The Way

Live, Love, Learn, The Orthodox Faith

Archive for March, 2009

Bible, Prayer and Fasting

Posted by MMR on March 21, 2009

Last Friday we had a triple bargain special offer – three topics in the space of one talk written by Fr. Raphael Armour. (It was wonderfully well presented by his wife Carolyn.)

As Fr. Raphael said ‘some of the tried and tested ways of nourishing our Life in Christ are:

•    reading and studying the scriptures – the Bible
•    being in regular communication with God – Prayer
•    denying our self – Fasting.’

He also helped to answer Mrs Carlyle’s question and tried to show us how!

Now all that’s left is for us to try to put that how into practice.

To help we’ve added new pages about PrayerBible, and Fasting so we can start taking the excellent advice of those talks and put it  into practice in our everyday lives.

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Holy Mysteries – Bringers of Life

Posted by phillippa00 on March 16, 2009

One of the things I often find myself saying in response to the question ‘So, why did YOU become Orthodox?’ is that I feel I have come home to the true, full understanding and expression of the faith established by our Lord Jesus Christ. Previously, I suppose I enjoyed aspects, parts, glimpses – but a shadow of the Ancient Faith I am immersed in now. One of the things I am so delighted by is the rhythm of life in the Church, daily, weekly and through the seasons -sometimes fasting, other times feasting! Regardless of the time though I am encouraged to participate in the Holy Mysteries of our Church. In my experience (- relatively short though it is!) there is much strength and abundant blessings when we throw ourselves on God’s mercy and receive the sacraments. I heartily encourage you all to participate too – with the appropriate preparation of course, and when ever possible under the direction of a Spiritual Father.

I am very fortunate to be guided by a Spiritual Father that I fully trust and respect, and try to by guided by him in all things. This is a very important relationship in my life and I know that it has brought me closer to the person I should be. It is not so easy to find someone here in the UK, as only a few Priest’s have a blessing to hear confession. However, a telephone call or e mail to the Archdiocese will, I am sure,  produce a list of names and locations – then the ball is in your court!

I was very encouraged by the Archbishop’s visit last week and for us all to receive his blessing. I think it is very important that he is left in no doubt how important understanding is to the faithful. How we long to learn and increase our commitment, and how that is really only possible through the medium of English. When THE WAY draws to a close I will write to him – and try to have a meeting with him to convey our concerns and desires. It would be helpful to have your comments to quote from – so please feel free!

This week it is ‘The Bible and Fasting’ – looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible!

Love Philippa

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Archbishop Gregorios visit on Friday

Posted by MMR on March 10, 2009

The Salutations (Χαιρετισμοί) will start at 6:30pm at St. Raphael’s (our host parish) and, I believe,  His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios will be present in Church. It would be lovely if lots of people could make it to the service. It will finish by 7:30pm which leaves us plenty of time to attend the Way in the Hall next door.

It’s hoped that His Eminence can be persuaded to attend and partake of some of our lovely fasting food – as his schedule allows. Looking forward to seeing you all again!

Akathist Links

The Akathist Hymn and Small Compline GOArch

The Akathist Hymn – with introduction GOC Australia

Western Music Version – Sung Russian Style


Akathist Hymn – Video Documentary (Real Audio)

Akathist Hymn – Video Documentary (In Browser)


Eikona – The Akathist Hymn in English

Learn to Chant – The Akathist Hymn in English

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Our Heavenly Divine Liturgy!

Posted by phillippa00 on March 7, 2009

I so enjoyed our talk last night and my enthusiasm for our Divine Liturgy was further stimulated! To worship with the whole company of heaven …. what joy! I am very grateful to our wondrous Marina with all her resources – such a great encouragement to us who really need that support in English. Try to make time to read so your knowledge grows and you feel more and more at home in the services. I feel so privileged to part of a Church that is so full and rich in its services – I was fascinated to here all the intricacies that Father Michael shared with us.

It seems that the issue of understanding is something that we keep revisiting, our longingto understand and fully participate in our first language. We must keep telling those who run our Churches, keep letting them know how we feel and why. We need to support and encourage the ordination of ‘home grown’ Priests for whom serving in English will not be a problem. We need to be seen to participate in whatever English services are offered so the ‘thirst’ is demonstrated. I know there is frustration when these things are offered on Saturdays etc – but it is better than nothing.

I thoroughly recommend attendance at St Botolphs, Father Michael and Alexander’s Church at Liverpool St and would say that the journey is well worth it. We were discussing participation a lot in our group yesterday, and this is most definitely encouraged – the congregation chants the service with the choir, the whole service is in English. My heart soars as my seven year old daughter sings the liturgy – it is becoming a part of her life, internalised from her childhood! Also there are regular English Liturgies at the Monastery in Essesx on a Saturday starting at 7.ooam – followed by breakfast! Both of theses require a bit of planning and travel – but you have to put something in to get something out – you will be richly blessed!

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The Divine Liturgy

Posted by MMR on March 7, 2009

It was so good to see everyone again. It was also great to be able to attend the Salutations to the Mother of God (Χαιρετισμοί) within the Church of our host parish and enjoy more of their warm hospitality.  Next week it will be even easier as they will be starting the service even earlier just for us! I was also amazed to see the real effort people had made tonight preparing fasting food. An enjoyable lenten treat!

For those who couldn’t make it tonight you really did miss a lively and inspiring talk that was about the very centre of our Faith: The Divine Liturgy. Below I’m adding some resources for everybody so that we can much better understand something that is absolutely essential for our way of ‘being’  Orthodox Christians: The Divine Liturgy – The Eucharist.


This is designed for school students in the UK, but is also good for us. Do you remember how Father Michael explained the significance of the prosphora bread and the preparation of the Eucharist?Well here is a video of what the priest does and an interactive prosphora which you can roll your mouse over and learn what each part represents! See also Introduction to Worship in the Orthodox Church for a more detailed look!

Or how about a narrated slide show with the priest explaining what happens in his parish?

Text of the Liturgy

A note about the different liturgies: The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is the one used throughout most of the year. The Liturgy of St. Basil is celebrated about 10 times a year, including the Sundays of Lent. During weekdays in Lent we have the Service of the Presanctified Gifts.

Various translations


Music for the Divine Liturgy

More fun Orthodox stuff from CLEO net

Click below and make a comment if you’ve found this useful, or have anything more to add.

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Ancient Faith Radio – spiritual nourishment for all….IN ENGLISH

Posted by phillippa00 on March 4, 2009

I cannot recommend this station enough, I started listening a year ago after Father Justin, a deacon at St Botolph’s told me about it. I am delighted that Marina included it in her entry on resources, and I know many others have listened and found it as encouraging and nourishing as me. It is available through the Internet at present – I listen to it on my lap top at home as I cook or clean up etc.

You can choose  Orthodox Music or Talk – I choose talk generally – then their is a list of podcasts you can download or link to – and the choice is incredible. I like ‘Close to home’ which focuses on family, home and community; An Illumined Heart – people with inspirational Orthodox experiences are interviewed at length (inc Father Zacharias from Essex, and Father Michael is soon to be added too!); Orthodixie – delivered by my other Father Joseph – a fellow convert who sometimes finds the whole ethnic thing a little trying ….. there is Bible Study, Saints of the Day…. it is endless and it is all in ENGLISH…… try it out, it will be such a blessing!

Love Philippa

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Our top Patriarch!

Posted by phillippa00 on March 3, 2009

Just wanted to take the opportunity to share with you all how inspirational our Patriarch is…..

I hardly knew anything about him – his name (Bartholomew) location (Constantinople), that we are asked to dig deep at crucial points in the Church year on behalf of the Patriarchate and that he sends us letters from time to time which I never really get as they are read out in Greek!

Well – I went to talk at the Hellenic Centre by Bruce Clark, widely respected journalist, and convert to our Orthodox Faith. the title of the talk was a little deceiving and I honestly went ‘to make up the numbers’ having received several e mails from the Archdiocese……What a pleasant surprise – Mr Clark spoke fluently and passionately, shining a light on a man that I feel now so very proud of and inspired by. It turns out that the Patriarch is driven by (amongst other things) a deep concern for the damage we are doing to our environment globally and had organised various symposia in areas that are under the most threat – for the example the Amazonian Rain Forests and Alaska. He has travelled there in person and organised events and media coverage to further draw people’s attention to the damage we are doing. He has met with indigenous peoples, people of all faiths and none to demonstrate his concern for God’s creation and encourage us all to do what we can to halt this unsustainable global lifestyle. He was named one of the top 50 individuals most likely to save the planet by The Guardian Newspaper……

To find out more visit the website of the Patriarchate……..

The refreshments were also of a very high standard – they put on a good evening at the Hellenic centre – go if you get the chance…. but on a serious note, another real high light was the Choir that opened and closed the evening lead by Father Joseph Paliouras, from Twelve Apostles – they were amazing – they sang simple (so I was told afterwards) pieces and gave me goose bumps!!!!!!

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We are over half way there …..

Posted by phillippa00 on March 3, 2009

I throughly enjoyed our talk last week on the nature and purpose of the Church by Father Michael Harper – it was straight forward, easy to follw and well supported with clear examples and anecdotes. I have to admit though that I was was a bit sad to note that sometimes the picture of the loving fellowship of the Church he painted is not the one we would recognise in all our experiences.

I would encourage you all to do your bit to the loving face of our Church – especially to those who look uncomfortable, maybe they have small children and maybe are worrying about noise/ behaviour, maybe they have come for a memorial for a loved one, but they have no idea what is going on in the service, maybe they are NOT GREEK!!!!!! (it happens! ) and are completely lost……..small things like sharing an English translation of the service, asking someone to stay/ go out for coffee, letting people know about the Sunday School, the fellowship group, the WAY, telling  them about a great book or article you have read…. or just smiling, saying ‘welcome- good to see you today…’ If your parish does not have any of these things in place – then volunteer….. a wise man once told me ‘if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.!’

Let us remember that our love needs to extend to our Priests and Deacons too – the need our love and fellowship and support as much as we need theirs. We can all give love to our parishes – regardless of the financial climate, football schedule, school run etc – call the Priest, visit him in the week  – make him a cup of tea – take him a cake / lunch, ask him what you can do to help – if you need to go to the post office – call him first and ask if he need stamps – clean up the kitchen, work on a data base, answer the phone for hour so he can visit the sick ……. I could go on, but I think the point is made. It is the people that are the Church ( that might be why we fall short!) and it is up to us to participate and make it what it should be – a place where the love of Christ is present and abundant for all come.

I am really looking forward to this week’s talk on the Divine Liturgy and hope to come away the wiser, having had some of my questions answered. I look forward to seeing you all again – God willing!

Love Philippa

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Updates 4 Geek Orthodox Wayfarers

Posted by MMR on March 1, 2009

Yes … I meant Geek!

We have a few more online resources at our disposal and even more ways to keep in touch.

The flyer webpage has been updated. Use it to let your friends know about the course.

I’ve added a new Radio page.

Also, we have a Google Group and are on Facebook. Till next week.

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