Doctrine, practice, saints and other topics around Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian etc.) Church.

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What is the Biblical support for a distinction between veneration and worship?

I was reading a question about icons, and this raised some questions for me. Catholic and Eastern Orthodox beliefs hold to there being a difference between worship and veneration. What is the ...
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In Eastern Orthodoxy, how is an icon recognized as inspired?

In a discussion on imagery and icons, the Orthodox Study Bible says: Every image, or icon, of Christ has significant theological content. For it proclaims anew the Incarnation of God, who "became ...
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How do the Eastern Orthodox interpret this verse from Psalm 69:3?

O God, be attentive unto helping me; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be shamed and confounded that seek after my soul. Let them be turned back and brought to shame that desire evils ...
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1answer
70 views

A gull and a crow attacked the peace doves released by the Pope. What is Christian interpretation? [on hold]

In 2014 pope Francis released two doves of peace to signify reconcilation in Ukraine. Yet, they were instantly attacked by two birds, one by a gull, the other by a crow and lost the feathers in the ...
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1answer
219 views

Does the Eastern Orthodox Church believe in Aerial Toll Houses?

In the Oration, St. Gregory of Nazianzus talked about “last baptism,” the baptism of eschatological fire, longer lasting and more painful than one’s penance for sins (Or. 39.19). Some Protestants have ...
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26 views

Why is unity so important to the Orthodox church? [closed]

The Orthodox place an enormous value on church unity or "full communion" with one another. For example, the Oriental Orthodox are not "in communion" with the greater Orthodox church (as I understand ...
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3answers
108 views

Is it mandatory for a Roman Catholic girl to convert to Syrian Orthodox if the boy is of the Syrian Orthodox church, in the case of marriage?

If a woman is Roman Catholic, and a man is from Kerala, from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian church, and they wish to marry, does the woman need to convert to Syrian Orthodoxy? According to the Syrian ...
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2answers
251 views

Was this teaching (of soul existing before a birth) condemned by the Church?

What's the official name (if any) of the teaching that the soul of a man exists even before he is conceived and that at the moment of conception his soul gets simply "connected" to his newly conceived ...
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1answer
138 views

In Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Lutheranism, what are the main explanations on the matter of why Jesus Christ needed to be baptized?

What are the main explanations on the matter of why Jesus Christ needed to be baptized in Catholicism, in Eastern Orthodoxy, and in Lutheranism? As far as I understand, baptism in the above-mentioned ...
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3answers
263 views

What is the rationale for forbidding priests to marry in traditions where already-married men are allowed to become priests?

As everyone knows, married men are unable to be ordained as priests in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, nor are priests allowed to get married for as long as they remain priests. This is ...
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2answers
725 views

What is the Difference Between ROCOR-MP and ROCOR-A (ROCA)

What differentiates the various synods within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia aka ROCOR? I met someone who stated that their particular synod was in communion with ROCOR-A (ROCA), but ...
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283 views

What is the scriptural basis for a monarchical episcopate?

What scriptural basis has traditionally been put forth by the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches to support the idea of monarchical episcopate (the idea that there must be only one bishop over a city ...
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1answer
550 views

Which Orthodox churches are on the New Calendar, and which are on the Old Calendar?

I'm trying to determine whether or not a majority of Orthodox are on the Old or on the New Calendar. I don't need numbers for this question, but I do need names. Who are on the Old, and who are on ...
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4answers
609 views

What is the difference between original sin and original guilt?

This is a question that every convert to Eastern Orthodoxy always asked. The question can be stated differently: Does the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin include Original Guilt? Fr. John Romanides ...
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1answer
65 views

Violence and Iconography

Are there any rules for painting (or praying) Orthodox Christian icons that disallow depictions of violence or conflict? For example: Would an icon depicting a murder be a problem?
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2answers
115 views

According to the Orthodox church, what is the purpose of the Bible?

I was raised with the view that the Bible is the book which contains everything we need to know, enumerates everything which is good and everything which is evil, is the manual for how to live a human ...
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1answer
39 views

What is the name of a film about three brothers saying the Jesus prayer?

I recently learned about a short film featuring three brothers who live on an island. They are (Russian?) Orthodox Christians and practice the Jesus prayer. Eventually, word of their holiness spreads ...
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3answers
975 views

What was the Original Purpose of Fasting from “Wine” and “Olive Oil” in the Orthodox Tradition?

The Orthodox are required to fast from "wine" and "olive oil" most Wednesdays and Fridays, for Lent, the Dormition of the Theotokos, the Nativity, and other fasts. Nearly all Orthodox define "wine" ...
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69 views

What is the Orthodox canon?

What books does the Orthodox Bible contain? Additionally, when was this settled (if it is settled) and how was it decided?
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42 views

Is there any theological reason that Eastern Orthodox clergy tend to maintain long beards?

I have minimal familiarity with the Eastern Orthodox tradition, but I can typically guess by seeing a photo that a person is an Eastern Orthodox clergyman.
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2answers
3k views

Is there one guardian angel for each person?

A Roman Catholic friend of mine told me that each person has a guardian angel. He told me it is based on this verse: Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, ...
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1answer
201 views

Why do Syrian Orthodox churches use only paintings and not sculptures, unlike Catholic churches?

I am an Orthodox Christian, and in our church we don't have sculptures unlike Catholic churches in my area. We only have paintings and pictures. I don't know if this is because of the bull sculpture ...
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1k views

What is the Catholic response to the Eastern Orthodox view that the Immaculate Conception remove Jesus' ability to redeem all of humanity?

I am discussing and debating the various subtle doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy with a very close friend of mine. One question I've asked is, "How do Orthodox ...
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2answers
145 views

Do Orthodox Christians believe that God wants a personal relationship with the individual?

This question only asks about "Christians". One high-quality response on that question suggests that the personal relationship idea extends from the Enlightenment. So, in light of that question and ...
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2answers
1k views

Who is a Christian according to the Russian Orthodox Church

I was told by my Russian Orthodox friends on several occasions that according to their beliefs only members of the Orthodox Church are Christians. (For example, they pointed out that my statement that ...
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45 views

Is there a tradition of breaking pottery in the Paschal Liturgies of the Eastern Churches?

As a Melkite deacon, I'm familiar with the liturgical practices of the Eastern Churches. However, I've just seen a youtube video of something I've never heard of, and can't explain. Near the end of ...
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225 views

Do the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches observe different dates for Pascha?

Someone claimed on another forum that the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church observe different dates for the feast of Pascha/Easter. Is this so? If so, what does this imply about the ...
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1answer
60 views

Eastern Orthodoxy: what is the difference in character between each of the 8 modes?

What are each of the 8 modes/tones in the Eastern Orthodox traditions (especially the Byzantine Chant and Russian Chant traditions) meant to convey in terms of spiritual posture, attitude, character, ...
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1answer
52 views

What did St. John Chrysostom mean by saying there is no difference between what is demanded from the monastics and the laity?

"You greatly delude yourself and err, if you think that one thing is demanded from the layman and another from the monk; since the difference between them is in that whether one is married or ...
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1answer
269 views

Was adelphopoiesis a plural rite?

Was the rite of "brother-making" exclusive to two individuals, or could a man make more than one other man his brother? Is there any part of the rite that requires you to be nonunited previously? ...
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2answers
96 views

According to the Eastern Orthodox, in what sense did the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) give birth to Christ's divinity?

Nestorianism would claim that Mary only gave birth to Christ's humanity. When I thought about it and considered it, I realized my prior attitude towards the Virgin Birth had been somewhat Nestorian, ...
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43 views

Eastern Orthodoxy: What is the 'nous' and how is it distinguished from your mind and the rest of your spirit?

Basically, this question is two-fold: Give me a good explanation of what the 'nous' is and what it is not, especially compared to the mind and the other components of the spirit, from the Eastern ...
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1answer
130 views

How do Eastern Christians explain Jesus “sending” the Holy Spirit in John 15:26?

One of the issues behind the schism between East and West was the doctrine of the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit: does he proceed from the Father, or from the Father and Son? There doesn't ...
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1answer
1k views

Why is Origen considered a Church Father, but not a saint?

I've heard and read in "Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West" (book by Anthony Grafton, page 222) that Origen was considered a Church Father but not a Saint by either the ...
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Byzantine Chant vs. Gregorian Chant: What are the differences in goals as far as attitude and concepts between these two chanting styles

I'm NOT interested here in the difference in musical structure and rules here, per-say, between the Byzantine and Gregorian chanting styles. What I'm more interested in is the difference between them ...
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26 views

Eastern Orthodoxy - When a liturgical hymn to a Saint is composed (such as a Troparion), how is the mode/tone for the hymn chosen?

Canons, troparia, kontakia, aposticha, stichera, etc. all have a tone/mode associated with them. How does the author of the hymn choose which mode/tone to use? Is it the same for all, or is it a ...
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37 views

Who is permitted to write a canon or an akathist hymn to a Saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and how is it done?

I would imagine it would be a wonderful and prayerful experience to dive into the life of a Saint and compose a Church liturgical hymn for him/her. Who is permitted to engage in such activities? ...
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59 views

Do all Orthodox saints have their own akathist?

I don't quite understand the concept of an 'akathist' (hymn devoted to a saint). Are these written, one per saint whenever someone is glorified? Are they spontaneously generated over time? I am trying ...
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39 views

What are the differences in belief regarding Hesychasm between the Chalcedonian (Eastern) and Non-Chalcedonian (Oriental) Orthodox Churches?

I got into a discussion recently regarding the differences (or lack thereof) between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. I'm aware that the Oriental Churches are Miaphysites, while the ...
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483 views

According to Protestants, what “new” things has the Eastern Orthodox Church acquired over time?

What things in general have been brought with time into the Eastern Orthodox Church that the mainstream protestant Christianity considers as not being able to be traced back to the times of the church ...
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1answer
124 views

Where can I find the Orthodox response to the Augsburg Confession?

According to Steven Runciman's The Great Church in Captivity (excerpt), the Orthodox Patriarch Jeremias II wrote a letter detailing the differences between the Orthodox doctrines and Lutheran ...
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1answer
124 views

Were any popes or patriarchs converts to Christianity?

The Biblical Peter was an adult when Jesus began his ministry, and thus ranks among the earliest converts to Christianity. Roman Catholics hold that Peter was also the first pope. Are any subsequent ...
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1answer
56 views

Where in the Pentateuch does it indicate that it's better to sin against God than against your spiritual director?

From The Ladder of Divine Ascent: Do not be surprised at what I am going to say (for I have Moses to support me). It is better to sin against God than against our father; for when we anger ...
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1answer
3k views

Why did Rome and Constantinople split in 1054 AD?

The Great Schism represents the break between the Eastern and Western churches. I know that a primary bone of contention that the East had with the West was Rome's insistence on Papal Supremacy. My ...
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37 views

What is on the cover of this printing of Ladder of Divine Ascent?

What is that? Is it some well-known Orthodox symbol? I think I can discern a bearded face but that's it.
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236 views

Why does the Roman Catholic church allow girls to serve the altar?

I once knew a classmate who told me that she belonged to the Coptic Orthodox church. Out of curiosity, I asked her whether she had ever served the altar, because I figured that serving the altar was ...
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1answer
118 views

Are Russian Orthodox Christians considered heretics by Roman Catholicism?

I heard that Russian Orthodox Christians are considered heretics by Catholics. Are there any official Catholic doctrines, documents or quotes that deny or confirm this statement?
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91 views

Have any Orthodox clergy expressed a belief in an impending doomsday/judgment? [closed]

For a few months now, I have been receiving unsolicited letters, pamphlets, and bulletins regarding the 'end times', 'coming prophetic storm', 'God's impending judgement', etc. I have family members ...
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2answers
130 views

What does 'ages of ages' mean, specifically?

I run into this phrase a lot in the Orthodox church, particularly as part of the longer phrase 'and unto ages of ages'. I understand that, generally, this means 'for a long time'. However, what does ...