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Entries from August 31st, 2011

Looking Death in the Face or The Aesthetics of Dying

August 31st, 2011 3 Comments

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (1Cor 15:54-55)

As a parish priest one has the privilege to face all aspects of human life from birth until the final departure. In the eyes of a priest, humanity is exposed in its most glorious and most deplorable experiences. Among them one of the most challenging is death. Even writing about it is a difficult task because it is a very unpopular subject.  Nobody wants to die and even more so, nobody wants to talk about it, is a taboo, a place where you just don’t want to go… Continue reading

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‚ the Healer of cancer">Paraklesis to the Mother of God Pantanassa the Healer of cancer

August 13th, 2011 No Comments

The holy and miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary was brought to the Vatopedi monastery by the blessed elder Joseph from Nea Skete. The Monastery of Vatopedi is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula (Greece) and is located on the northeastern side of the peninsula. It operates as a coenobitic monastery(a communal monastic community). As of 1999, it is inhabited by 80 monks and is second in hierarchical rank among the monasteries of the mountain.

The first record of the icon’s miraculous powers is from the witness of Elder Joseph. One day a young man from Cyprus went to visit and entered into the church. At that point, the elder witnessed a glowing light radiating from the face of the Theotokos and an invisible power pushed the young man down to the ground. When the young man had recovered from his fall, he began to repent and weep and confessed that he did not believe and was a participant in the black arts. He changed his life and became an Orthodox Christian.

This icon is also known for working many miracles, especially healing people with cancer. There are many recent records of people who have been healed from cancer after participating in the Supplicatory Canon to the Pantanassa at the monastery.

Text from http://russian-crafts.com/russian-saints-icons/pantanassa.html

The following text was translated and set to meter by Fr. Vasile Tudora. Some of the text (especially the heirmoi of each ode) is  based on the translation of the Small Paraklesis to the Most Holy Theotokos from http://goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/paraklesis. This has been done to ensure consistency with the current chanting practice in the Greek Orthodox Churches in America.

Pantanassa Paraklesis Booklet for parish usage

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’s afraid of the Most Holy Virgin Mary?">Whos afraid of the Most Holy Virgin Mary?

August 3rd, 2011 No Comments

The veneration of the Virgin Mary has long been point of contention among Christians. Although it may be difficult to delineate a uniform position among the plethora of Protestant denominations, it is generally recognized that most of the Reformed Churches have no particular place of honor for the Virgin Mary in their theology or worship. Most believe that her role was fulfilled at giving physical birth to the human Jesus Christ and from there on she is nothing but a regular woman that went on with her life, having other children and never to be heard of again. On the other hand the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox, although may differ in some theological aspects, hold the Virgin Mary… Continue reading

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