The Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be Thy Name”

We continue in this series with our examination of the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, using Matthew’s version of the Prayer. We turn now to the next petition: “Hallowed be Thy Name”. To understand this petition we must first understand the Hebrew significance of a name. In our culture, a name is simply a verbal tag, a number of syllables by which someone is specifically identified and differentiated from others. For us,…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven”

We continue this series examining the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, using Matthew’s version of the Prayer rather than Luke’s. We will begin by working from the archaic version of the text as commonly prayed in our liturgical tradition (e.g. “Our Father who art in heaven”, rather than “Our Father in heaven”) because this is the version familiar to most people. But differences found in the original Greek text will be noted…

The Lord’s Prayer: Introduction

What would you do if you knew you were soon going to die? When a number of people aboard the Titanic knew that soon they would perish in the icy waters of the North Atlantic they could think of nothing better to do than to gather together and say the Lord’s Prayer. It was a wise choice. The band might play on (as we are famously told that they did), but wisdom…

The Feast of the Entrance and the Protoevangelium of James

Much of the hymnography adorning our Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple causes the raising of eyebrows—talk about Mary being escorted into the Holy of Holies by Zechariah the high-priest and remaining there, being miraculously fed by an angel. How is it that any female was allowed past the Court of Women, much less into the Holy of Holies? And how might she have remained there anyway, even…

The Authority of the Fathers

We Orthodox are fond of referring to the Church Fathers as authorities within the Church. When faced with a new or controversial issue, an Evangelical Protestant will ask, “What does the Bible say?” A classic Roman Catholic will ask, “What has Rome said?” An Orthodox will respond, “What do the Fathers say?” By this one can correctly conclude that the Fathers function as authorities in the Orthodox Church. That said, we must…

Are You Comfortable?

Recently I was reading a foreign-language newspaper (well, the English part of it) and there was an article in it about the church. My eyes were first attracted to the article by a photo of an old priest in a stole, having a long white beard, and holding a prayer rope (not the photo at left). The article accompanying the photo read as follows: “The monk priest Fr. (name withheld) came from…