Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

A journey through our Orthodox faith as we live it every day

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Entries Tagged as 'Liturgical Beauty'

We remember and we honor because it matters

March 8th, 2014 1 Comment

20140308-235337.jpgSunday of Orthodoxy 2014

We all take Orthodoxy for granted and we forget all about Synods, Saints and Holy Fathers. We are mostly ignorant that torture, prison, exile, even death were things experienced by previous generations, even close to us, just to keep the faith. Persians, Turks, Communists, even modern secularists all tried to break the faith but all failed.

However the greatest danger comes always from within: heresies. The most dangerous are things that seem right, are apparently well intended but are actually not. In the First ecumenical council one iota (the letter i in Greek alphabet) made the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy (homoousios vs homiousios).

The last ecumenical council argued over what a kiss represents. What do I believe when I venerate an… Continue reading

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In The Footsteps Of The Old Masters Of Byzantium

July 16th, 2012 5 Comments

The Beginnings

When Saint Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire in the provincial but well positioned city of Byzantium, his aspiration was not only to transfer the power of Rome to the East but also to overshadow the eternal city with monuments of architecture that will find no rivalry in the world. Miraculously converted to Christianity, Constantine took the small city on the Bosphorus and built it from the ground into a Christian capital, erecting not idolatric temples but Christian churches with an architecture that no one has seen before.

The first Church commissioned by Constantine still stands today, Agia Irene, the Church of Holy Peace. The Church of the Holy Apostles, the… Continue reading

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The Byzantine Style – By Presbytera and Architect Mirela Tudora

July 6th, 2012 2 Comments

Trying to define the Byzantine style only from an architectural point of view one may sorely miss its deep spiritual meaning. Looking only superficial one might think that this style is stuck in thousand year old formal representation, not keeping the pace with all the discoveries in the science and the psychology of the building. But I am asking you: how many times visiting a gothic building you felt that the acute angles and sore heights are quite intimidating, not protective? How many of the modern, original and impressive temples designed by famous architects are not helping you find peace to pray? On the other hand, the architectural language employed by Orthodoxy is aimed to induce the opposite, to produce… Continue reading

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Why We Come to Church or Entering the Bridal Chamber

May 2nd, 2012 1 Comment

Christ is risen!

A new church opening is a major event in the life of a parish that gathers together the entire body of its members in the extraordinary joy of a mission well accomplished. The reason why parishes build such new traditional Church buildings, beside the obvious capacity requirements, is to bring the community closer to the ideal Orthodox way of worshiping, through spaces, shapes and finishes that are appropriate for its intended liturgical purpose. This means that a new church will not only host more people but will also allow them to worship in a more meaningful manner.

As a community gets closer to enter a new… Continue reading

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The implications of music in the liturgical life of the Church

November 10th, 2011 6 Comments

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.(Ps 146:2)

Like with any of the other arts employed by the Orthodox Church in its worship, the music does not serve a purpose in itself. Once used in Church the music drops its role as simply embellishing the services and it is elevated to convey, on a deeper level, the meaning of the prayer contained in the hymns of the church and make them resonate with our souls through its melodies. Great saints of the Church, like John Damascene, Ephraim the Syrian, Roman the Melodios, Andrew of Crete, Joseph the Hymnographer, Kosmas the Poet, John Koukouzelis and many others, have carefully matched the meter of… Continue reading

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The Six Psalms and the Extinguishing of Candles

August 30th, 2010 4 Comments

At the very Beginning of the service of Orthros (Matins) the Typicon prescribes the reading   of the “Six Psalms,”  or “Hexapsalm” i.e. Psalms 3, 37, 62, 87, 102, and 142, read in that order, and combined into a single whole.

The faithful should be aware of the fact that the reading of the “Six Psalms” is one of the most important points in the service , a time when all should put aside other thoughts, stand quietly, and concentrate on these penitential prayers. The reading does not constitute a pause in Divine Services, a time during which to go for a walk outside or to talk to one’s neighbor. It is one of the holiest moments… Continue reading

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Heavenly Crosses – The Master Yuri Feodorov

November 13th, 2009 7 Comments

In one of my pilgrimages I happend to arrive at the great Lavra Pecerska in Kiev, Ukraine and there I found in a small flee market, organized at the entrance of the Monastery, a gentlemen who was selling the most beautifull crosses I’ve ever seen. I liked them so much that I’ve spent all my money I had with me on those crosses (they were not that expensive and I did not had that much money…). The other day I stumbled upon an article about the master that fashioned those crosses.  Read it bellow and enjoy the pictures. Don’t forget to click also on the links at the bottom for some more breathtaking Orthodox creations.
When a physicist by education becomes an artist by calling, it can be regarded as a… Continue reading

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Spiritual paparazzi

November 8th, 2009 No Comments

The quest for catching a glimpse of God

paparazziThere is no secret for any one that I am a passionate amateur photographer. As any other photo enthusiast I get caught up into the quest for the best resolution camera, the clearest, low dispersion, aspherical glass and all the other bells and whistles of photography; all this to make sure that I will be able to capture the best image possible at any given time. My passion for capturing image is nothing particularly odd; on the contrary, I would argue, is a universal pursuit.

Man has a passion for images, for representations because he himself is an image, an image of God. So inherently we are searching for the image of the… Continue reading

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