Eucharistic Bread: Leavened or Unleavened?

In the ninth century the use of unleavened bread had become obligatory in the West, while the Orthodox continued the exclusive offering of leavened bread.  The issue became divisive when the provinces of Byzantine Italy which were under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople were forcibly incorporated into the Church of Rome following their […]

Why the Repetitions of “Lord Have Mercy”?

by Sr. Vassa “Lord, have mercy!” (Frequent refrain in Byzantine Liturgy) Isn’t it somewhat morbid, how often we repeat, in our church-services, “Lord, have mercy” (Kyrie eleison)? It is, if we misunderstand the word “mercy” (eleos), limiting it to what it means in today’s English, a “withholding of punishment.” But the term means much more […]

Did St. Mark of Ephesus Consider the Latins to be a Church?

by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) The following is an excerpt from the Metroplitan’s very important “Intervention and Text to the Meeting of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece (November, 2016),” which can be found here in Greek and here in English. Unfortunately, during the “Council of Crete” some supported the idea that St. Mark of […]

Orthodox Marriage & Its Misunderstanding

There are two misunderstandings about marriage which should be rejected in Orthodox dogmatic theology. by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) The love that exists between a man and a woman is an important theme in many books of Scripture. The Book of Genesis, in particular, tells us of holy and pious couples, such as Abraham and Sarah, […]

The Right Time

by Fr. Deacon James K. Cairns II When is the right time to talk about death?  It is not a topic that we often contemplate or even like to generally dwell on.  In our society, we live in the now.  We have become creatures of instant gratification with the advent of computers and the several […]

Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection?

by Ian Hutchinson, MIT I’m a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, and this weekend, I’m celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. So are dozens of my colleagues. How can this be? Hypothesis one: We’re not talking about a literal resurrection. Perhaps it is just an inspiring myth that served to justify the propagation […]

Are John 3 and 6 About Baptism and Eucharist?

by Seraphim Hamilton There is a convergence of language in John 3 and 6. Both chapters contain the rare (for John) phrase “Son of Man” a reference to the ascending High Priest in Daniel 7. Both contrast flesh and Spirit. Both refer to the promise of the new exodus. Both allude strongly to Ezekiel 36-37. […]

Why Not “Open Communion”?

from the OCA.org website Especially at the feast of Pascha (Easter) non-Orthodox Christians ask why they may not receive Holy Communion in Orthodox parishes. As painful as this refusal is, it is based on our understanding of the true meaning of the sacrament as revealed in Scripture and ecclesial experience. A few months ago someone […]