On the Error of Nature Worshipers

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich Thus then we Christians understand the earth, the sun and the stars as the symbols of spiritual reality and in no way as the reality itself. Pagans of all ages, however, have mistaken those luminous bodies of the firmament for (spiritual) reality. As soon as they took them for (spiritual) reality […]

On the Essence and Energies of God

by St. Basil the Great “It is by His energies that we say we know our God; we do not assert that we can come near to the essence itself, for His energeia descend to us, but His essence remains unapproachable.” (St. Basil’s Epistle 234 (ad Amphilochium), P.G., XXXII, 869 AB. Cf. )     […]

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 […]

Does the Orthodox Church have a Pope?

by St. Nikolai Velimorivich Well, oh yes! It has its own Pope, greater than all popes and patriarch in the world. It has had and will have from the beginning to the end of the ages. This is the same pope invoked by all Christ’s Apostles, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and reason, […]

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 […]