THIS IS THE FAITH OF THE ORTHODOX! (Title taken from the Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, as recited on the Sunday of Orthodoxy)

Saint Paul described faith as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen’ (Heb. 11:1). His life, work and martyrdom are a testament to his Orthodox faith. He had the unshakeable conviction that, as a believer in Christ’s Word, he would enjoy future blessings in those things hoped for that did not exist in the present; the freedom from the tyranny of sin, the resurrection of the dead, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the future judgement and the inheritance of eternal life. Whatever he suffered in the present life was of no consequence in comparison to [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:48:23+00:00March 1st, 2016|Comments Off on THIS IS THE FAITH OF THE ORTHODOX! (Title taken from the Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, as recited on the Sunday of Orthodoxy)

St Euphemia and the Council of Chalcedon

St Euphemia and the Council of Chalcedon When heresies arise in the Orthodox Church, the Truth is always defended by the Saints of God. In the case of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, the Truth was revealed by a miracle of St Euphemia. Two sides were arguing in this Council over one question: what was Jesus Christ: Man, or God? The Monophysites, the heretics, argued that Christ was only Divine, not really human at all. The Orthodox, on the other hand, believed that He was both, at once, equally. These two groups spoke for months on this issue, but neither [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:19+00:00August 2nd, 2014|Comments Off on St Euphemia and the Council of Chalcedon

Church of the Resurrection

Church of the Resurrection The Church of the Resurrection in the old city of Jerusalem is undoubtedly the most significant shrine of the Christian Faith. This is because under its roof is the original place of Christ’s Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection. The building is an enormous edifice which incorporates many structures. Its interior is made up of chapels, shrines, basements, storerooms, living quarters, staircases, courtyards, balconies and corridors. Every space is covered with a different roof, some with Byzantine and others with Gothic domes. The internal architecture is a representation of the many influences over the centuries and can be [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:22+00:00June 1st, 2014|Comments Off on Church of the Resurrection

The origins of the Akathist Hymn

The origins of the Akathist Hymn There are many varied stories as to the origins of the Standing Praises to the Theotokos, or Akathist Hymn, but the sources seem to agree that it began in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, in 626 AD. The city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire was unusually free of defence that year. The emperor had taken almost all the soldiers into the East where he was defending the empire from the unceasing attacks by Persian troops. This was a necessary strategic move, but it left Constantinople open to attack – [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:29+00:00April 1st, 2014|Comments Off on The origins of the Akathist Hymn

The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy For us today, the Divine Liturgy is a weekly staple of our Christian lives. We drive to church on a Sunday, walk into a great building with flickering candles and hand-painted icons, gold leaf and carved wood, embroidered vestments, burning incense and chanting filling every corner of the church. In the early Church, attending services was not a weekly event. For the ancient Christians, the Divine Liturgy was seen as such a sacred cornerstone of the Faith that it was held every day. No more than fifty Christians would gather together. They had no churches. Liturgies were [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:29+00:00January 30th, 2014|Comments Off on The Divine Liturgy