In а dark and almost silent hospital room, а patient blankly stares somewhere into the distance. The one, whom God has given а smile to smile, and а laugh to laugh, is overwhelmed with the reality of depression.
In the year 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leon III to fight the authority of the Emperor of the East, seeking to declare him a heretic.
The greatest act of Christian corporate worship is the Holy Eucharist, through which we achieve an intimate union (“communion”) with God and His People. So central is the Eucharist in the life of the Christian, that the first century Christian bishop and martyr, St Ignatius of Antioch, called it “the medicine of immortality and the antidote to death.”
One of the best-known prayers in our Church is the prayer to the Holy Spirit, which begins every rite and service known to Orthodoxy: "O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things. Treasury of blessings and Giver-of-Life: come and abide in us, cleanse us of every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One."
It has been very important to me at each seminar to begin my presentation with a short reflection about the subject of the seminar which in this case is suffering and pain. Just recently having visited one of our parishioners who was facing the ultimate challenge of our life-death, I looked into her puzzling eyes. Although she was looking at me, I knew that she was also looking for something beyond me and this world.
It is my honor to present thoughts for your consideration on the subject of "The Role of Laity in our Church". This is a serious subject and one that you hear about every Sunday, every church meeting, fellowship gathering as well as in discussion groups led by the clergy, parish leaders and each other in your homes or in the local coffee shops.
A brother in Christ once asked what could be done to ensure that his children would stay with the Orthodox Church once they leave home. As a mother of three grown children, I shared things that worked for our family to help our children to keep attending the Orthodox Church once they left home.
Among the BISHOPS, The Ecumenical Patriarch (Patriarch of Constantinople -- the First Among Equals) is addressed as "His All-Holiness (name)" in writing or reference, and as "Your All-Holiness" in direct address.
Ask an Orthodox Christian what the difference is between Orthodoxy and other Christian Churches and you will probably hear as many answers as people you approach.
When one hears the word "family" the first thing to come to mind, probably, are those people to whom one is related by blood or marriage. The Church, though, presents us with a wider understanding of family. A family is any group of people who embrace and pass on the same story of their identity, their beginnings and their ultimate goal or destination.
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