Archive for September, 2005

Priests, bishops, and groups outside the Orthodox Church often feel the need to claim “apostolic succession” by listing who ordained them, who ordained them, and so on and so on, back to someone legitimate-sounding.

This is based on a faulty, Western theology of “sacramental validity.” But Apostolic Succession cannot be traded in outside the Church of the Apostles themselves. And normally, Apostolic Succession inheres in a See, a local bishopric, and not a person or chain of persons, anyway…a See of the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. Bishop A of X City, ordained by an Apostle, is succeeded by Bishop B of the same city, who is succeeded by Bishop C there, etc. It’s the Local Church, outside of which there is no “sacramental validity.”

Many of these groups aren’t wrong about everything. They just aren’t the Church until they’re received into Orthodoxy.

For the graphically-minded. Includes most Orthodox parishes in USA and Canada.

Here’s a lengthy, moment-by-moment commentary on the Divine Liturgy, very explanatory.

A talk by an Orthodox missionary.

Here’s a good brief account of a visit to a particular Orthodox parish in the Southern USA.

For a good, brief discussion of their point of view, see this PDF from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. (Link updated 1 March 2007.)

Leaves me humbled, a bit.

Because “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26).

In fact, most Orthodox prayers come from or are rooted in the liturgical services of the Church, and are of ancient origin.

Also, I’ve found that using Orthodox prayers helps me become always ‘more Orthodox,’ helps me grow morally and spiritually. By the Graciousness of God.

So, pray away!

BTW, here’s another common source for Orthodox prayers.

See International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the official relief agency of (most of) America’s canonical Orthodox Bishops. They don’t just help Orthodox, either.

…when you venerate (kiss) an icon, a priest or bishop’s hand, etc.?

I don’t think so. Some people do, others don’t. I don’t anymore, and I haven’t been struck by lightning yet! In life, some kisses are noisy, others aren’t. As in life, I think the important part is lip contact.

Dry lips, that is. No big wet ones for Jesus or the Theotokos or your priest (even if he is cute!); and we appreciate if you blot your lipstick or chapstick beforehand.