June 2, 2020 By Seraphim Danckaert
The novel coronavirus pandemic has certainly disrupted liturgical life in the Orthodox Church worldwide: responses and changes to centuries-old practices have varied considerably from country to country, diocese to diocese, and sometimes even parish to parish. Some within the Church have been calling for an end to the medieval Eastern Christian practice of distributing Holy Communion to the laity via a communal spoon. Rather than examining the arguments — pro or con — related to such a suggestion, I would like to ask a more practical question: is an official change likely to happen, either worldwide or even within one autocephalous church? [Read more...]
May 30, 2020 By Dr. Eugenia Constantinou
In his article of May 25, 2020, “A Note on the Common Communion Spoon,” Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas attempted to provide some justifications for eliminating use of the common spoon for Holy Communion. What he ultimately presented were the values of the world or the reasoning of Western Christianity under the cloak of Orthodox theology. Orthodoxy has always been flexible, but it has also been uncompromising in certain areas, including our core belief about Communion and our Orthodox phronema, our mindset, which is distinct from all other Christian groups... [Read more...]
May 25, 2020 By Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, Ph.D.
As we are planning the reopening of our churches, and anticipating soon to approach again for Holy Communion, a lot of discussions have arisen as to the method of distribution of the Holy Gifts in the Orthodox Churches. Some people have been talking about the need for using multiple spoons, others are proposing new innovative methods. The underlying feeling of everyone is the fear of death... [Read more...]
April 8, 2020; An Interview with Jean-Claude Larchet
First of all, what is your general opinion on the epidemic we are currently experiencing?
I am not surprised: for millennia there have been about two major epidemics per century, and several other smaller epidemics. Their frequency is, however, increasing, and the population concentration in our urban civilization... [Read more...]
April 9, 2020 By Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
I’ve always admired the early monks and nuns of the desert literature. Not because they discovered ways of escaping the reality of paying taxes. Not only because their words were inspirational and their prayer transformative. And not primarily because they withstood the power of the empire and the test of time. But because ... [Read more...]
March 14, 2020 By Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick
I am going to go ahead and say yes. But stick with me here, okay? We Christians in the early 21st century tend to be spiritual people when we’re in church or praying but secular materialists much of the rest of the time. I don’t mean that we become unbelievers, but we do tend to act like them. How do pastors and Christian teachers... [Read more...]