Reflections in Christ

by Misc. Authors

A Letter of a Parish Priest to His Flock

In a letter dated June 5, 2020 to his clergy and monastics, His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas made available to his faithful the following reflection written by a “wise priest in the diocese”.


I have waited a long time before writing anything specifically about our current situation because I am a simple parish priest, not an…

What COVID-19 Means for Singing in Church

by Robin J. Freeman

The Orthodox Church is a singing church. We express our faith through song. For weeks or months now, many of us have been unable to attend services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We miss hearing our hymns, and singing them—praying them—together.  We yearn to enter our churches once again and lift our voices in song. But…

Streaming the Reality of Shadows: The Pros and Cons of Livestreaming our Services

by Father John Memorich

There once was a man who had a mouse in his house. He had a mousetrap, but no cheese to use as bait. As the man sat in his kitchen reading a magazine, he noticed an advertisement with a picture of cheese. Chuckling to himself, he cut out the cheese and placed it in the mousetrap under the sink hoping that the mouse might…

Saint Alexis Toth and the Return to Orthodoxy of the Uniates in North America

by Archpriest John Matusiak

In 1996 the Orthodox Church in America was invited to send representatives to a symposium marking the 400th anniversary of the Union of Brest. Representing the Orthodox Church in America was Archpriest John Matusiak, and Priest Joseph Kopka. The symposium focused on the Orthodox perspective of the Union of Brest, and…

“This is the Way”

by Father Gregory and Matushka Ksenia Bruner

It has been repeatedly stated that we are in an unprecedented situation.  While parallels have been drawn to the Spanish Flu Pandemic, there is no living memory of those days and we must use the historical record as a guide.  Naturally, there has been debate on how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.…

Pascha 2003 - Baghdad, Iraq

by Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski


cwiklinski

Retired Navy Chaplain Archpriest Jerome Cwiklinski, CPT CHC USN, is one of the longest-serving military chaplains in the Orthodox Church in America. In retirement Father Jerome, together with his wife Matushka Wendy, continue to serve the pastoral and spiritual needs of the Orthodox Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA. through…

Invite a Friend to Church: Its Easier Now More Than Ever

by B., Minneapolis, MN, age 12

friend
Artist: Gabriel Wilson

As we find innovative and temporary ways to be the Church, including new ways to participate in worship, new ways to provide pastoral ministry, and new ways to keep community we must also find new ways of evangelizing, of sharing the Gospel, and of ministering to the larger communities in which…

Human Suffering and the Suffering of God

by Priest Joseph Lucas


This evening as we witness the betrayal, judgment, crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and listen to the hymns of Matins of Holy Friday and contemplate the meaning of these events for our life, we can’t help but think of the suffering that we see in the world now. To help us understand this suffering…

Two Saints in the Twin Cities: Historic events in the life of the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Orthodoxy in America

by Fr. Andrew Morbey

As we continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America, we also remember those saints, bishops, clergy, and laymen who worked so diligently and with immense faith to establish Christ’s Holy Church here in North America. In this reflection, Archpriest Andrew Morbey, Dean of the…

The Pascha No One Wants

By Father John Parsells

pascha

True leadership brings people where they need to be but don’t want to go.

No Christian worth their salt believes Christ went to His crucifixion subservient to the Jewish leaders and Roman state. Even though the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas, gave voice to the common plot to put Jesus to death when he said “it would be…

“On behalf of all and for all”

by Fr. Paul Yerger

At the direction of our Archbishop Alexander, I served the Divine Liturgy Sunday with only four people present: the choir director, one singer, one altar server, and myself. I found it to be a very sad experience: what is usually a joyful gathering of the faithful now a handful.

In his letter Archbishop Alexander calls our…

The Joy of the Cross

by Fr. Jonathan Lincoln

“Rejoice in the Lord; rejoice in the Lord; rejoice in the Lord. May the Lord guard your soul and body and spirit from every evil, as well as from every opposition of the devil and every troubling imagination. The Lord will be your light, your protection, your way, your strength, your crown of gladness and eternal help.”

Christian Love in the Face of COVID-19: The Ethics of Staying Home

by Ana S. Iltis, Ph.D., Center for Bioethics, Health and Society and Department of Philosophy, Wake Forest University

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35)

Our primary…

Lenten Distancing

by Matushka Donna Farley

Church closed.

Community members scattered widely.

Weeks without normal daily and weekly routine, without spiritual instruction, without icons to venerate, without Sunday eucharist, without community agape meals.

This was the deliberate practice of the monastery of Abba Zosima in the sixth century Palestinian desert,…

The Triumph of Orthodoxy, Us, and The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

By John Lickwar

We have completed the first week of the Great Fast! We began it one week ago by receiving the universal impetus gathered as the Church in worship to surrender our hearts to the direction given at the service of vespers, ‘to cleanse our soul as we cleanse our flesh,’ and ‘to abstain from passion as we abstain from food.’  We do this…

Remembering in Communion the Holy Fathers of The Seventh Ecumenical Council: On the Relationship of Image and Person in the Redemptive Work of Sacred Space

by John Lickwar

Most feast days celebrated in the Orthodox Church focus on the remembrance of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, or other saintly persons. Celebrated as well are other feast days remembering specific miracle working icons of Christ or the Theotokos. The Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, known for generating the…

St. Thomas Sunday: Keeping the Joy of Pascha Alive

by Father Christopher Foley

I am sure many of us experience what I have come to call the “post-Paschal funk.” We spend long hours in church during the Great Fast and Holy Week. We experience the intensity of the Lord’s final days in Jerusalem. We stand at the foot of the Cross and see Him laid in the tomb. We experience the palpable joy of…

What Kind of Fire?

by Matushka Valerie Zahirsky

The image of fire appears frequently in the Orthodox Church’s prayers and teachings concerning our eternal destiny as human beings. For example, on the Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday) we sang in the kontakion, “When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory, all things shall tremble, and the river of…

Preparing for Christ’s Nativity: The Virgin Mary in Prophecy and Christian Tradition

by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South

On November 15, the Church entered the period of the Christian year known as the Nativity Fast (Advent). For forty days our attention will be directed toward the Nativity of Christ, both in the proper parts of the services and in the scriptural readings.

As part of the lenten effort several days in…

A Veterans Day Remembrance

by Father Theodore Boback, Jr.

veterans

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, we will gather in our churches for the Divine Liturgy as our nation celebrates Veterans Day.  This year marks the centenary observance of the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars,” as the armistice came into effect on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.  Americans…