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"In all truth I tell you, unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest" . "Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" . [John 12, NJB translation, 1985]. Christ portends a morbid trek for Himself and anyone to follow, but only if you put stock in the way that many people outside the Church consider themes of sacrifice and death. Among us Christians, Hopko suggests, Christ promises both a transformed experience of suffering and an exalted final word about life unending [34 passim]. Father Thomas Hopko introduces repentance on the very first page, because repentance is a critical experience of Christian faith as well as holds a central place throughout the 40 days of Great Lent. However, Hopko dismisses any hint of doom and romantic piety, and discards ideas of "psychosomatic benefits" that others mistakenly associate with abstinence . Abstinence from certain foods and social occasions prevails during Great Lent to stoke enthusiasm among Christians to run the race of faith harder and obtain the joy of union with the Holy Trinity. The book's first sentences set a joyful tone for the journey in the lenten spring: "The Church welcomes the lenten [sic] spring with a spirit of exultation. She greets the time of repentance with the expectancy and enthusiasm of a child entering into a new and exciting experience" . In fact, Hopko makes it clear that Christ having already accomplished the plan of salvation draws the faithful to the lenten spring in order to correct, purify, and enlighten the "...total person through the fulfillment of the commandments of the crucified God" . In that way, Hopko saves readers from wasted pious charades in a common liturgical trap of medieval passion plays, which whip up a fine show of horrified tears without substance in faith. Approaches to worship during Lent outside of Orthodoxy reward emotive displays in response to macabre "real life" reenactments of the Passion as necessary pathways to repentance. Hopko warns that histrionic displays in liturgical settings confuse and mislead worshipers who seek a fix or adrenalin rush by observing and/or participating in Christ dying year after year. To what end a frenzy as this? So that we might imitate Christ's agony? Instead, the sole imitation of the drama embedded in the Orthodox cycle of services is an honest and repeated acknowledgment that we sin just as Adam and Eve sinned before us . Lest I fail to make Hopko's point as clearly as he, Hopko admits to an increase in mystical joy in annual repetitions of lenten-season hymns and chants. Even though joy might include emotion when sung or recited in Orthodox rubrics, just the same emotion is kept in its limited place of importance. The joy of Orthodox lenten services transforms the entire community, which is the overall focus of the lenten spring. Communal transformation happens by way of words and graphic images grander than emotion and without requisite interaction with emotions to wit. Nevertheless, as Orthodox Christians intone rubrics of Lent in solemnity from the Typikon, they do not abstain from liturgical drama unfolding in the divine services of the lenten spring. Rather, the ancient verses and hymns are dramatic vessels that cover, protect and unite the faithful within. Together they head toward Pascha. To state it in brief, "the lenten spring is welcomed by Christians in the Church not as the time for self-inflicted agony or self-improving therapy" . Redoubling the joyous news, Hopko samples from the "Kanonion" (lectionary), liturgical responses, intervening Feasts of the Holy Theotokos, Apostles and Saints of the Church to portray how the Church introduces select themes early in Great Lent. Doubling back on these same themes several times more, worshipers are consoled and motivated to continue their observances. For example, midway through the road to Pascha, readings from the great Prophets, such as Isaiah, ask worshipers...
The Winter Pascha: Readings for the Christmas-Epiphany Season
No preview available - 1984
Bread and Water, Wine and Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God
No preview available - 2007
Life Line March 15, 2006 Volume 3: Issue 2 Dear Reader: With the ...
Dear Reader: With the Lenten season upon us we as Orthodox Christians are reminded that, though, at times, the world seems to be collapsing all around us, ...
www.light-n-life.com/ newsletters/ 03-15-2006.htm
fromthepastor - St. Mary's Orthodox Church Corning, NY
St. Mary's Orthodox Church located in Corning, NY. Liturgical Schedule, News and Events, Links
In “The Lenten Spring” Thomas Hopko describes St. John Climacus as one of the most “severe” of saints. Yet, Dr. Hopko points out, it is St. John Climacus ...
“Great Lent “Great Lent “Great Lent “Great Lent & Holy Week & Holy ...
Great Lent. Great Lent. Great Lent. Great Lent & Holy Week. & Holy Week. & Holy Week. & Holy Week. •. Major Sunday Themes of Lent and Holy Week Themes ...
www.goarch.org/ en/ archdiocese/ departments/ outreach/ Lenten%20Study%20Program%20St-Catherine-GreenwoodVillage.pdf
THE ORTHODOX POST
St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church, 181-14 Midland Parkway, Jamaica Estates, New York, NY 11432. Web site: www.stnicholasalbanian.org ...
www.stnicholasalbanian.org/ op/ 2007/ mar/ op_mar_2007.pdf
Bourgeois Baby: Ash Wednesday (after the fact)
Although true, it does seems a bit morbid when the deacon paints the sign of the cross in ashes on your not-yet-three-months-old's forehead and says ...
bourgeois-baby.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 02/ ash-wednesday-after-fact.html
Readings And Reflections — บล๊อก, รูปภาพ และอื่นๆ บน wordpress
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