Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Moscow Celebrated Despite Coldest Christmas Night “In 120 Years”

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Bitterly cold temperatures didn’t stop worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations. Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30 (-22 Fahrenheit) on Christmas night. In Moscow Oblast, temperatures dropped below -32 (-26 Fahrenheit). Extremely cold weather hit the whole country, with some regions such as Siberia and Yakutiya recording temperatures of -40 (-40 Fahrenheit). In Moscow, the MChS deployed around 500 emergency personnel to help worshipers. Authorities provided around 200 mobile food tents with hot meals during the Christmas celebrations due to the cold. RIA Novosti quoted a meteorologist from Fobos weather centre:

This Christmas night was the coldest in the last 120 years, although the absolute record was more than 130 years ago in 1881, it was -35 (-31 Fahrenheit).

Frost hits Russia as Christmas Comes for Orthodox Christians (IMAGES)

The Orthodox Church follows the Julian Calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar adopted by the Catholic Church in the 16th Century. This is why Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January, and not on 25 December. The Local Churches of Jerusalem, Serbia, Poland, Czechia/Slovakia, and Georgia, as well as the so-called Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Uniates) and some Protestants, use the Julian calendar, so they also celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

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On Friday, in Serbia, where temperatures dropped below -15 (+5 Fahrenheit), Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas Eve in front of St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade with a traditional oak log fire.

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In Turkey, Orthodox Christians also joined the celebrations despite sub-zero temperatures. On Friday, believers jumped into the Golden Horn strait in Istanbul in a traditional ceremony celebrating the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany, or the baptism of Christ. Traditionally, Orthodox Epiphany is on 19 January, according to Julian Calendar. However, some Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany on 6 January as they use the Catholic calendar for fixed feasts.

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Orthodox believers in Bulgaria waded into the icy waters of the Tundzha River and danced the Hora, in a traditional male-only event to celebrate Epiphany. The men dressed in folk costumes and dived into the freezing waters to find a crucifix thrown in by the priest, before handing it to the youngest participant of the dance. The folk belief is that the person who retrieves it will be healthy all year.

7 January 2017

RT

https://www.rt.com/news/372902-orthodox-christmas-frost-celebrate/

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

15 March 2016. I Am Orthodox… May the Good Lord Preserve Me to the End

00 I am Orthodox 150316

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There’s a juvenile PhotoShop making the rounds of FB… I love being Orthodox. I’m proud to be Orthodox. Only someone not in sync with the Mind of Church could create such mindless rubbish… it’s utterly at odds with how real grounded Orthodox view themselves. Look at the above… that’s how we view ourselves… we’re not “proud to be Orthodox” nor do we “love being Orthodox”. We’re Orthodox, full stop, and may the Good Lord keep our noses pointed in the right direction. After all, we’re Christians, that’s what we should be doing…

BMD

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Is the “all-Orthodox Sobor” a Hairsbreadth Away from Failure? Bulgarian Patriarch Will Only Take Part if ALL Canonical First Hierarchs Participate in the Synaxis

00 Patriarch Kirill w patriarch neofit of bulgaria. 01.06.14

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In Genève, from 21 to 28 January 2016, a Congress (Synaxis) of the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches supposedly will prepare the final agenda for a so-called “all-Orthodox Sobor”, awaited for about a century in certain Church (especially modernist) circles. However, differences amongst the local Orthodox Churches, the refusal of certain First Hierarchs to take part in the Synaxis to prepare the “all-Orthodox Sobor”, and more importantly, the fervent prayers of believers, following the teachings of Holy Fathers and Confessors of the 20th century condemning the putative Sobor as apostasy, could lead to a complete breakdown of the meeting, since all decisions at the Sobor and the Synaxis would be via consensus, and if any of the First Hierarchs were absent, that would render that impossible.

On 12 January 2016, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Sofia and all Bulgaria referred to the principle of consensus in making a number of conditions specifying their conditions for allowing Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov to take part in the meeting in Genève. In particular, the Synod stated that the lack of an agenda for the Synaxis and the likely presence at the said meeting of uncanonical representatives of the PCČZS/PCČKS (Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia) is unacceptable. Apparently, they mean the so-called “Archbishop” Simeon Jakovlevič of Olomouc and Brno (supported by the EP), the pretender to the seat of First Hierarch Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov. Moreover, the Bulgarian Holy Synod declared the fundamental importance of the principle of consensus in the coming Synaxis, and that such consensus could only exist if the all the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches are present.

In this connection, the Bulgarian Synod ruled that the Patriarch Neofit could only take part in the Genève meeting if “the Patriarch and the Holy Synod promptly receive the agenda of the meeting and if all outstanding disputes receive resolution before convoking the meeting in Chambésy”. Besides this, on 15 January, the Church of Athens and all Greece decided definitively that Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis wouldn’t take part in the upcoming Synaxis, sending instead a delegation consisting of Metropolitans Germanos Paraskevopoulos of Elis and Oleni, Chrysostomos Zafyris of Peristeri, and Chrysostomos Savvatos of Messinia. Orthodox media reported that amongst the reasons for this decision was pressure put on Archbishop Ieronymos… including political pressure… by the EP from the moment it became known that the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece wouldn’t be at this meeting.

17 January 2016

Inform Religia

http://www.inform-relig.ru/news/detail.php?ID=11333

Friday, 1 May 2015

1 May 2015. A Thought from Elder Simeon of the Holy Mountain

00 Dyado Dobri. 01.05.15

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For more information on Dyado Dobri, click here and here. Perhaps, the clergy amongst us could preach on Dyado this Sunday… holiness DOES exist in the oikumene… and it WILL exist until the End of Days. Don’t listen to the asshats… holiness is still with us… however, not in the chancelleries, not in the corridors of power, not in the gleaming offices of the media and government, not in the seminaries and schools.

The Lord spares the world for the sake of those like Dyado… not for Reardon… not for Paffhausen… not for any of the hypocritical posturing clergy and bishops… not for any of the “religious hobbyists”. God saves the world through a seemingly quixotic expression of selflessness… not through “respectability”, “affluence”, or “morality”. That’s why I remain a Christian… God sustains His world through seemingly paradoxical acts of “craziness” and “lunacy”… if that’s so, why do we follow the “respectable”, “credentialed”, and “well-connected?” Indeed… why do we do so?

Do we have the courage to follow Christ and Dyado… or shall we punk out and follow the usual cast of suspects? Shall you swallow a kopeck’s worth?

BMD

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