Orthodoxy Studies

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Tradition of the Jesus Prayer

Table of Contents A study on the tradition of the Jesus Prayer in Eastern Christendom. Introduction “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” These are the words repeated continuously by Eastern Christian monks, and constantly used throughout the Orthodox liturgies, even in its simplest form, Kirie eleison, “Lord have mercy.” The prayer directed to the “Lord Jesus Christ” has behind it a long legacy, and is commonly called the “Jesus Prayer.” The tradition of the “Jesus Prayer” is a prominent tradition in all Eastern Christian churches. It is a long tradition, and many commentators on this

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Ecumenical Movements and the Problem of Authority

Table of Contents A short essay on the Ecumenical Movement, with information and thoughts about the mission of the World Council of Churches. I was recently asked what my thoughts were on the Ecumenical Movement and whether or not I believed such a great spiritual feat was possible. Since I attend an Old Calendar Church very much skeptical of the Ecumenical Movement, and was asked this question by a friend of mine from a certain Christian denomination known to make great strides for the cause, I found myself in a bit of dilemma. “Should I base my response on my

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Friday of the Crucifixion

Table of Contents An excellent sermon on Friday of the Crucifixion (Good Friday) given in Arabic by the late Bishop Gregorios. It is available in audio cassettes recorded by the Coptic Institute of Higher Studies in Egypt. Translated into English by Bishoy K. R. Dawood. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the one God. Amen. The Church continuously proclaims, and in particular on the Friday of the Crucifixion, its saying: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy the living, the immortal: O You who was crucified on our behalf, have mercy on us. So what

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Icons

Table of Contents An article that defends the use and veneration of icons in the Church against the three main iconoclastic arguments. Written by Matthew Saadalla, and edited by Bishoy Kamal Rofail. Iconography of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos Virgin Mary, and the saints who have died in the faith, stands as a great heritage in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Iconography has existed within Christianity perhaps since apostolic times. The earliest evidence of icons is found in the catacombs. Later, in the early house churches, there were icons that focused on Old Testament themes, which were in turn taken

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Callings

Table of Contents This was originally written in response to a discussion on whether or not marriage, monasticism, priesthood, etc… were callings, or whether they were vocations chosen by individuals. It is worth noting that the word calling here is not being used in the sense commonly understood by the Roman Catholic Church. A calling in the context of this article is an active, direct, and obvious call from God: a Revelation. A Classic Example of a Calling From the life story of ‘St. Antony the Father of Monasticism by St. Athanasius’: “Antony, as though God has put him in

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James, the Brother of the Lord

Table of Contents An article that uncovers the early references to James, the brother of the Lord, and researches the actual familial relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ with James and the other brothers and sisters mentioned in the Holy Bible. Introduction One is often confused about the term “brother of the Lord” in the New Testament, especially when we, as Orthodox Christians, believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, who remained a Virgin throughout her life, hence the title “Ever-Virgin.” But then, what is all this talk about James, the brother of the Lord?

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Sacraments of the Church

Table of Contents An introduction to the Seven Sacraments of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Currently, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is available. The Anointing (Unction) of the Sick “In My name… they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk. 16:17,18). Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness may make us glimpse death. Illness may lead to anguish of heart, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. Cutting both ways, illness can

Read More »

Architecture of the Coptic Church

Table of Contents This article provides an in-depth description of the construction of the Coptic Church and the meaning of its architecture. The article also addresses the following topics: the meaning of the church, the church building, the symbolism of the Coptic Church’s architecture, the crosses, the church tower, pillars and ambon, the use of iconostasis, the ciborium, stairs, the nave, and the baptistery architecture. Introduction “My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel” (1 Kings 8:17). Architecture is the art and science of building. Besides providing

Read More »

Tradition of the Jesus Prayer

Table of Contents A study on the tradition of the Jesus Prayer in Eastern Christendom. Introduction “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” These are the words repeated continuously by Eastern Christian monks, and constantly used throughout the Orthodox liturgies, even in its simplest form, Kirie eleison, “Lord have mercy.” The prayer directed to the “Lord Jesus Christ” has behind it a long legacy, and is commonly called the “Jesus Prayer.” The tradition of the “Jesus Prayer” is a prominent tradition in all Eastern Christian churches. It is a long tradition, and many commentators on this

Read More »

Ecumenical Movements and the Problem of Authority

Table of Contents A short essay on the Ecumenical Movement, with information and thoughts about the mission of the World Council of Churches. I was recently asked what my thoughts were on the Ecumenical Movement and whether or not I believed such a great spiritual feat was possible. Since I attend an Old Calendar Church very much skeptical of the Ecumenical Movement, and was asked this question by a friend of mine from a certain Christian denomination known to make great strides for the cause, I found myself in a bit of dilemma. “Should I base my response on my

Read More »

Friday of the Crucifixion

Table of Contents An excellent sermon on Friday of the Crucifixion (Good Friday) given in Arabic by the late Bishop Gregorios. It is available in audio cassettes recorded by the Coptic Institute of Higher Studies in Egypt. Translated into English by Bishoy K. R. Dawood. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the one God. Amen. The Church continuously proclaims, and in particular on the Friday of the Crucifixion, its saying: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy the living, the immortal: O You who was crucified on our behalf, have mercy on us. So what

Read More »

Icons

Table of Contents An article that defends the use and veneration of icons in the Church against the three main iconoclastic arguments. Written by Matthew Saadalla, and edited by Bishoy Kamal Rofail. Iconography of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos Virgin Mary, and the saints who have died in the faith, stands as a great heritage in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Iconography has existed within Christianity perhaps since apostolic times. The earliest evidence of icons is found in the catacombs. Later, in the early house churches, there were icons that focused on Old Testament themes, which were in turn taken

Read More »

Callings

Table of Contents This was originally written in response to a discussion on whether or not marriage, monasticism, priesthood, etc… were callings, or whether they were vocations chosen by individuals. It is worth noting that the word calling here is not being used in the sense commonly understood by the Roman Catholic Church. A calling in the context of this article is an active, direct, and obvious call from God: a Revelation. A Classic Example of a Calling From the life story of ‘St. Antony the Father of Monasticism by St. Athanasius’: “Antony, as though God has put him in

Read More »

James, the Brother of the Lord

Table of Contents An article that uncovers the early references to James, the brother of the Lord, and researches the actual familial relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ with James and the other brothers and sisters mentioned in the Holy Bible. Introduction One is often confused about the term “brother of the Lord” in the New Testament, especially when we, as Orthodox Christians, believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, who remained a Virgin throughout her life, hence the title “Ever-Virgin.” But then, what is all this talk about James, the brother of the Lord?

Read More »

Sacraments of the Church

Table of Contents An introduction to the Seven Sacraments of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Currently, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is available. The Anointing (Unction) of the Sick “In My name… they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk. 16:17,18). Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness may make us glimpse death. Illness may lead to anguish of heart, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. Cutting both ways, illness can

Read More »

Architecture of the Coptic Church

Table of Contents This article provides an in-depth description of the construction of the Coptic Church and the meaning of its architecture. The article also addresses the following topics: the meaning of the church, the church building, the symbolism of the Coptic Church’s architecture, the crosses, the church tower, pillars and ambon, the use of iconostasis, the ciborium, stairs, the nave, and the baptistery architecture. Introduction “My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel” (1 Kings 8:17). Architecture is the art and science of building. Besides providing

Read More »