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 'Orthodox Feasts'

Are we religious or are we faithful?

April 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Pascha_multitudesI read a very interesting article a few weeks ago that caught my undivided attention. The title was very daring to begin with: “Religious people are dangerous” and, on top of that, it was written by an Orthodox Bishop, so that made it even more thought-provoking.  The following passage summarizes it best: “You who go to church, how has the Church benefitted you? As we said yesterday, we went to the shrines, you saw the fathers, you saw the holy relics, you saw Mount Athos, you saw the Panagia in Tinos, you saw everything, and now we have returned. Ultimately of what benefit will all these things be? Have our hearts transformed? Have we become more humble people? Are we… Continue reading

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Holy Week and Pascha 2013

May 8th, 2013 1 Comment

Enjoy the photos from our first Holy Week and Pascha in the New Church

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The dividing wall of hostility – Theophany of our Lord

January 6th, 2011 2 Comments

Reading yesterday a Romanian Akathist Hymn dedicated to Epiphany (You can read it here in Romanian) I was moved by the following verse
“Glory to you cause with Your body You broke down the dividing wall of hostility, so even us, who are far of upon the sea, will get closer to you. “
Doing a bit of biblical digging I found the corresponding scriptural context
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:13-14)
From another source I found out that… Continue reading

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How Santa stole Christmas or Resisting the de-Christianization of Christianity

December 20th, 2010 No Comments

“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Mt. 13:33)
Christ came into the world as one of us, to change us from within. He is the leaven of a new world, and although born as a little babe, in a humble and forgotten manger he starts a chain reaction that will reach the entire earth.

The apostles were the first to react to this catalyst and they were changed into something better, from humble fishermen into fishers of men, becoming themselves agents of change for the world.

Through their missionary work entire populations were converted to Christianity, temples were changed into churches… Continue reading

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The Akathyst of the Holy Martyr Menas the Wonderworker

March 11th, 2010 2 Comments

The shrine of St. Menas used to be for the Ancient Eastern Orthodox world what Lourdes is for Roman Catholics, a place where thousands of pilgrims would bring their prayers in distress and receive the grace of God in return, through the intercessions of the Holy Martyr.
Though the Shrine of Saint Menas was one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the early Middle Ages, it fell into oblivion over the centuries with the Muslim occupation and was even believed by many scholars to be a myth. Following its discovery in 1905, the ruins of the fabled city of St. Menas were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as one of the five most historically important… Continue reading

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Theophany – reflections on the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ

January 6th, 2010 No Comments

The word Baptism comes, to no surprise,  from Greek: baptisma, meaning immersion into water. So baptism is linked with water by definition. It is the general understanding that through the baptism the person that is baptized is receiving a blessing. In Christ case however the things  are different.  John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, but Christ had no sin.  Here is what a troparion form the Orthros service of the feast says: 

Christ is baptized with us, even though He is above all purity; and thus He infuses  sanctification into the water, which then becomes the purifying agent of our souls.

 Through the baptism of the Lord the waters received God’s blessing, being transformed in… Continue reading

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The Orthodox Nativity Fast Can Help Prevent Holiday Blues and Christmas Depression – Lisa C. DeLuca

November 28th, 2008 1 Comment

Much of the post-holiday blues and Christmas depression that occur in the United States may have something to do with the way Americans celebrate Christmas. The Orthodox Nativity fast may be the remedy many people need. When people are suffering in their lives with things like divorce or other losses, financial stress, aging or illness; the sudden onset of pre-Christmas cheeriness may leave them feeling even more isolated and deprived, because the rest of world is portrayed as happy and fulfilled in stark contrast to how they feel. Others who do embrace pre-holiday celebrations often feel let down and weighed down by food and debt shortly after Christmas day. The novelty of the new material things wears off quickly, friends and family go home, and people may be left feeling blue. This is the feeling known as post-Christmas let-down. The Orthodox way of celebrating Christmas can yield completely different results.
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