For a Christian end to our lives…

For a Christian end to our lives, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, let us ask the Lord.

- From the Orthodox Christian Divine Liturgy, the Petitions

Praise Him and give Him thanks

Bringing doxology to the One born of the Virgin in church hymns and spiritual songs, we must, outside the church as well, unceasingly praise Him and give Him thanks for His ineffable lovingkindness to us sinners, who are atoned by His honourable blood and who have received through this promise life eternal, blessed, and unceasing.

- St. Ambrose of Optina

Hear me, O Lord…

Lord, I call upon Thee, hear me.. Hear me, O Lord

Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense.

And let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord.

- Psalm 141:1-2

When I gaze in meditation…

When I gaze in meditation and with faith upon the holy icons in church, and upon all its appurtenances, then I am lost in wonderful contemplation; the whole temple appears to me to be sacred history in action, a wonderful scripture of the works of God, accomplished in the human race. Here I see the history in action of our fall and of our restoration by God’s wonderful ordering…

- St. John of Kronstadt, from ‘My Life in Christ’

Let My Prayer Arise Like Incense- Orthodox Christian chant

30 day Orthodox challenge

Day 22 — What does Orthodox Christianity mean to you?

Well, this is a hard question… I truly believe that the other Orthodox that already replied to it expressed their feelings in a more beautiful way, but I’ll give a try.

Orthodoxy means everything to me. It’s my home and my shelter. Living in a world that everything changes every day and especially living in a country that everything collapses in front of our eyes, the Orthodox Church is the only stable and safe thing for me. The feeling when I enter in a church can’t be compared to anything. When I light a candle in the darkness, when I venerate with respect the holy icons that are illumined by the light of the candles, when I smell the sweet smell of incense, when I realize that in the Orthodox Church everything perfectly makes sense, from the colours used in the icons to the vestments of the priests etc…

Also, when I feel connected to the previous Orthodox Christians that have used the same Divine Liturgy many centuries ago, when I venerate the same icons they did, I feel complete. It’s like a bridge between the past and the future.

So when everything changes so rapidly, when the societies are getting away from Jesus Christ, I feel consolation to know that the Church that I am a member was, is and will always be there totally unchanged, since the era of Jesus.

Orthodox believers in my country take Orthodoxy as granted. They are not interested for the richness and the fullness that exists in the Church. So, as far as I can, with my own poor powers I’ll try to help spreading the light of Orthodoxy. I admire the way Orthodoxy expects each Church member to be responsible for the Faith. All of us have a great responsibility, to transfer the faith unchanged to the next generations. And it’s something I want to be a part of, as long as I live.

(Photos from here, here, here and here)

Our lighted candles…

Our lighted candles are a sign of the divine splendor of the One Who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of His eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ.

- St. Sophronius of Jerusalem

Pentecost troparion hymn

Orthodox Chant in English: A New Commandment - Arr. Bishop Job (Memory Eternal!)

A beautiful Christian Orthodox chant

(submitted by dear friend poppymalory)

Great Compline during the first week of Great Lent in St. George’s Church 2010

1st Kathisma: Blessed is the Man

Sung antiphonally by the choirs of St. Vladimir’s and St. Tikhon’s Seminaries during the All-Night Vigil on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

Magnificent Russian Orthodox music

Why Do We Need the Church?

The Blagoveschensky (Annunciation) Orthodox Cathedral. Eastern façade. Detail - Благовещенский кафедральный собор. Восточный фасад. Фрагмент

The Church is not just an earthly institution that seeks to control us by rules and limit our worship to stale rites. It is a living, breathing being literally the Body of Christ. This means that our life in Christ can only be lived within the life of the Church His Body. All aspects of this life nurture and form and protect our spirit. The boundaries set by the Church are not there to restrict us but to give us freedom. Within these walls, our spirits can soar. When we stay within the embrace of our mother the Church, we can know that we are with our Lord. We can fully open ourselves to Christ’s love, to the blossoming of our spiritual lives in limitless joy and peace.

Send me in my ask box your favourite(s) Christian song(s) (Catholic music, Protestant,..) and I’ll send you Christian Orthodox touching music. We can learn something from each other! I’m waiting for the music exchange! :)