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Why Love Cannot Exist Without Humility

By Fr. Stephen Powley “Take up the sword of humility and meekness, hold it always in your hand, and mercilessly cut off the head of our chief foe.” This incredible man of God, St. Theophan the Recluse (+1891), passed on many wonderful writings for us. Here are just a few on Humility and Love. Each […]

Church Canons: a Beginner’s Guide

What canons are there in the Church? What do they govern? Do canons restrict people’s freedom or do they help people to exercise their freedom? Why do those hair-splitting formalities even exist in the Church? Is it impossible to get saved without them? FOMA Magazine asked Archpriest Demetrius Pashkov, who is a professor in the Department of World and Russian […]

Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

by C. S. Lewis We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed. Any theories we build up as to how Christ’s death did all […]

Caveat Emptor: Ware’s ‘The Orthodox Church’

This is a short post on changes in the book “The Orthodox Church” by Kallistos Timothy Ware regarding the Orthodox teaching about contraception. Natural family planning is acceptable, because it simply involves abstinence from sex during times when fertility is likely. Such is the teaching of the Church of Greece as expressed in her encyclical […]

The Ancient Western Way of Making the Sign of the Cross

The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of both the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity.  The early Church Fathers attested to the use of the sign of the cross. Tertullian (d. 250) described the exceptional frequency of the sign of the cross being made: “In all […]

The Sacrifice to End All Sacrifices

by Fr. Stephen DeYoung As mentioned previously, the fact that the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament are no longer observed within Christian communities, beginning with the apostolic community, has been used to marginalize the commandments of the Law regarding worship in toto. While the idea that Christ’s offering of himself as a pleasing sacrifice […]

Why Do the Orthodox Sometimes Celebrate Pascha (Easter) on a Different Day from Roman Catholics?

by Fr. Basil Biberdorf Sigh. It’s time for that annual round of ABSOLUTELY WRONG “Why Orthodox Pascha [Easter] doesn’t line up with Western Easter every year” articles. It’s very simple. The basic principle is: Pascha happens the first Sunday following the first full moon following the vernal (spring) equinox, which is assumed as the invariant […]

Stump the Priest: Raising Hands at the Liturgy

by Fr. John Whiteford Question: “Is it proper for laymen to raise their hands in prayer during the consecration of the Eucharist and the Lord’s Prayer?” No. Raising hands in prayer is a very ancient practice, and following this practice is private prayer is certainly acceptable. However, even among the clergy, only the presiding clergyman […]