Anglican Liturgical Aesthetics: An Orthodox Reflection

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an October 2017 series of posts on the Reformation and Protestantism written by O&H authors and guest writers marking the 500th anniversary of the nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Articles are written by Orthodox Christians and discuss not just the Reformation as a historical…

Review of “Orthodox Christianity Volume IV: The Worship and Liturgical Life of the Orthodox Church” by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY VOLUME IV: THE WORSHIP AND LITURGICAL LIFE OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. By Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. Yonkers: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2016. 382 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-88141-522-0. In this fourth volume of his encyclopedic work Orthodox Christianity, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk has provided especially for us Orthodox Christians in America what just may be the most readable, comprehensive, and informative book on…

On Leithart’s Puritans and the Purity of Sacraments

Introduction In a recent article at First Things, Peter Leithart laments the “high-churchism” of non-Protestant celebrations of the Eucharist. For Leithart, the essential difference between “high” and “low” liturgies is that of the preparatory rites—not necessarily the external ornaments of incense, bells, and vestments. Beyond mere simplicity, the Protestant or “Puritan” sacramentalism was one that eschewed excessive and unnecessary foreplay: The low-church Reformers…

Infant Communion, Revisited

By Fr. Gregory Hogg Commemoration of the Holy Innocents, 29 December 2014 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. John 6:51 The young children ask for bread, But no one…

“Show us the Father” – How The Father May or May Not be Depicted in Orthodox Iconography

Read through any collection of Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoons, and you will doubtless come across a cartoon image of God as an old man, usually gigantic in proportion and surrounded by the clouds of “heaven.”  This kind of cartoon image has become the popular depiction of God within our popular culture, from the Sunday morning funny papers to popular films such as Monty Python…

“I Don’t Worship God by Singing”: So Why Bother Going to Church?

A reader alerted me to best-selling author Donald Miller‘s Feb. 3 post “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere,” and I was immediately struck by both the rightness and the tone of his critique: I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all. I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s…

Do Atheist “Mega-Churches” create the same effect as Christian ones?

Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection, an “inspirational talk” about forgotten — but important — inventors and scientists and some stand-up comedy. During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on…

If King David danced, should Christians dance in church?

The above video recently made the rounds on social media, and in many of the discussions that followed, there was a predictably negative response from traditional liturgical Christians and a predictably positive response from those who have in one way or another departed from liturgical tradition. From the latter, the question is typically why the former are so uptight as to insist…

Same-Sex Pair Uses Orthodox Wedding Service

[HuffPo] Manhattan saw many couples married that day, but one wedding was different, not only because it was two men being married in a Christian church, nor because they were joined by 80 supportive family members, nor even because it was a fully legal marriage of a same-sex couple, but also because two thinly handcrafted silver metal hoops, seven inches in diameter,…

The Doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Orthodox Church

Does the Orthodox Church believe in “transubstantiation” (μετουσίωσις in Greek) with regards to the Eucharist? Or is that only used in the Latin (Roman Catholic) church? There’s certainly a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there, so let’s take a closer look. As a long-time blogger, I can vouch for the necessity of extending grace towards a writer when they are…