I ask you: What icon could depict the filioque?

05 February 2009

Holy water?

An anonymous poster on Pr. Weedon's blog who calls himself "Michigan J. Frog" (what is it about Lutherans and anonymous posting?) has tried to poke fun at the Orthodox use of holy water, and the customs of Theophany.

On Pr. Eckardt's blog, there's discussion about the use of a tabernacle and the dreadful practice in many Lutheran circles of tossing the used disposable cups in the trash after communion. (I learned there for the first time of some consecrated wafers being tossed as well.)

These two things are connected.

Material things aren't neutral. Either the Church sacralizes the 'secular' (though, in truth, there is nothing 'secular'), or the world profanes the sacred. The Orthodox Church has chosen the former...

Can you spot the incoherence here?

The Lord has given the Sacred Scriptures to the Church to be the rule and judge of all doctrines and teachers.
Whenever she teaches according to them, she speaks a certain and joyful truth, and is to be obeyed.
Whenever she teaches contrary to them, or insists on a teaching or practice for which they give no grounds, she should not be heeded but rather called to repentance.

04 February 2009


"Not to live according to one's faith is worse than to live according to one's unbelief. No atheist can do the Church of Christ so much damage and bring so much devastation into its fold as an evil, money-loving priest who received, and has not been deprived of, the awe-inspiring grace of performing sacraments and wearing sacred vestments."

--from The Orthodox Pastor by Archbishop John Shahovskoy, pp. 16-17

01 February 2009

Number 6!

Steelers 27 Cardinals 23
Late drive wins sixth Super Bowl
Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl XLIII's MVP, celebrates after a game-winning reception.