Monday, May 18, 2015

Orthodox Church 1

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Orthodox Church galleries: 
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Interior of an Orthodox Church



Russian woman making the sign of the Cross during a service


Mother of God With Infant Jesus



Orthodox church of the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord, Russia



Baptism of Russian Prince Vladimir


The Primary Chronicle reports that in the year 987, after consultation with his boyars, Vladimir the Great sent envoys to study the religions of the various neighboring nations whose representatives had been urging him to embrace their respective faiths. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them, only sorrow and a great stench.  In the churches of the Germans his emissaries saw no beauty; but at Constantinople, where the full festival ritual of the Byzantine Church was set in motion to impress them, they found their ideal: "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth," they reported, describing a majestic Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia, "nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it."




Ancient Byzantine ambo of Hagia Sophia cathedral

The ambo is the platform from which the deacon reads the Gospel and says the litanies, and the priest gives the dismissal during the Divine Services.




St. Basil of Ostrog church, Belgrade



The Divine Liturgy 


In Eastern traditions, those of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Divine Liturgy is seen as transcending time, and the world. All believers are believed to be united in worship in the Kingdom of God along with departed Saints and the celestial Angels. To this end, everything in the Liturgy is seen as symbolic, yet also not just merely symbolic, but making the unseen reality manifest. Eastern Christians participating in the Liturgy also traditionally believe that the Eucharist is the central part of the service, as they believe it truly becomes the real Body and Blood of Christ, and through their partaking of it, they see themselves as together becoming the Body of Christ (that is, the Church).




Patriarch Cyril of Moscow and All Rus

He became Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church on 1 February 2009. Prior to becoming Patriarch, Cyril was Archbishop (later Metropolitan) of Smolensk and Kaliningrad beginning on 26 December 1984; and also Chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department for External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod beginning in November 1989.



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