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
Tags: Anca · Architecture · Baptist · building · byzantine · christian · church · construction · Euless · Forerunner · John · Mirela · New · orthodox · saint · temple · Texas · Tudora
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
Tags: Architect · Architecture · byzantine · cross-in-square · dome · Eastern · groin · Mirela · orthodoxy · presbytera · style · Tudora · vaults
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
Tags: Architecture · art · byzantine · church · emotions · Euless · experiences · false · feelings · New · orthodox · Saint John · saints
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
Tags: America · byzantine · choir · Eastern · Greek · influence · Modes · music · octoechos · orthodox · psalti · psaltic · Russian · Western
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
Tags: hexapsalm · Liturgy · Matins · Orthros · psalms · six · typicon · ustav
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
Tags: art · Cross · feodorov · gold · orthodox · Russia · silver