Appalachian Orthodox Paschal Hymn

Appalachian Orthodox Paschal Hymn

Father Justin Patterson of the OCA uploaded the video above. It is the Paschal troparion sung to Appalachian harmonies, but conforming to tonal rules of the Slavic Orthodox. It was sung at a music workshop at the All American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting in Atlanta in...

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Am I a Good Person?

Am I a Good Person?

A question was asked in a recent comic strip as one character spoke to another, “Okay, Marcus, you don’t drink or smoke or cuss, but is it the absence of bad behavior that makes someone good, or is it the presence of good behavior?” I was surprised at the depth...

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Oratorical Festivals and Lessons Learned

Oratorical Festivals and Lessons Learned

I was privileged to be present at an Oratorical Festival today. Listening to the junior and senior grade divisions, I was impressed with the amount of work that they had put into their verbal deliveries. But, more than that, I was impressed by the research that the youth had to...

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Living Correctly in Outrageous Times

Living Correctly in Outrageous Times

To say that we live in an increasingly violent world is true. And, yet, the USA itself has seen crime statistics continue to go down for the last several years. From 1993-2013, violent crime statistics continued to go down. For instance, in 1993, there were about 750 violent crimes per...

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Those Who Serve During Christmas

Those Who Serve During Christmas

When we think of Christmas, we think of our families, of the Liturgies, yes, of the gifts, of the reunions, etc. Often we forget about those who serve us this day. No, I am not simply talking about the priests, deacons, subdeacons, chanters, etc., who serve in the various Liturgies....

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Is Orthodoxy Ethnically Exclusive?

Is Orthodoxy Ethnically Exclusive?

Periodically, I am asked the question as to how I could be part of the Orthodox Church. After all, are not the Orthodox somewhat exclusive? You are not Russian; you are not Greek; you are not Middle Eastern; how could you ever be accepted by the Orthodox? I suppose that...

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Even Ascetics Need Community

Even Ascetics Need Community

They said of an old man that he went on fasting for seventy weeks, eating a meal only once a week. He asked of God the meaning of a text of the Holy Scriptures and God did not reveal it to him. So he said to himself: “Here I am:...

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Vaccinations, Fetal Cell Cultures, and Orthodoxy

Vaccinations, Fetal Cell Cultures, and Orthodoxy

Should a Christian refuse to vaccinate their children with some vaccines because they were cultured on cells extracted from aborted fetuses? Lately, I have begun to be asked that question by young Orthodox couples who wish an Orthodox answer. Many of you may not know the background to that question....

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Ancient Prayers are True to Life

Ancient Prayers are True to Life

And grant rest, O Master, to our souls and bodies as we sleep; preserve us from the gloomy slumber of sin and from the dark passions of the night. Calm the impulses of carnal desires, quench the fiery darts of the evil one which are craftily directed against us. Still...

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Can I be Eastern Orthodox and Express Artistic Creativity?

Can I be Eastern Orthodox and Express Artistic Creativity?

Recently I was asked whether it is possible to be an Eastern Orthodox creative artist, which surprised me. The person wrote that whenever he reads a current Orthodox article, it appears to be about monks, or about icon writing, or about chanting. He has read no recent article or blog...

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Phronema and Canons

Phronema and Canons

If you are Orthodox long enough, you will hear the term “phronema.” Phronema can have both a positive and a negative meaning. Many sources say that the word is used in Greek in two senses. One definition says: Phronema is a transliteration of Greek word, . . . which...

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Miracles in Small Packages

Miracles in Small Packages

All Orthodox priests in the Slavic tradition wear a cross after their ordination. That is not so among the Antiochians and Greeks. Among them, the cross is awarded to the Archpriest. But, I periodically have the opportunity to be in a Slavic parish (whether OCA or Moscow Patriarchate). When I...

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