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email: pater@christopherklitou.com 

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From time to time I am sent, via email, questions on the Orthodox faith and worship. The following are those which I considered to be the most interesting. The answers to the questions are my own personal views and do not represent the Church's official reply.

 

30/1/2006

QUESTION 1

Many allege that during the Annunciation, the Mother of God conceived Christ after smelling a lily which was offered to her by the Archangel. This fact is not found in any of the Gospels, but is depicted in Icons. Moreover, the lily is strongly regarded as a symbol of virginity. Is this fact true or is this an innovation?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

30/1/2006

QUESTION

2

According to the sacred canons of our Church, Clerics are not allowed to take secular or political positions. But in contemporary history we have examples of clerics (Archbishop Macarius of Cyprus, Damascenos of Athens ect.) who it is clear have violated these canons. Was this permissible?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

6/2/2006

QUESTION

3

I came across your wonderful website and noticed that you have a Sister Mariam at your Church as a Deaconess. Is she a properly Ordained Deaconess as St. Nectarius had in Aegina? I have heard that the Church of Greece has been thinking of reinstating this Order to the Church just as she had in Ancient times.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

12/3/2006

QUESTION

4

In Turin of Italy, the Roman Catholic Church safeguards a sheet which is considered by her priests as the sheet that Joseph wrapped the Body of our Lord after it was taken down from the Cross. What is the Orthodox view on the authenticity of the Shroud?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

24/3/2006

QUESTION

5

From various historical sources, we are informed that Constantine the Great was guilty of many murders and other grave crimes. Was his recognition as a Saint by the Church correct?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

8/4/2006

QUESTION

6

The holy light of Jerusalem does not reach every church of the Orthodox world. What is the origin of the light which is distributed by the priests who have not received the holy light and how can it be considered as consecrated?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

20/4/2006

QUESTION

7

Why do people call the Holy Saturday Morning service as the First Resurrection and the Midnight service as the Second Resurrection? Are there two Resurrections?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

30/4/2006

QUESTION

8

In St. Chrysostom's Easter Sermon we read: "Ye who have fasted and ye who have not, rejoice this day." Some Christians believe that St. Chrysostom allows us to receive the Holy Communion on Easter without any preparatory fasting. Is this interpretation correct or does the Holy Father mean something else?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

13/5/2006 -

25/9/2006

QUESTION

9

Should the faithful kneel during the consecration of the Precious Gifts? Some say that it is permitted to kneel everyday except on Sundays while others say that it is completely forbidden. What ultimately is correct?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/6/2006

QUESTION

10

We maintain a list of Greek Orthodox namedays in Greek and English. We have visited your site... some of the names that you include have troubled us since they are not included in the Orthodox synaxarium. You have included names that are not canonised by the Orthodox hierarchy and thus your list is invalid. Could you please enlighten us.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

13/11/2006

QUESTION

11

According to a local custom, Christians who live in Macedonia walk on burning coals on the feast of St. Constantine in order to honour him. Some people claim that this custom has idolatrous roots and therefore it is not acceptable. Is it permitted by our faith or not?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

11/1/2007

QUESTION

12

It is claimed that the human race was reproduced through incest between Adam and Eve's children. Is that true according to the scriptures?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

15/3/2007

QUESTION

13

In the General Epistle of St. James, we read that Christians are not allowed to take oaths. In spite of this, the Church performs oaths in her services which are also included in her Liturgical books. How can something like this be justified?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

24/4/2007

QUESTION

14

Some priests who took an active part in the wars of 1918 and 1940 kept on performing the Divine Liturgy and other holy services despite the fact they had killed enemy soldiers. How could this be acceptable?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

11/5/2007

QUESTION

15

Christ preached the people to have love for all men and to forgive each other. God in the Old Testament proclaims “an eye for an eye”. Is this not a contradiction?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

10/6/2007

QUESTION

16

For what reason did Judas receive the 30 pieces of silver to betray Christ? As Christ had developed an extensive social activity, it was impossible for the Scribes and the Pharisees not to recognize him so as to arrest him.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

2/9/2007

QUESTION

17

Many Christians show a special devotion to the bread and wine used in their diet (they avoid disposing them etc.) because they see them in some way as being “blessed” because of the Mystical Supper. Others pay special reverence or anoint the oil from vigil lamps which are lit in front of Icons or on the Holy Table. Lastly, some believe that the flow of blood after partaking of the Holy Gifts results in a desecration or loss of the Lord’s Blood which they see as flowing in our veins after having Holy Communion.
Which of all these is true and which an exaggeration or rejectable?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

3/11/2007

QUESTION

18

The Sacraments of the Western Churches are seen by the Orthodox Church as non valid except that of baptism. In the case where people return to the Orthodox Church, they are received only though the Mystery of Holy Chrism. But on what does the difference between the sacraments rest? Either Divine Grace acts on all or does not accomplish any.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

19/6/2008

QUESTION

19

According to our faith the sins that are confessed to a priest are considered as non-existent and the person that has committed them is fully forgiven. Despite of that, certain sins prevent someone from becoming a priest. Why does this happen even after absolution?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

23/6/2008

QUESTION

20

According to the Holy Canons of our Church, archimandrites are not allowed to bless a wedding. Why is this prohibition imposed?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

23/6/2008

QUESTION

21

According to the Holy Canons of our Church the Christian Pascha cannot be celebrated on the day on which the Jewish Pascha (Passover) is celebrated. Why is this?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

13/9/2008

QUESTION

22

In which way and according to what criteria was the separation of the canonical from the apocryphal text done by the fathers? If the apocryphal gospels are not canonical, why did the Church rely on them to formulate certain feasts of the Mother of God such as the Dormition and Entry?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

6/12/2008

QUESTION

23

 

When I baptize Greek children, the "tradition" that the Greeks request is one where the Godparents cover the child with oil after the priest has anointed the child. They speak of having "baptized the child." (even though it is the priest himself that immerses the child). I do not see this practice stated in the rubrics in your euchologion, but it is found in the bilingual "Priest's Service Book" (Mikron Euchologion) printed in Greek and English by Fr Evagoras Constantinides. The whole body anointing by the Godparents is not found in Antiochian, Romanian or Russian practice. So, my questions are as follows: Do you do this in the Church of Cyprus? What is the significance/meaning of this? Is it not theologically incorrect for a layperson to say "he/she baptized so and so" (I do realize they can do this in an emergency)? Do you know when and where this practice first started?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

6/12/2008

QUESTION

24

What is the proper Greek word or phrase to say to a person when they ask for the blessing from a priest? We have these wonderful "Ya' Ya's" who speak no english but come with their children and grandchildren. I would love to respond to them, properly, in Greek.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

18/5/2009

QUESTION

25

The Orthodox Icon of our Lord’s Resurrection has the inscription “Descent into Hades”. How is this inscription justified as Christ did not descend into Hades during his Resurrection but is coming out of it. Some Icon painters use the inscription “The Resurrection”.
SEE ANSWER ►►►

24/6/2009

QUESTION

26

We know even from the ancient document found at Saint Catherine’s in the late 1800's, bound at the end of a Bible in Greek, Διδαχή των Αποστόλων - the "Didache" that baptism was to be performed in “LIVING WATER”, which naturally includes a river or stream, but also a lake such as the “Sea of Galilee”. A layman from Russia has objected to baptism in the Mediterranean “because it contains salt” [his words]. Please let me know if in Cyprus there have been instances of baptism in the sea. If not, do you know of any “Canon” which bans baptizing in the sea since the seas are all “salt water bodies”, unlike a lake.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

24/6/2009

QUESTION

27

Is it “forbidden” by any canon or “custom” to baptize a second infant or adult in the SAME water in the baptismal tank in the church immediately after an infant has been baptized and there are families expecting to have their infants baptized? It is true that one must EMPTY out the water, and put in FRESH WATER, and bless it, for a second baptism? I have never encountered such objections until a fellow from Russia told me that a priest is not allowed to baptize a SECOND person in the SAME water, but must perform such a “second” baptism on the following day!

SEE ANSWER ►►►

2/7/2009

QUESTION

28

...My mother has for many years had psychological problems. About six months ago a friend of a friend came to our house and spoke to us about magic (witchcraft) having been done on certain items and parts of the house. My mother sprinkled Holy water on the items and they turned black. At certain times my mother would find pins with cotton and other such items but we didn’t pay them any attention. The person who told us about the magic told us to take my mother to St. Paraskeva, to a certain church, so that the Priest could read a prayer over her. This we did. The moment the priest was reading over my mother she began to say; “why most holy Lady and my Christ are they doing this to me, what have I done to them?” and she was crying. After the reading of the prayers, I asked her what happened and she told me that she saw certain of our relatives holding in their hands human effigies and stabbing them with pins, she also saw their faces...  There are 4-5 people who are doing these things, when we see them we say the Jesus prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me. There are times when we are forced to meet them. My mother fears for us that maybe they would try to harm us. I ask for your help...

SEE ANSWER ►►►

4/7/2009

QUESTION

29

I have visited your website many times and consider it a great source of information and an archive of Church Scriptures/Rubrics. Though, I have a question regarding the practices of our Orthodox Faith.
Are all unmarried clergy (ie. archimandrites, bishops) required to receive a new name at their first ordination (that of deacon)?
I always thought a new name was given, but I have discovered that this is not the case for some clergy/hierarchs.
SEE ANSWER ►►►

24/8/2009

QUESTION

30

While it goes back a few years, I remember seeing the Church of Cyprus a number of times condemning the wrong teachings of freemasonry. Has anything changed in this regard?
Although all my life was spent in the Greek Archdiocese of America, as is sadly the case with a number of other clergy in the GOAA, my family was abandoned by the hierarchy in large part because of this very issue...

SEE ANSWER ►►►

11/10/2009

QUESTION

31

Some people claim that certain professions (e.g. actor, singer, lawyer etc.) are not compatible with Christian life and spirituality. Is this view acceptable or not?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

13/12/2009

QUESTION

32

In your Ecclesiastical Calendar for December, please correct the days of fasting. The eating of fish ends on the 17th of the month. You have continued this until the Eve of Christmas which is a day that not even oil is allowed.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

16/12/2009

QUESTION

33

 

Since you write icons, please let me ask if you know or have read why behind our Lord in the icon of His Ascension, we see at the bottom, 2 semi circles, and behind Him, 5 concentric circles, each in a different colour, or 4 plus a black centre. In two places I found that these circles represent the Seven Heavens, because of the statement of the Apostle Saint Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians 4:10 that Our Lord has “ascended up far above all the heavens.” [Does this word “all” not suggest more than only “three”?] Furthermore, that the All-Holy Trinity dwells in an inaccesible abode, precisely above all the “Seven Heavens”. I do not see how this could be attributed to Gnostic heretics. At one time, I assumed the term “7 heavens” was alien to Orthodoxy but I have found it in St. Irenaeus “Against the Heresies" Book 2, ch. 30:7”.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

16/12/2009

QUESTION

34

 

I want to ask you about the identity of the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13 which contrary to what we see in liturgical texts where we read with the “Son of Man” is brought Before the Ancient of days, and that this Ancient of days is Christ our Lord, therefore not God the Father. Against this, we see that none other than a very competent person, disciple of Saint Polycarp, namely according to Saint Irenaeus in 4 instances explicitly declares our Lord Himself is this Son of Man, and that God the Father is the “Ancient of days” before whom our Lord, is brought, advancing on clouds, and so does Saint Justin Martyr in 2 places in his Dialogue with Trypho a Jew, state that the Son of man is Christ our Lord.
The Russian Church in Exile published an official statement declaring that the Son of man is not our Lord, because they have declared that the Ancient of days is Christ himself, and not the Father. I wonder if at times, certain prelates choose to believe they are doctrinally, dogmatically infallible with their own pious persuasion and perhaps ignorance of Holy Scripture, in addition to disregarding what we see left in the writings of Saint Justin the Martyr, and Saint Irenaeus, whom I view as far more credible than Russian prelates, notwithstanding their position in “authority”.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/3/2010

QUESTION

35

 

I was wondering if You could briefly explain the ranking of priests in our Church. I am a little confused with the titles (or ranks) of Presbyter (Πρεσβύτερος), Oeconomos (Οικονόμος) and Protopresbyter (Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος). I originally understood that the Epigonation was worn by Oeconomos and Protopresbyter (plus Archimandrite) priests only, and that they alone could be confessors. Yet I know of Presbyters who wear the epigonation and are confessors. And of Archimandrites, of who wear the epigonation, yet are still not confessors. Does not the epigonation have a connection to the rank of confessor? Do these ranks among the priests determine what a priest can and cannot do (ie. wear a pectoral cross, hear confession)?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/3/2010

QUESTION

36

 

Why is it that in the Divine Liturgy, the Orthodox Church uses leavened bread for Holy Communion. The Roman Catholics state that they use unleavened bread in their ‘Eucharist’ because Jesus used this type of bread at the Last Supper (as did the Jews of Moses's time during Pesar) as it was the only permitted form of bread during Passover. Why is it then that our Church uses leavened bread in the Eucharist?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

16/4/2010

QUESTION

37

I see many icons in Orthodox Churches either for veneration of the faithful or for purchase. What I notice with some (if not many) of these icons is that they have clearly been printed from a computer or a printing machine, and have then (usually) been glued onto a wooden plaque. I had always assumed that icons must be written by an iconographer (with paints) and, after the recommended ‘churching’ of forty days, they are made holy and genuine. Therefore, are these printed versions proper/holy icons?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

31/5/2010

QUESTION

38

This may sound strange, however I have heard that in the Jewish tradition especially those who lived in the time of Jesus, they would pay professional mourners to mourn over their dead. When Jesus performed resurrections there would be mourners that would weep over the dead and it is clearly stated in the miracle of Jairus’ Daughter that there were mourners there. Therefore would you be able to tell me where this tradition arose from, and what benefit is there-if there is one- in hiring mourners to attend the dead. Also is the miracle of Jairus’s Daughter the confirmation of the promise given to the prophet Ezekiel that God will one day open the graves and raise all the dead (Ezk 37:1-14)?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

14/6/2010

QUESTION

39

With regards to the G.O.A. of America, I have seen many things connected to this Archdiocese that are quite unique/unfamiliar. The trends amongst the clergy are different to those typical of Greek clergy (in Greece and the diaspora). Also, the churches look different in many ways: very simple (if any) templons; the use of musical instruments and of male/female choirs (singing in a non-Byzantine way). In other words, the Greek Church established in the U.S.A. seems extremely westernized and I cannot understand why. Are any of these things a breach of Canon Law? Why are they permitted and are unique only to the G.O.A. of America?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

7/7/2010

QUESTION

40

I have read on Wikipedia that the Archbishop of Cyprus is bestowed several unique honours. An example of this is the pastoral staff his Beatitude uses. It is different from others given that it lacks the double serpents and in place has a round ball with the cross on top. Given the lack of authenticity Wikipedia's articles contain, I was wondering if you could explain these honours or privileges (and any others) that are bestowed upon the Primate of the Cypriot Church.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

7/7/2010

QUESTION

41

I have noticed that the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, currently His Beatitude Theodoros, wears something unique when fully vested for the Divine Liturgy. It is a vestment that is almost identical to the epitrakhelion. It is worn over the sakkos, and (usually) has icons sown of various Apostles and Saints. Can this be seen as a second epitrakhelion being worn, or is it simply an Alexandrian tradition that the one (and only) epitrakhelion be worn over the sakkos?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

21/7/2010

QUESTION

42

Which is greater, is it compassion or the law? In the New Testament Jesus says we must be compassionate, but at the same time pious Jews were determined to live by the law in order to find accusation in His Judgment, least He slip. If we take the adulterous woman, Jesus says, he who has not sinned may throw the first stone at her, keeping this statement in mind- (it was the "clean" Jews who asked) for He preached about having compassion towards others, yet they wanted to cause him to "fault" by saying that she should be stoned, because that is what the law required. therefore can it be said that compassion and love for they neighbour is more important than living in the law. In Paul’s letter to the Romans he says; He who does not know God will be judged by his conscience. Therefore is following your conscience sometimes better? For the Lord gave us a law engraved not on a table of stone but a table of flesh. However is it fitting to follow the law to its very letter, as pious Jews once done?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

21/7/2010

QUESTION

43

I was curious if you had any idea why the Kypria (Cypriot) Menaia differs so radically from the Church of Greece Menaia for the feastday of Saint Luke the Apostle (Oct. 18)? It is interesting to me that I have not been able to find any other phylada (pamphlet) that shows a Liti for that feast, except in the Kypria Menaia. In addition they have an alternate Apolytikion that I have not seen elsewhere. Strangely enough, at my parish, they were using a completely different Apolytikion for St. Luke, which I have since learned comes from Slavic texts. This has caused certain problems, since that particular Apolytikion does not have a Greek version!

SEE ANSWER ►►►

28/9/2010

QUESTION

44

In the Ἡμερολόγιον of our Archdiocese, there is a section dedicated to wedding guidelines. It states, “Ἐπιτρέπονται κατ' οἰκονομίαν γάμοι Ὀρθοδόξων μετά ἑτεροδόξων Χριστιανῶν...” What is this οἰκονομία that we have in our religion? What is its meaning and purpose in the Church?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

28/9/2010

QUESTION

45

On Holy Saturday, as he makes his way towards the Holy Sepulchre, the Patriarch of Jerusalem is accompanied by four to six distinct men in uniform. These men wear green jackets and red, Ottoman-style hats. They also follow the Patriarch and his delegation during litanies and processions. I was wondering if you could please explain who these men are and what their connection is to the Church in Jerusalem.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

16/11/2010

QUESTION

46

Our local Churches here often conduct memorial services (μνημόσυνα) during the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. To be more specific, these memorial services are conducted after the singing of «τό ὄνομα Κυρίου εὐλογημένον ἀπό τοῦ νῦν...» (Blessed is the Name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore) and before the Dismissal. I have heard of the memorial services being conducted after the Gospel reading in the local Antiochian Churches. Also, I have noticed that memorial services do not seem to be conducted on Sundays in Cathedrals like those of the Annunciation in Athens and of St George in the Phanar.
I am a little confused with the different practices.Therefore I ask, when should memorial services be conducted (κατά τήν τάξιν) on a Sunday? As the Divine Liturgy is about life, Christ's conquering of death, should a memorial service be conducted after the «Δι' εὐχῶν» (By the prayers of our holy fathers…) and begin immediately next with the
«Εὐλογητός ὁ Θεός ἡμῶν πάντοτε...» (Blessed is our God…)? What is the local custom of the Churches in Limassol?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

8/1/2011

QUESTION

47

I have a question about the praxis in the orthodox church. Is the Talk -Omilía a part of the Divine Leitourgy, or it is not a regular component of it?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

27/1/2011

QUESTION

48 

I had not looked at your English translation of Proskomide until now... I did not yet have a complete English translation for me to see the tiny differences between the established Greek text... I noticed the English translation I received from America, and where the translator, in English, uses the word “Prosphoron”. I wrote to one of the priests stating that only in one Greek-English dictionary I have did I find, in Greek, “Prosphoron”, in addition to “Prosphora”. In the Hieratikon and/or Leitourgikon, only “Prosphora” is found in the Greek text. This afternoon, I found “Prosphoron” in your English translation - which you know I greatly admire, so I wanted to ask you to tell me if this is used in Demotic Greek? Until now I had never before seen “Prosphoron” but only “Prosphora” in English translations... The Greek-English dictionary of Divry and Collins Pocket Greek, both have prosphoron. Is this neuter form found in other books ?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

8/3/2011

QUESTION

49 

Is it true that monks only eat fish, or are they permitted to eat meats (i.e. red meat, poultry) too?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

8/3/2011

QUESTION

50 

What is the difference between the terms Ιερουσαλήμ and Ιεροσόλυμα?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

8/3/2011

QUESTION

51

Is there a limit on the number of εγκόλπια hierarchs are permitted to wear? I at first thought the Primates of the Orthodox Churches are permitted three, Metropolitans two, Bishops one...but have seen otherwise.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/6/2011

QUESTION

52

In the case of a wedding between an Orthodox Christian and a heterodox, during the Service, is the crowning part (The servant of God N. is crowned to the servant of God N.) omitted?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/6/2011

QUESTION

53

Must all people wishing to enter the Holy Orthodox Church through baptism be baptised with a name of a Saint or derived from a holy event or anything similar (e.g. Ευαγγελισμός - Εvangelos/Εvangelia and Σωτήρ - Sotiris/Sotira)? I thought this was the case, and personally prefer it, yet I know of an infant baptised into the Holy Orthodox Church with the name Bella Mia.

SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/6/2011

QUESTION

54

Why do Deacons rearrange their orarion (like that of a subdeacon) when they commune the honourable Body and Blood of Christ during the Divine Liturgy?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

2/9/2011

QUESTION

55

During a συλλείτουργο (co-celebration) of priests, for example, does only the presiding priest perform the καιρός (i.e. "O Lord, send Thine hand from Thy holy habitation above..." )? And in the case of a Bishop presiding the Divine Liturgy, do the priests not perform the καιρός, leaving it to the Bishop to perform?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

9/9/2011

QUESTION

56

Some weeks ago I read a book on baptism and I noticed that the exorcism that precedes baptism is referred to as “exorcism of the catechumens”. Since their target is the demons and the demons are the “exorcised” entities is it correct from a theological point of view to state that these prayers constitute the “exorcism of the catechumens”?

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17/9/2011

QUESTION

57

In cases of imminent death of a Christian is a priest who has not been granted the authority to hear confessions allowed to hear their confession and read the prayer of absolution?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

22/9/2011

QUESTION

58

Some people claim that celibate priests are not capable of giving advice on issues regarding family and relationships since they do not have relavant personal experience. Could that be true?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

23/9/2011

QUESTION

59

The absolution of our sins in mainly granted through the sacrament of penance but other sacraments and sacramentals are also considered as means of forgiveness and absolution since this request appears quite often in their texts. What is the right approach towards the absolution granted through the sacrament of penance compared to other sacraments or services?
SEE ANSWER ►►►

26/9/2011

QUESTION

60 

What is the purpose of the gynaeceum that we see in Christian churches? Couldn’t the separation of women from the rest of the community be considered an act of discrimination? Is this the reason why women were allowed to stand at the left side of the church in recent times?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

27/9/2011

QUESTION

61 

Are Christians allowed to befriend atheists, heretics or people who follow other doctrines/religions? Are they allowed to associate with them even if they propagandize their beliefs?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

29/9/2011

QUESTION

62 

In Greek-speaking areas Pure Monday (Clean/Green Monday) is usually celebrated with joyful festivities that include dancing and wine consumption. In what terms could this festive atmosphere be compatible with the spiritual character of Lent? Should all these customs be abolished in the long run?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

5/10/2011

QUESTION

63

Some people claim that a deceased person's soul visits the places they have lived when they were alive. This supposedly happens for 40 days after their death. Is it true?

SEE ANSWER ►►►

5/10/2011

QUESTION

64

 

There is this person that lives in Odessa Ukraine he talks like he had a direct phone line to God. He has a University and teaches the revolution of the mined. I have seen his kind here in the States before and the bottom line is dollars. He states that Jesus the whole story is a Church lie. He states Jesus lived in Odessa died by fire and is buried there. Now I have heard some things in my life but, never this. I believe first he is a crack pot and an alarmist when it comes to world matters. As far as Religion goes what he talks about is like he came from another world.
Could you please tell me if you have ever heard of a story like this before or is this some new kind of movement?

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12/12/2011

QUESTION

65

I wanted your opinion with a matter that is very important to me. It's about same-sex relations. I wanted to ask why does the church hate and discriminate the gay community, if Jesus' message was to love everyone?! Why does the Church - who preaches this message, discriminate against homosexuals? I also would like to know your own honest opinion about the subject.
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12/1/2012

QUESTION

66

Is it possible for the sacrament of holy unction or other prayers to be read without the direct consent of the patient (e.g. in cases of comma or brain-dead patients etc.), given the fact that the holy grace acts upon the man only through his own free will and choice?

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12/2/2012

QUESTION

67

During his ordination, as he processes around the holy Altar while Dance, Isaiah is sung, a cleric kisses the epigonation of the presiding bishop. What is the significance of the epigonation in this case?
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12/2/2012

QUESTION

68

Having watched the Divine Liturgy broadcast online through RIK (Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation) many times, I have noticed that immediately after saying By the prayers of our holy Fathers..., the priest closes the Royal Gate and the faithful exit the Temple. Is antidoron not distributed by the priest in Cyprus?
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14/3/2012

QUESTION

69

I would like some clarification regarding the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, conducted on the Sundays of Great Lent. Is the οπισθάμβωνος ευχή of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil as follows: Ο ευλογών τους ευλογούντας...? According to the texts on Υour website, it is another prayer, but during the past two Sundays, the priests at our churches here in Melbourne, along with those conducting the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil in Athens (broadcast via ΕΡΤ), have been using Ο ευλογών τους ευλογούντας... Is this justified, or are they simply making a careless mistake?

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18/3/2012

QUESTION

70

I would like to ask for your advice on a problem I have been facing lately. I never had many friends but I consider those I have really valuable. One of those valuable friends is a 22 year-old guy that I met in college... I respect and love him like my brothers... The problem that I am trying to deal with is the fact that an aspect of his life is quite different to what I would consider moral. Specifically, he leads a life full of sexual pleasures, having countless girlfriends and considering sex as one of his major needs that he cannot live without. Although I have tried to talk to him, nothing seems to work... 
Could I just ignore this parameter of his life and focus on those elements in his character that have attracted my respect and love?... Could I still be friends with someone who willingly does something I consider cheap and dirty?... Your own view on the situation and how I can handle it would be really important to me.

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3/5/2012

QUESTION

71 

Why did most of the Jews not accept Christ as the Messiah as they had waited many many years for him to come, what were the reasons they turned against him?
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3/5/2012

QUESTION

72

Why after Christ wasn't any of the Jewish religion followed e.g. circumcision, the Jewish Passover and other requirements of the Law?

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26/6/2012

QUESTION

73

Recently I have been asked to become a sub-deacon and I am a little unsure of the duties required of me and my allowances and restrictions.
Also is a sub-deacon allowed to administer Holy Communion if given a blessing?

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27/6/2012

QUESTION

74

As you know, the holy myrrh was sanctified this year during holy week at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I discovered that this myrrh is used during the mystery of chrismation, but I must ask: is this its only purpose? I was under the impression that the pleasant fragrance that is sprinkled on the congregation during major feast days, and on the epitaphios during the evening service on holy Friday was called myrrh.

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3/7/2012

QUESTION

75

I did not find anyone asking you about the mystery of confession.
I grew up with this mystery, and took it for granted. Now in practice, I see it as being taken out of context. From revealing of thoughts for discipleship in monastic setting, this mystery is now become the Latin LEGAL sacrament to access communion, a "passport" . What is the intended meaning of this mystery for an Orthodox Christian who has not separated himself from the Church through actions like killing, denying our Saviour, or the like? What would be the practical application of confession for an Orthodox layman?

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14/7/2012

QUESTION

76

I had been told recently by a relative that the Holy Communion administered to the faithful who are ill is not the same as, or is somehow 'different' to, the Holy Communion administered during the Divine Liturgy (i.e. Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Chalice). I considered this to be absurd, as Holy Communion is surely one (the same at all times and in all places) just as Christ is one. Therefore, I ask: since it is typical for Holy Communion to be consumed entirely by either the deacon or the priest at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, what happens when a priest is called, for example, at 2:30 a.m. on a Monday to administer Holy Communion to someone who is on their deathbed? Where does the Holy Communion come from? Is there always Holy Communion kept in the tabernacle?

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3/9/2012

QUESTION

77

I am sorry to disturb you again with a question concerning the making of catechumens and baptism/myron-anointing. I will soon baptize a Greek baby.
I usually follow the ritual according to the Russian typikon. A major difference is that we do not anoint the whole body before baptism, but only forehead, ears, breast, hands/feet, and we proceed to baptize.
On your website you have published the complete text, to be found in official euchologia. However, I have looked at many videos of baptisms performed by Greek priests, and noticed that the ritual was consistently shortened, and many prayers were skipped. For example: after the baptism, chrismation and tonsure followed immediately, without any prayer (or ablutions, before tonsure) in between.
What is the general practice ? Which prayers are usually skipped in Greece or Cyprus?
I feel that the complete service is long and it may be very tiresome for the baby and for the family. Plus, they are Greeks, and may be expecting a service "à la Grecque" !

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10/9/2012

QUESTION

78

What is the symbolism, if any, of elevating the αέρας above the officiating high priest as the Creed is recited during the Divine Liturgy?

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10/9/2012

QUESTION

79

During the consecration of a church's altar, is there any particular reason for which the officiating high priest wears almost a second set of vestments (always white and very simple) over his vestments? Or is it simply for the sake of protecting his vestments from the waxes, oils, wine, and honey? And are αντιμήνσια used to clean up the oils, wine, and honey on the altar?

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12/9/2012

QUESTION

80

What is the real meaning of the custom of blessing of kollyva in the feasts of saints? Some people say that they are offered as some kind of commemoration of the saint while some others believe that they are offered for the souls of the deceased who were named after the saint. There is also the view that kollyva are brought to church for the sake of those who celebrate the feast. In some villages they are also blessed in the feasts of the Lord and Virgin Mary. Is this correct?

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24/9/2012

QUESTION

81 

Last Sunday I attended the Divine Liturgy at one of the two churches I regularly visit. The parish priest was away on holiday overseas, and so we had a substitute, an elderly priest just ordained to the priesthood at the start of the year. I assisted him during the administration of Holy Communion, by holding the red cloth, and must say that it was agonising, as he was hasty and careless. A two- or three-year-old boy approached the chalice in his mother's arms. The boy was restless, moving his head constantly. Nonetheless, the priest proceeded. Of course, the boy moved his head and some of the precious Blood of Christ had clearly fallen onto his shirt. I told the priest, in the hope that he would then consume the precious Blood, but he claimed that nothing had fallen, having not even bothered to take a closer look at the boy's shirt. 'It's fine,' he told me, while the boy's mother smiled it off as if there was no problem (obviously the Holy Gifts were nothing but 'bread and wine' to her). Therefore, my question is: What should a priest do in situations when the most precious Body and Blood of Christ is, in my opinion, misused? Is he not obliged to consume anything that has fallen off the spoon, even onto the floor? And when the Blood of Christ falls onto the red cloth, what becomes of the cloth? Is it washed in some specific way considering that it may contain the precious Blood of Christ?

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29/12/2012

QUESTION

82 

I hope you can help me with the next question which I received after I told my clients, that the Apostle Barnabas was stoned to death in the year 57, after he came to Cyprus with his nephew Mark. The question was as followed, where was this written? I thought it was in the apocrypha. Is this correct and if so, where exactly?

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31/12/2012

QUESTION

83 

Is it possible that the Divine Liturgy may be served twice on the same day, in the same temple, and on the same altar, but by different priests?
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31/12/2012

QUESTION

84 

Why does the numbering of Sundays according to the Church not follow a logical order? For example, 20 January 2013 is the 12th Sunday of Luke, and 27 January 2013 is the 15th Sunday of Luke.

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3/1/2013

QUESTION

85 

Thanks for your website on the Hieratikon. I am sorry to trouble you with requests for info, but I cannot think where else to turn.
The typical translation of the Hieratikon says, as you say "He plundered Hades when He descended into Hades. He embittered it, when it tasted of His flesh, and this being foretold by Isaiah when he cried: Hades said it was embittered, when it encountered Thee below." Or says "Isaiah, foreseeing this did cry: 'Hell, said he, was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions."
The Hieratikon stands on its own, and needs no justification of any sort, and certainly none other than the authority of John Chrystostom, and the place that this Pascal Homily has been given in Orthodox liturgy and tradition. (And thanks again for having a page on it!!) However, I am puzzled by this quotation, St John Chrystostom's quotation from Isaiah. I have searched and searched -- on Hell, Hades, Sheol, bitter, and various Hebrew words for bitter -- (in Bible search engines, and places that had the Septuagint on line as well, and in orthodox discussion loci) and cannot find any passage that seems to me (I am not a scholar in these things, and may well be missing the point) to be the passage in Isaiah that St. John Chrystostom is referring to here. Can you tell me what passage in Isaiah St. John had in mind, or refer me to a source (preferably online) that discusses this matter?

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3/1/2013

QUESTION

86

Hello My Wife was born in Russia and her Name in Russian is Ludmila. She says that 28 September is her Name day and it was always that day in Russia. Going on the internet, some sites say 16 Sept and others 18 Sept. We have a Russian Christian Calendar and it says nothing of her Name Day. Maybe you could help us with this.
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24/1/2013

QUESTION

87

I have a question regarding the baptism of our baby girl. I am a Catholic while my husband is an Orthodox. We have been married in the Orthodox church in Cyprus. Now we have a beautiful baby girl. I would like to baptize her twice...once in Cyprus and once in Poland, in that order, where I come from. Is that possible? The main reason for doing this is my family... they will not be able to attend the baptism here, which is very important to me.
Also I would like my baby to have godparents from both sides, my husbands and mine. Can you please advise if there is a way to baptize the baby twice? She will be raised in Cyprus in the Orthodox religion, attending the church here, as this is where we live.

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5/3/2013

QUESTION

88

My sons ( 7 and 11) are Ιεροπαιδες (altar boys) in our French-Greek parish in France. They do what they are told to do but if they could learn a little bit, it would be better I think. The way processions and other things are done are sometimes different, in different churches. In our church the Priest doesn't want show them how to do a day of the week because he has no time and during the liturgy he doesn't want to be disturbed praying. Well there is an old servant he's a very kind and very simple person but he is not very really able to explain...
Have you ever written some kind of manual for altar's boys? Or does it exist even in Greek (a friend of mine will translate it, I am sure of it)

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10/3/2013

QUESTION

89

Many contradictory views on Mary Magdalene’s life come to light lately. It is clear that most of them come from untrustworthy persons that have nothing to do with the Church. But who was Mary Magdalene in reality according to the teachings of our Church? Was she a prostitute that was relieved from a heavy demonic possession by Christ or was she a righteous person?

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22/3/2013

QUESTION

90

When it is appropriate to do concelebration in vespers. When is it acceptable to upgrade a service to include an entrance, even if it isn't originally called for. Sometimes it is very easy to include an entrance, like a Friday evening, because the dogmatic theotokion gives plenty of time to do one, even if it isn't supposed to happen. Is it appropriate for a group of priests to get together and make an entrance? Must we upgrade to entrance if there are many priests, or do we instruct them not to participate on certain days? On what days is it permissible, and on what days is it not permissible?

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22/11/2014

QUESTION

91

I was just wondering if You would be able to explain why we conduct the εγκαίνια service of a church and what significance this has.
I ask this because I know of churches which are fully furnished --with altar, templon, iconography and all-- having been used for holy services prior to their εγκαίνια. Also, today in Melbourne were the θυρανοίξια of a newly built church, but not the εγκαίνια, and services are conducted in this church.

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1/12/2014

QUESTION

92

I saw this verse in one of your church printouts for 22/11/14 and wanted you to please explain it to me in simpler terms.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the Plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.

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19/2/2015

QUESTION

93

From various sources we know that early Christians used to receive the Holy Communion quite often as it was unjustifiable for someone to attend the Liturgy without partaking. Recently I had the chance to read St Chrysostom's writings on Lent and I came across an extract (P.G. 49: 199) that may at first reading imply that Christians in Antiochia did not partake during the entire Lent, which was seen as a preparation period for Paschal communion.........

I assume that the true meaning of this passage is not that the faithful did not partake for such a long period. After all what was the purpose of the Liturgies performed on the Sundays of the Lent, if not to receive the holy communion? Could you please help me by providing the correct interpretation of the holy father's passage?

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20/2/2015

QUESTION

94

Thank you for your comprehensive answer, which helped me understand the true meaning of Chrysostom’s words. (see question 91) As a follow up question, I would like to provide two more extracts from Homily III - Against the Jews: 4.
Why, then, do we fast for forty days?..... and
So if a Jew or pagan ask you why you are fasting, do not tell him that it is because of the Pascha or because of the mystery of the cross.... Tell him we fast because of our sins and because we are going to approach the mysteries.
In the first extract the Holy Father states that the reason why Lenten fast was established is the fact that many approached the holy mysteries unprepared. So at first reading there’s a connection between fasting and communion. The same applies to the second one. How could we address these two extracts having in mind your previous reply?

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25/11/2015

QUESTION

95

I have read several questions on your "Liturgical Questions" section comparing Greek and Slavic practices. It seems Greeks and Slavs (specially Russians) developed different theological approaches concerning the same issues. One these issues is how each of them comprehend communion. The Russian church tells their faithful whoever wants to commune on the Sunday Liturgy, must confess their sins on the eve or before the Liturgy (during the reading of the 1st and 3rd Hours).
My question concerns the relation between Holy Communion and Holy Confession. Do the Greeks understand Confession as a requisite to Communion? Is there a recommendation stating how frequently one should commune/confess?

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17/12/2015

QUESTION

96

I've read some of your liturgical materials and I noticed you recommend two answers from the choir after each petition: Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy. I'm really curious about that because in the parish where I serve the clergymen explain that "Kyrie eleison" has a deep and intricate meaning that surpasses the immediate translation "Lord have mercy". They say the use of the original Greek brings a pedagogical opportunity to tell people the full meaning of this supplication. According to their interpretation, Kyrie eleison refers to a deep act of offering ourselves to God, like those loser warlords who surrender to their conquerors. So, they prefer to not translate it and Kyrie eleison is maintained as in Greek. Personally I don't feel comfortable with that since the expression occurs in so many sacred texts (psalm 50, the gospel, the Jesus prayer) and only during the litanies we decide to keep it in Greek. It looks a little bit arbitrary. Most orthodox nations translate "Kyrie eleison". Would they worship less perfectly? From your perspective, is it correct to avoid the translation of "Kyrie eleison"? Are there such "untranslatable" expressions in our hymns? For example, why "Eis polla eti Dhespota" is still sung in greek everywhere?
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10/1/2016

QUESTION

97

It seems there are some liturgical practices and objects that have a jewish origin. For example the curtain and the washing of hands. Regarding the curtain a friend once told me that historically it should be divided in two representing the curtain of the Temple that was torn during the crucifixion. Do you have any thought about that? What's the meaning of opening and closing the curtain at specific times? For example, the curtain remains half opened during an interval of the liturgy of the pre sanctified gifts. What's the theological meaning for that?
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20/1/2016

QUESTION

98

I read somewhere that in ancient times people were used to offering their own goods for the maintenance of the temple and sustainance of the clergy. I think the 3rd and 4th Apostolic Canons recall this practice and describe which kind of offerings should be brought to the church. However some gifts should not be offered on the Holy Altar where only bread and wine should be offered for the Holy Eucharist. My first question is: do you have an account on how this process occurred in the early church? Was this something like the offering of first fruits, similar to the offering of Abel? The second one: I believe this practice does not pertain to the Church anymore because nowadays the faithful are used to contribute financially, buy candles, prosphora or through the diptychs. So, is it part of the orthodox practice to make a collection of money during the Liturgy? Now let's consider a small/missionary parish where the well functioning of the temple is a responsibility of a small group of faithful and every faithful is invited to contribute materially with frankincense, candles, coal, ... for the accomplishment of the services. My question is: how these offerings should be received according to the greek practice? Is there a special service/blessing that makes them proper for liturgical use or they become sacred by their use? These offerings must be brought to the Holy Altar? I mean they should be placed (for 40 days) on the Altar like a new icon? I'm asking all this because I heard of a strange practice (at least to me) consisting of placing candles, frankincense, prayer ropes (komboskinis) and every "religious object" close to the Altar, touching it from behind. In this way these objects would be sanctified by the presence of the Holy Spirit after the epiklesis. I my opinion this approach denies the prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit which asks the presence of the Spirit upon the people and the gifts, that is, only bread and wine. By the way, if this practice is correct, can we say things become holy by conduction, just like thermal conduction? I know the account about the woman who touched Christ and was healed. This makes me wonder can I refill my almost empty holy water bottle with "normal" water and then "make" more holy water?

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16/2/2016

QUESTION

99 

Could you explain the relation, if there is any, between women's headcoverings and the role of women in the Orthodox Church? Both clergymen (monks or not) and women (nuns or not) use headcoverings. What's the meaning of these different uses? Is it part of the Church's mindset to understand maternity as a form of priesthood? In this perspective can we understand male priesthood as "give birth to souls to God" and female priesthood as "give birth to souls to the world"?

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9/3/2016

QUESTION

100

I am deeply depressed. I lost my father suddenly through an aneurysm 4 months ago. He was only 60yrs old. He didn't take me to the church neither did he see any grandchildren, I am 33yrs old and I beseeched God to send me a good man so that I could have a family, but instead he took away my beloved father while all the girls have their husbands, children and parents, I am unhappy. I wonder can my father see me? How can I help him? Please remember him during the Liturgy. Please reply to my email, I am extremely sad.
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22/8/2016

QUESTION

101

I’m considering buying a small statue of Buddha that I recently came across online. Of course, the only reason why I want it is to add a nice, hand-carved item to the decoration of my room. I’m not going to use it for praying or mediation under any circumstances, as I’m an Eastern Orthodox, not a Buddhist. However, my mother doesn’t like the idea because she thinks it would seem as contempt to our own faith or it could even bring bad luck. What’s your opinion on this?

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24/8/2016

QUESTION

102

The Orthodox Church, in which we live, is missionary and didn't get its start from a historical Orthodox church, thus we have questions about some liturgical procedures. Here is the first question:
1 - Vestment of the priest in public or daily Vespers.
We have an indication, which is not confirmed in any Typikon we found on the internet, that the celebrant use only epitrachelion throughout the office. But we also have the indication that he should wear the Phelonion for "Joyous Light ...". What is the correct practice?

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25/8/2016

QUESTION

103

According to the Slavic tradition, on Sundays the Gospel (of Resurrection) after being read, is conducted to the middle of the church, where it is revered, but the Feasts, despite being read in the middle of the Church, after the reading is reappointed to the altar without veneration. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Dormition of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, but the Gospel read is of the Feast. In this case should it be venerated in the middle of the Church like on Sundays, or returned to the Altar as is the use in the Feasts?

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26/8/2016

QUESTION

104

Among the evening prayers used by the Russian church there is a special one addressed to the Holy Guardian Angel. My question concerns the excerpt below:
"O Angel of Christ, my holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me all wherein I have sinned this day, and deliver me from all opposing evil of my enemy lest I anger my God by any sin."
Can an angel forgive sins? (I refer to any sin)

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21/11/2016

QUESTION

105

Recently I received an e mail from a Greek man requesting information on marriage. I asked that he and his fiancé come and meet with me. However his fiancé came to meet with me accompanied by her future mother-in -law who informed me that the young lady wished to become an Orthodox Christian. On seeking some answers from the young lady, who happened to be Chinese and in the country on a student visa, she admitted that she did not even know what a Christian was... They have stated that they wish the wedding to take place in early February 2017. This places me in an impossible situation. I fear that if I do not agree to their timetable they will have a civil marriage, with the consequent loss of a potential soul for the Lord. Yet I am also concerned that I would be derelict in my duty as a priest if I did not prepare her properly to be received into the church.
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5/1/2017

QUESTION

106

I would like to know which of the 4 Gospels was written 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Just because the gospel of Matthew is the first one in the New Testament, does that mean it was the first to be completed? How, where and by whom was it decided that the Gospels should be structured in a particular order?
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10/1/2017

QUESTION

107

Christ the Saviour called Himself the "light of the world" (John 8:12). He enlightens every man who comes into the world. I hear this towards the end of every liturgy (Christ, the true light, who lights and sanctifies every man who comes into the world). What exactly is this lighting/sanctification that Christ bestows on all His creation? Is it perhaps wisdom, a logical soul, the breath of life, the Holy Spirit, etc? Does this even mean that the people/souls that have departed or have been condemned to hell/Gehenna, once had this enlightenment and sanctification from Christ, when they came into existence in this world? Is everyone enlightened/sanctified in the same way or according to the measures that Christ wishes to enlighten every single person?
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11/1/2017

QUESTION

108

 

In the Gospel of St. John, at the Lord’s Supper, Christ says, “My Father is greater than I.” Why then did The Lord Jesus say earlier in John 10:30 that "I and My Father are one"? When He said 'My Father is greater than I", did He mean that His human nature and not His divine nature is inferior/lower to God the Father. Is it fair to say that Christ as man cannot really be equal to the Father? Despite that He is Perfect Man, no man, no matter how perfect he may be, can be God. Obviously Christ did not cease to be God, to remain always “in the bosom of the Father.” Never did He cease to be Perfect God. I did a bit of research and found that the real meaning of the above words of Christ, “My Father is greater than I,” is that He is greater than I because you see Me now as a human being in the form of a servant; however, I remain God “in the bosom of the Father,” but I will return to the Father also as human. At that time, My human nature will be granted unlimited glory.
I suppose that because the second person of the Holy Trinity (Christ) became visible to His creation and that the Father (The 1st person of the Holy Trinity) remained invisible, there is a difference in Who is greater/superior. But why then does Christ say that "Whoever has seen Me , has seen the Father also"?

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11/1/2017

QUESTION

109

I read in Chapter 9 verses 5-8 of Ecclesiastes the following:
For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten...Were there any funeral/burial services/memorials conducted back then at the times of the Old Testament Prophets, that would help the departed souls on their journey to the other world? I also know that up until the crucifixion and the resurrection and Christ's descent into Hades, that all souls would go to Hades and that the first one to inherit Paradise was the Thief on the Cross that repented. So even if certain types of burial/memorial services/prayers were offered for the dead, would they be of any assistance to them despite these facts.

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13/1/2017

QUESTION

110

The Lord said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to Gehenna, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For every one will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
In what sense does the Lord Jesus mean to cut these body parts off ?

What is the Orthodox interpretation of the statement: "For every one will be salted with fire"?
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17/1/2017

QUESTION

111

(Mark 9:33-41) Is it known who this man was that was casting out demons in the name of Jesus". Did Jesus meet this man at an earlier time? How else could this man have known who Jesus was for him to be performing exorcisms? Also how do the exorcisms of our times differ from the exorcisms of Jesus' time? Now we have prayers written by St Basil, Gregory, Kyprianos, Chrysostom etc. Some of these prayers are very lengthy. Back when the apostles were performing exorcisms, they did not have these prayers that were written by the Saints. Would they just simply say the name of Jesus with faith for the demons to be cast out?
I remember from the Gospel of Matthew, (chapter 17) that Jesus said: "This kind is cast out only by prayer and fasting". Was it just prayer and fasting that was necessary for the exorcism to be performed successfully? Was there a specific rite, ritual or method of performing exorcisms that differs to today's exorcisms being conducted?

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19/1/2017

QUESTION

112

(Mark 8:22-26) When the blind man looked up and responded to Jesus by saying, "I see men; but they look like trees, walking", was this because his sight was not fully restored yet or did Jesus do this deliberately to reveal something about mankind at the time? I ask this because usually Christ is described in the gospels as healing people instantly whereas in this particular case, He healed the blind man in stages. The men were described as trees. Is this symbolic of something? Furthermore, why did Jesus say to the blind man who had been healed to "not even enter the village"?
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