17 October 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Limited Sharing: [orthodox-rocor] ROCOR/MP WESTERN RITE CONFERENCE, AUGUST 7 - 10, 2012Inbox
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Monday, 1 September 2014
It is hoped that when His Grace, Bishop Ambrose of Methoni, visits England in the Autumn for the feast of Saint Edward the Martyr (Tuesday, 16th September, n.s.), he will ordain Father Deacon Borislav Popov to the priesthood, [which ordination did take place], With his customary light touch, His Grace has suggested the feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist (Thursday, 11th September, n.s.) as an appropriate day for the ordination. It seems fitting, therefore, to give some teaching regarding the priesthood and the Mysterion of Ordination.
In reiterating the teaching of Saint Dionysius, Simeon of Thessalonica tells us that the priest is the celebrant of the Holy Mysteries of Communion and Baptism but does not have the grace to ordain another, which thing is reserved for the episcopate. Also an ordinand to the priesthood must be thirty years of age, having come to maturity, and as a figure of Christ who began His teaching ministry at that age, for the priest is also a teacher.
On the day of the ordination, the ordinand serves as a deacon until the Cherubic Hymn, thus completing his diaconal ministry. As a sign of this, during the Great Entrance he is left in the centre of the church and holds the Aer (the largest chalice veil) over his head. When he gives it up, so that it may cover the gifts offered on the Holy Table in the usual way, it signifies that he gives up his diaconal service. After the Cherubic Hymn, he is led by the other deacons to the Royal Gates. There they leave him, signifying that he is going on from them to a higher ministry, and the priests receive him into the sanctuary. The candidate bows down before the Bishop, who signs his head with the sign of the Cross. The priests then take him around the Holy Table, and as he processes he kisses the four corners of the Table, and coming to the Bishop again kisses his hand and knee. This is repeated twice more. By his kissing the Holy Table the candidate dedicates himself always to serve there, and by kissing the Bishop’s hand and knee he signifies both his gratitude to him and his godly obedience to him. As these three processions are made the choir chants first a hymn to the Martyrs, then one to Christ, The Apostles’ boast and Martyrs’ joy, and lastly one based on the prophecy of Esaias concerning the Virgin being with child and bearing a Son. The first of these reminds the candidate that his commitment must be like that of the Martyrs: unto death; the second that his ministry, like that of the Apostles and Martyrs, must be to our Saviour; and the third that the foundation of the priestly ministry itself is the incarnation of the Word of God. The Bishop then stands, and the candidate kneels on both knees. A man being ordained deacon kneels on one knee, but a deacon being ordained priest kneels on both, signifying the fuller ministry. He places his palms crossways on the edge of the Holy Table and lays his forehead upon his hands. The Bishop then blesses him three times, signifying the strength he will need to fulfill his ministry, for he is strengthened by the power of the Cross. The Bishop then lays his hand on the candidate’s head and prays that that which is infirm or wanting Grace Divine might heal, and he calls upon us to pray for him.
The clergy and then the people chant a threefold Lord have mercy slowly while the Bishop reads the prayer of ordination quietly over him. The Protodeacon then intones a litany praying for the Bishop and the new priest, and during this the Bishop, keeping his hand on the candidate’s head again prays for him. After the ending of this prayer and the litany, the newly-ordained priest is raised to his feet and the Bishop takes from him his orarion (stole), and replaces it with the double priestly stole (epitrachelion), crying out three times: Axios! (Worthy!). The clergy repeat this acclamation, and then so do the choir. Then the Bishop gives him the cincture, and again the thrice threefold Axios is chanted. In the same way he is vested in the priestly phelonion, and he is given the priestly service book (hieraticon). The newly ordained priest in turn kisses the Bishop’s omophorion and his hand, and then greets the concelebrating clergy with the kiss of peace and takes his place by the side of the Holy Table so as to participate in the most important part of the Divine Liturgy, the consecration of the Divine Gifts.
When, later the Lamb is consecrated the Bishop breaks the portion marked XC and gives it to the new priest, saying: Receive thou this pledge, and preserve it whole and unharmed until thy last breath, for thou shalt be held to an accounting therefor in the Second and Dread Coming of our great Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The new priest does not then partake of that Bread, but stands with head bowed at the east end of the Holy Table holding It in his cupped hands which he rests on the Table, and reciting to himself silently the fiftieth psalm. He also silently prays for all the faithful, living and departed, whom he can remember, calling to mind that in his hands he holds the very Body of our Lord. At the elevation of the Gifts, he returns the portion entrusted to him to the diskos, and he receives the Holy Mysteries in due order with the other priests.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, being the junior priest, the newly ordained priest reads the Prayer Beyond the Ambon, O Lord, Who blessest those that bless Thee…. This is to indicate that he is now a father among his children, interceding for them. After ordination, the priest is referred to and called Father (with or without his Christian name), and is not referred to by the Orthodox faithful by his Christian name alone. His wife, if he is married, is also addressed with similar respect, either as Presbytera (Greek and English), Matushka (Russian), Preoteasa (Romanian), Khouria (Arabic) or Popadija (Serbian), again with or without her Christian name. And again, recognising her share in the ministry and honouring the ministry of her husband, she is not disrespected and referred to by the Orthodox faithful by her Christian name alone. From his ordination, a priest always wears his cassock (except perhaps when his secular employment precludes this), and when out and about he wears the cassock and rason and a clerical hat. In this way, he confesses that he is a minister of the Church at all times, as was promised by his kissing the four corners of the Holy Table three times during his ordination, and he does not simply wear his clerical habit when he goes to church or is about specifically church business. From this time also he wears his hair and beard uncut, or, if his secular employment precludes this, only trims them slightly to be tidy. In the Russian practice, he is also given a pectoral cross to wear, but in other national Churches this is usually only granted to the most senior priests.
Please pray for Fr Borislav, his diaconissa Marina, and their children, Marina, Sophia, Paul and Anna that they all be strengthened and protected as Fr Borislav’s ordination approaches.
Posted by Saint Edward Brotherhood
Saturday, October 18, 2014
GADZUKES! What is required to be able to post on Ecafe – looks like the good ole days of Soviet Russia or Nazi-Germany!
Friday, October 17, 2014
Russian Monks (MP), @ Valaam, Making Italian- Style Cheezes, Including Mozzerela Cheeze-
Why monks are making mozzarrella
Sharing: Ukraine Crisis: 'No breakthrough in Putin -EU Talks'Inbox
Украинские события этого года мало кого оставили равнодушными. Многие потеряли своих друзей из-за расхождений в отношении к войне на Украине. Такое эмоциональное воздействие украинского кризиса показывает, что это моральная дилемма, а не просто вопрос политики.
Каков же результат этого замечательного эксперимента? – Тысячи убитых, уничтоженные города, разрушенная экономика целого района. Не лучше ли им было бы создать свою Новую Россию где-нибудь на бескрайних российских просторах, тогда им не нужно было бы убивать украинских парней ради их эксперимента. Но, к сожалению, в России за подобные действия они бы немедленно очутились за решеткой на долгие годы.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Reader Daniel Sharing at the author's request:
A Powerful and Open Statement about Ukraine and Putin
From our ROCA Hegumen Andrei (Erastov) in Melbourne
ON THE UKRAINIAN CRISIS
We should try to understand what is going on from the spiritual perspective.
Almost 100 years ago, in 1917, the Russian people, the majority of them, accepted communism, and it was necessary that the Russian people would consciously and freely reject it. Otherwise no true repentance could be possible. When the Soviet Union fell apart 23 years ago, it was not a result of a revolution. Communist authorities changed their rhetoric; they left behind the ideology of Communism, but retained its nature.
In the countries, which were formed after the fall of the Soviet Union, in place of Communism, power was taken by corrupt dictators’ regimes. The Ukrainian revolution of 2014 overturned one of these regimes. It was a revolution of Dignity, as it is often called. Unfortunately, a similar movement for freedom in Russia 2 years ago was unsuccessful, having been defeated by Putin.
People of Maidan (the square in Kiev, where manifestations took place) fought for freedom and dignity of life, against corruption, tyranny, and crime. This was a revolution against that evil, satanic power, which took hold of Russia after the Bolshevik revolution. Thus the Kiev revolution of 2014 was opposite to the revolution of 1917. That’s why in many places, Ukrainian activists toppled Lenin’s monuments; monuments which are still standing in every city of Russia and Ukraine as symbols of the dark past.
Putin’s propaganda affirms that the Kiev revolution was a project of USA, which payed billions for it. Even if this may be true that USA sent financial help for Maidan, what does it change? Those who repeat this statement apparently believe that everything may be bought for money. But this is not the case. No money can buy love for freedom, courage and self-sacrifice, even readiness to put one’s life, - this is what we have observed in people of Ukraine.
Due to the amazing courage of the Maidan people, they won, and Ukraine started on the way to freedom. However the flight of Yanukovitch marked only the first victory. Putin immediately started his war against Ukraine, or more correctly, against the Ukrainian people’s aspiration for freedom. Apparently, he regards this aspiration as an insult and threat to himself.
This war is Putin’s revenge to the people of Ukraine. He realizes that if Ukraine becomes a modern, free country, it will cause Russia to change as well; and it will be the end of his power.
Putin is personally accountable for this war. He started this war through his agents in Ukraine; he armed local thugs; he covertly sends his soldiers to Ukraine, and supplies fighters with arms.
In order to justify Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, Russian TV denounced the whole people of Ukraine to be Nazis, who want to organize genocide of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Putin’s propaganda is absolutely shameless; it exceeds even Soviet propaganda of the past. They lie endlessly telling tales about babies crucified by Ukrainian soldiers; they publish pictures of children, killed in Syria, and say they are killed by Ukrainians, etc.. The most ignoble is that the victim of Putin’s aggression is reviled as an aggressor. Incited by propaganda hundreds of Russian volunteers went to Ukraine to fight with “cruel Ukrainian Nazis” and defend people of Donbas.
Of course, in all countries there are right wing nationalists, Ukraine is not an exception. However we may estimate their influence in Ukrainian society by the fact that at the presidential election of 2014 the two most prominent nationalist leaders received less than 1% of votes.
Kiev revolution was not about Ukrainian nationalism. Just consider the fact that among the most popular Ukrainian patriots of these days are ethnic Russians: they speak Russian and have Russian surnames. The conflict in Ukraine is not between Ukrainians and Russians, but between the mentality of a free man on one side, and the Soviet mentality, sometimes in guise of Russian patriotism, on the other side.
No government would tolerate armed bandits, who occupy government buildings and establish their rule. The Ukrainian government sent troops to return control over its territories. It was its duty; any other government would act similarly. Thus the war started; a war which has already caused a loss of several thousand lives, and destruction of the whole region.
Who is at fault in this war? - Apparently, the one who started it - i.e. Putin. Also, he can easily put an end to this war. If he stops sending his troops to Ukraine, if he stops sending supplies to those fighting in Ukraine, the war will end very soon.
Let us remember that Russia according to treaties is a sponsor of Ukraine’s integrity, but instead it has become an aggressor. Putin covertly sent his troops to Crimea and to Donbas; he lied that there are no Russian troops; he dared to start a war against a brotherly nation.
But Russian people are overjoyed; they are excited about these immoral, unlawful, heinous actions. Russian soldiers fulfil illegal commands, they go to Ukraine and kill Ukrainian soldiers; the majority in Russia approve this war. Thus, Russian people approve baseness, treason, lie and crime. Those who approve criminal acts become to a certain extent accountable for them. Truly, this is an extreme moral fall of the Russian people.
On the other hand in these last months we observed an incredible rising of people in Ukraine, both Ukrainians and Russians. The people of Ukraine showed themselves free and courageous, ready to sacrifice even their life for their freedom and their country.
At the same time it is painful to admit, that people of Russia showed themselves awfully. This is a true tragedy of the Russian people. Tragedy is that they believe Putin’s propaganda. They believe propaganda, because they want to believe it and don’t want to know the truth, or they just don’t care.
Of course not all Russian people agree with Putin’s politics. There are millions of honest, conscious people, who suffer in their hearts and pray for Ukraine. But they are in the minority.
Russian fighters pretend they defend Donbas people, but in fact this is hypocrisy. If they really cared about local people, they would have put down arms and left, so that peace and order would return to this region. Nowhere else in Ukraine is blood shed except in the territories occupied by Russians.
Russian patriots claim that there is no such country as Ukraine, that this is an artificial formation, that most of Ukrainian territory is actually Russia. Well, in this case what will they do with 40 million Ukrainians, who love their country, want to live in an independent and free Ukraine and are ready to die for it? Maybe it would be better if Russian nationalists wake up from their imperial dreams and learn to live in peace with other countries and to respect integrity of their borders. What will happen if all countries decide to claim their historic borders? – Only war and bloodshed.
In Russia nationalists live under strict surveillance of FSB, and are strictly limited in their activities. Now in Donbas they are thrilled, having received a chance to organize their own state, according to their ideals. However, they imagine this Russian paradise differently. Some dream of social equality, others idealize Stalin’s Soviet state, some aspire for a monarchy. The dreamers don’t realize that they are only an instrument in Putin’s hands, and serve his goals as long as he needs them.
The move of Ukraine towards European Union they regard as betrayal of the Orthodox faith and a step forward to apostasy of the West. They dream of Novorossia (New Russia), a Russian Orthodox State, a stronghold which would resist apostasy of the modern world. Of course, the apostasy quickly moves forward and “the mystery of lawlessness is at work” (Thes. 2), preparing the kingdom of Antichrist. But let us not forget the teaching of St Ignatius Brianchaninov, that apostasy has been allowed by God, and we cannot stop it with our weak hand. What we can do is to preserve ourselves from the spirit of apostasy.
No fantastic Novorossia can resist the oncoming apostasy. We should resist it in our soul, through our faith. And faith is based on spiritual freedom.
What is the result of this wonderful experiment? - Thousands killed, destroyed cities, ruined economy of the region. Why don’t they decide to organise their New Russia somewhere in vast Russian territory, then they would not need to kill Ukrainian boys for the sake of their experiment? However, unfortunately, in Russia for similar actions they will immediately find themselves behind bars for many years.
People may endlessly argue on the questions of history and politics, but no one has a right to come to the territory of another state and take up arms. No ideology may justify bloodshed.
It is not surprising when those living in Russian distant provinces, where TV is the only source of information, believe it. But how can one explain the fact that Russians living in the West in great number believe the same Putin’s propaganda, though they are constantly exposed to western media, which more or less correctly cover the Ukrainian events?
Typically, people believe what fits into the frame of their ideas. Generations of Russian emigrants were raised on patriotism, on the love of the Russia we lost. Propaganda skilfully uses the concepts of Russian patriotism for its own goals. There is nothing in common between Russian Orthodox tsardom and Putin’s evil empire. Russia of old was based, at least in principle, on the ideal of Holy Russia, on the ideal of symphony between the Church and the state. The latter had as its goal to help its subjects in reaching the heavenly kingdom.
Putin’s regime, on the contrary, is based on lies, corruption, cruel force, injustice and hypocrisy.
It appears that even the Russian Church supports Putin’s war against Ukraine. Not to mention MP patriarch Kirill, who found the explanation: “this is the war of Ukrainian Uniates against Orthodoxy.” It goes without saying that he will always back up his “boss”. But it appears that many Russian priests and the faithful also justify this war.
Even many parishes of the true Orthodox Churches, of different synods, took Putin’s side against Ukraine.
Recently Vladyka Agafangel asked his clergy to pray for Ukrainian authorities and army, but some nationalist priests in Russia answered that they would rather pray for those Russian fighters who fight against Ukraine.
We should pray for Ukrainian soldiers, not because they are Ukrainian, but because the Ukrainian army represents the forces of order and law, while those who oppose them are armed bandits. Even if there are some sincere people among them, still their activity is criminal, whatever wonderful ideals they might cherish.
It appears that these Russian priests regard the very idea of independent Ukraine as wrong. They accuse Vladyka Agafangel, because they see in his recognition of Ukrainian state treason of the Russian Church.
What a strange position! One may have an impression that Russian nationalists live in a different world.
Of course, 100 years ago nationalist movements in Russian Empire were regarded as evil by Russian hierarchs. Nationalists, for example in Poland and Georgia, fought alongside revolutionaries in the destruction of tsar’s Russia. One of the pillars of the ROCA, Vladyka Vitaly (Maximenko), as an archimandrite of Pochaev Lavra, struggled with nationalists in Ukraine.
But time has changed. There is no Russian Empire; instead there is an evil empire of Putin. People of Ukraine want to be free of it. Ukrainian people have a different language, history, customs. Why are they not allowed to have an independent state?
Finally, no Petlura (Ukrainian nationalist of early 20th century) made as much to turn Ukraine away from Russia, as did Putin and Russian nationalists.
A month ago about a thousand Ukrainian soldiers were surrounded in the town of Illovaisk. President Poroshenko negotiated with supreme Russian commanders that Ukrainians would be given a passage out. However when the Ukrainian convoy started its move on the designated road, it turned out to be an ambush, Russian tanks opened point-blank fire on them.
Russian TV tells tales about cruelty of Ukrainians, however atrocities of Russians in Ukraine is not a tale, but a well-documented fact. One young captive had his right hand cut off for a tattoo “Glory to Ukraine”. How many decades should pass before such manifestations of brotherly love are forgotten in Ukraine?
Our Church should make a strong statement about the Ukrainian events with no respect of persons. This is not politics. The Church should give spiritual and moral evaluation of these events. If we fail to do so we would become as “salt that lost its flavour”.
Hegumen Andrei. Melbourne