Ancient Christianity Confronts Death and Halloween

Ancient Christianity Confronts Death and Halloween

I remember well walking the streets of our cozy steel-mill suburb of Pittsburgh with our two- and four-year-old sons in a wagon, flanked by our neighbors and their children as we went off trick-or-treating. Without leaving even the first block, I thought, “Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore!” Whole front...

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Demon Possession and Exorcism

Demon Possession and Exorcism

http://radio.myocn.net/podcast/CRTL/On_Air/crtl101814wv.mp3 Listen Now.  “The illnesses of the soul and the spirit are in many ways similar to the illnesses of the body,” says Fr. Andrew Demotses, pastor emeritus of Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, MA. He joins Fr. Chris to teach us about demon possession and exorcism. Much...

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On Grief and Providing Care

On Grief and Providing Care

Two related, but separate, topics come up when someone we know dies. The first topic is the person who has died: the circumstances around his death, what has become of him after death, and what he experiences now as someone departed. The second topic is our experience without that person...

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We Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard

We Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard

We live in a world, much like the Christians of the first century, in which morality is based not on the teachings of Christ, but the teachings of darkness. Daily, it seems, our world is stepping further away from the way of life of Christ and His Church, as is...

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Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing? Part 3, Final

Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing? Part 3, Final

This is the third article in a 3-part series. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here. The Rite of Anointing the Dead Another vital modification to the rite is the restoration of the baptismal and paschal vision, “to which, as we have seen, the earliest ritual for the Byzantine Rite...

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Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing?  Part 2

Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing? Part 2

This is the second article in a 3-part series. Read Part 1 here. SEEKING OUT VIABLE SOLUTIONS In the modern funeral service, the canon for the dead is replete with imagery focusing on the holy martyrs, whose struggles for Christ and corresponding rewards are compared to those of the dead,...

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Talking to God and to Children about Death

Talking to God and to Children about Death

Do you think of death as static? Are you frozen forever in the spiritual state in which you died?  In the Orthodox faith, we pray for those who have already died. Why do we do this? Fr. Chris talks to Fr. Timothy Chrapko about what does stop when you die,...

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Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing? Resurrecting Positive Themes in the Rite for the Dead

Are Orthodox Funerals Really Depressing? Resurrecting Positive Themes in the Rite for the Dead

THE ISSUE AT HAND Within the corpus of liturgical services in the Eastern Church, no one rite would be expected to draw as thoroughly and vividly the stark contrast between death and resurrection as the funeral. This thematology of opposites, however, and their related sub-themes (e.g. despair and hope, darkness...

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When God Says No….and My Mother’s Death

When God Says No….and My Mother’s Death

The past year or so has given me many occasions to prove my faith. It has been difficult at times, but I held on. I gave my worries over to God. I asked Him to help me carry these burdens. I held onto the hope that things would improve, and...

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Understanding Struggle

Understanding Struggle

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written as an entry for the 2014 St. Nikolaj Velimirovich Oratorical Festival. Your Eminences, Your Graces, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I stand here before you to share my understanding of struggle as an Orthodox Christian. So what does...

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