Liturgy and Icon

Liturgy and Icon

There is an important connection between our liturgical services and holy icons. In many ways, it’s difficult to imagine how our Liturgy could subsist without icons. They are an irrevocable part of the life of the Church. Ouspensky notes (Theology of the Icon, vol. 1, p. 8): It is absolutely impossible to imagine the smallest liturgical rite in the Orthodox Church without icons. […]

Remember Us In Your Kingdom

Remember Us In Your Kingdom

To be “remembered” by God is vitally important in Orthodox spiritual life. But what does this mean? Before receiving the holy Eucharist at a Divine Liturgy, we confess: I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: “Lord, remember me in Your […]

Liturgical Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Scripture

Liturgical Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Scripture

Contemporary scholars and certain Christian groups today tend to approach the study of scripture as archaeology. Rather than receiving the scriptures as God-breathed tradition in the life of the Church, the text is abstracted from its incarnate context, subjected to scientific analysis. While much can be learned, of course, from a knowledge of Greek, Aramaic, and […]

Book Preview: The Orthodox Church in the Arab World (700–1700)

On Behalf of All - Book Preview

Forthcoming from Northern Illinois University Press is The Orthodox Church in the Arab World (700–1700): An Anthology of Sources. Edited by Samuel Noble, a doctoral candidate in religious studies at Yale University, and Alexander Treiger, associate professor in the Department of Classics and Program in Religious Studies at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia), this new work […]

The Temple Cult and Early Christian Worship

The Temple Cult and Early Christian Worship

The Judaism of the first century was a religion almost entirely centered around the sacrificial worship of the temple. Faithful pilgrims traveled many miles from all around the diaspora to worship at the temple several times a year, and the temple was central to their faith and piety. While various forms of post-Christian Judaism today […]

The ‘Kinesthetic’ Worship of the Orthodox Church

The Kinesthetic Worship of the Orthodox Church

In a recent post, Donald Miller—post-evangelical author of Blue Like Jazz—admits to not being much of a church-goer. Music and sermons don’t really do it for him, you see, as he is a ‘kinesthetic’ learner or a person who learns by ‘doing.’ There are also auditory and visual learners, who primarily learn by hearing and […]

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

In the Apostle’s Creed (an early Roman baptismal statement of faith) a person confesses belief in “the communion of saints.” While this creed is not widely used in the East, it is important that we understand the communion of saints as a matter of both ontology and incarnation—it is related to the essence or ‘being’ […]

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches

Many evangelical groups today are proposing that we abandon “traditional” models of “being the Church,” and instead replace that stodginess with what is presumably a more “New Testament” model: that of the “house church” or “cell church.” Essentially, they are promoting that the local Church be a de-centralized assembly, meeting in the homes of various individuals, proportionally scattered throughout a city. The presumption is that this is the “Biblical” model for both fellowship and discipleship, being derived from the New Testament itself.

Book Preview: The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition

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This month, Oxford University Press is releasing The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition, the latest publication by Fr. Eugen J. Pentiuc. Fr. Eugen was born and raised in Romania, where he began his theological education despite the shadow of communist oppression. He has since received graduate degrees from both Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D.) and the […]

Our Prayers Arise as Incense

Our Prayers Arise as Incense

Since the very beginning, the right worship of God has always involved incense. From before Israel’s foundations, to the ministry of the temple, to the earliest days of the apostolic Church, incense has continued to be an important, prophetic, and transformative aspect of our heavenly worship. It’s is important to worship because incense is a […]