Bright Sadness: Learning Who We Are

Bright Sadness: Learning Who We Are

During the summer I’ve had the bright sadness of experiencing the deaths of five people close to me who I respected. In many cases, some of us didn’t learn significant details about the reposed until after their death. Peter, a longtime member of our parish, had been a rocket scientist...

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The Grand Duchess Maria Romanov and the Prayers of the Saints

The Grand Duchess Maria Romanov and the Prayers of the Saints

A few weeks ago, on July 17, Orthodox Christians in Russia and throughout the world observed the 100-year anniversary of the assassination of Tsar Nicholas and his family. A procession was held, starting from the Church on the Blood in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, the place where the Romanovs...

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Praying in All Weather: Honoring the Saints and the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

Praying in All Weather: Honoring the Saints and the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

I’ll be honest: I dislike winter. I weary of gunmetal gray skies. The cold exhausts me. No matter how many layers I wear, I can’t seem to get warm. Getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle. As I wait on the bus stop, the wind bites into...

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Book Review: When Mama Had Cancer

Book Review: When Mama Had Cancer

Cancer is big and scary. It’s a challenge to the whole family. It’s nearly impossible for adults to comprehend. It can be even more so bewildering and terrifying to children. Author Marjorie Kunch writes about her own Stage 3b breast cancer diagnosis in this calm, comforting story for young children....

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Orthodox Faith Meets Science Fiction and Fantasy at Doxacon

Orthodox Faith Meets Science Fiction and Fantasy at Doxacon

In August a cadre of “Geek-Orthodox” Christians arrived at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for Doxacon, an Orthodox science fiction and fantasy convention. Founded in 2012 by Daniel Silver and Father David Subu of Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Virginia, Doxacon is...

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Paraklesis and Finding Refuge in the Theotokos

Paraklesis and Finding Refuge in the Theotokos

In preparation for the Dormition, a supplication to the Theotokos called the Paraklesis is often chanted. (A longer title is “The Paraklesis Service with the Little Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos.”) Father Thomas Hopko tells us paraklesis means comfort and encouragement. This beautiful service implores the Mother of God to...

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Repentance or Resolution?

Repentance or Resolution?

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. January is my stay-at-home month, the one time of year when I politely decline social invitations and get into my pajamas as soon as I come home from work. I joke that I’m part bear. In January, all I want to do...

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Participating in the Divine Liturgy

Participating in the Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is an experience that invites us to participate with every level of our being—not one that merely asks us to observe. Indeed, the word “liturgy” literally means the common work, or common service, of the people. As Father Thomas Hopko wrote in his book, “The Orthodox Faith:...

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SOCIAL MEDIA AS A SPRINGBOARD TO PRAYER

SOCIAL MEDIA AS A SPRINGBOARD TO PRAYER

Facebook isn’t fun anymore. It used to be a great place where people shared posts about life events and articles of interest. I learned that my out-of-state niece made color guard captain. I saw pictures of friends’ vacations and acquaintances’ weddings. I reconnected with old high school buddies. Colleagues posted...

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Tobit Is a Wealth of Encouragement

Tobit Is a Wealth of Encouragement

We asked our Bloggers to write about Love…    Nestled in the midst of the so-called Apocrypha, the Septuagint Old Testament, is the book of Tobit. Tobit is a virtuous Jew living in the time of Israel’s exile by the Assyrians and taken captive to Nineveh. He is known for...

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Christ to Shield Me Today

Christ to Shield Me Today

Inspired by the documentary, PISTEVO, the Orthodox Christian Network will be featuring iconography and the Saints of the Orthodox Church.  Iconography, the centuries-old tradition of depicting faith through images, was the primary means of teaching Christianity until written records were formally canonized as the Holy Scriptures. I used to say...

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Beginning to Pray with Metropolitan Bloom and The Little Prince

Beginning to Pray with Metropolitan Bloom and The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has long been one of my favorite books. If you are unfamiliar with this modern classic, it is a fable about an otherworldly prince who loves a rose and befriends a fox; the fox teaches him how to be a true friend. Peppered throughout...

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