Posts Tagged ‘church’

Attending Hope: How Church Can Help Seniors Revitalize Their Life

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

sundayschool-church-provides-health-benefits

For senior citizens living alone, life can sometimes feel isolated and detached.  Attending church can revitalize people by providing a net of social and spiritual support. Recent studies have suggested that churchgoers see plenty of health benefits, ranging from the physical to the emotional to the spiritual.

Health

As Today reported, attending church is good for your health. The benefits are not limited or exclusive to a particular faith, and include any place where people gather to worship. Attending these communal gatherings provides a feeling of companionship, compassion, and the idea that one is accessing something bigger than oneself. All of this helps reduce stress, which can affect people’s appetite, sleep habits, and overall mental health.

According to the New York Times, going to church weekly is good for you; religiosity boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. Declining physical health or decreased mobility can be a contributing factor to depression in senior citizens. Attending a church service helps seniors get out of their house and interact with the world. Getting to church, however, can often present a problem for senior citizens who lack transportation. There are plenty of options seniors can use to get around. Most churches or community centers are accessible through public transportation like bus routes and trains. Some churches even offer pick up services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Social Support

For senior citizens living alone or without family, going to church can provide a stable and comforting community and social interaction. When people get older, they might become separated from their usual activities due to medical issues, retirement, or inability to perform certain tasks. Church provides an immediate form of social support, which is important in fighting off the physical effects of loneliness. Places of worship tend to have closer communities of people that take an interest in each other’s lives and help support the needs of their members, while offering public support in the form of food pantries, winter clothing, or emergency preparation. Many churches also host activities dedicated to senior citizens. They offer spiritual outings or gatherings that encourage community building amongst the local senior population.

Spiritual support

Attending a church or a spiritual center is a holistic way to approach challenges and personal suffering. As stated in the Huffington Post, the church’s role is to fill a void in the community for people looking for a “spiritual fix.” For seniors in need of this spiritual guidance, the church can help heal past wounds, worries, and lingering regrets.  Whether they’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or financial instability, churches also offer guidance and counseling to help people through their trials and tribulations. Having a second family with which to share problems and questions about life can keep seniors from sliding into isolation and depression.

Part of a church's spiritual support lies in the comfort one receives from others, but also in the messages of love and hope most churches embrace. Services can provide meaning and answers to life’s toughest questions. A church is not about a building, but about the people that gather there and the common purpose of truth and inner peace. Becoming part of a church community restores optimism in the lives of those who need it most.

Senior citizens should not feel isolated from the world. The church has always provided a safe haven for people most in need. Attending services and becoming part of a community will help seniors revitalize their life, form new friendships, and stay healthy.

 

Author: Jason Lewis

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Can you swim after communion? – What is better not to do after receiving the holy sacraments

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

is-it-allowed-to-swim-after-holy-communion
I took the sacraments this Sunday, and as we're on a holiday and we go to swimming daily. I never swim eucharist in my wife, so a logical came is it allowed to swim after receiving the holy sacraments?

I've googled around to see for an answer but it seems from what I find there is no official plain answer telling whether swimming is allowed or not after communion.

As there is no official church position on this question, this question is solved privately with your priest (spiritual father), if you have such, if not you can do it according to your own conscious.

I've red there are some priests who say, the best practice is not to swim after communion at least 9 hours after holy communion.

For monks the question to swim or not after receiving the holy sacraments is clearly answered as monks are not allowed to go to a beach / undress or wear a swimwear. The reason for that swimming could turn to pleasing the flesh and even a passion in some cases.

otec_Georgi_Jeglarci_communion_chalice_holy-potir

For layman swimming is allowed, but it is dangerous to swim for the only reason, one can hurt himself during swimming and there might be bleeding and it is well known rule to try to follow not to have bleeding or open wounds during communion. Of course in some cases for old people who believe and take the holy blood and flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ with permanent open wounds this rule cannot be observed and with such there might be exceptions. But the general rule for healthy people to follow is to preserve themselves from bleeding after receiving holy communion.
Also an interesting thing that is good to observe after communion is not to take haircut on the same day, cut nails and even it is recommended to not take shower the same day.
The reason to generally try to not wash the body is because the blessing and renewal of the body by the holy spirit which is received in form of Christ's blood and flesh is bathing us and we don't want to wash out this blessing.

Christ-giving-holy-sacraments-to-holy-apostle-Paul

Of course to shower or not after communion is a personal decision. Also the one of the reasons not to haircut on same day as holy communion is it is usual to get a shower after haircut and it is better not to do that. No bleeding on the same day as communion is because we physically receive holy Christ's body and flesh and his holy gifts run through all our body including in the blood and we don't want to have to waste and "spill" this grace through bleeding.
Also on day of receiving holy sacraments it is church rule not to kiss, not to spit and walking barefoot (for the danger that you can hurt yourself and have a blood spill).

lastsupper-holy-orthodox-icon-what-to-do-after-holy-communion

If for some reason you fall and bleed the proper way to deal with the situation is to burn the tissue with the blood.

The number 9 hours to wait is significant in that it reminds us of the hours our Lord Jesus Christ spent to pay our debts with his holy blood and thus grant us salvation. This is the way of the cross starting from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, the trial, crucifixion, death, and laying in the tomb took a total of 9 hours.
Also trying consedering not to spit, not chew chewing gum, wash, take shower and kiss is important as it is a mean of watchfulness and as Christians we have to be watchful, at least some minor time after being allowed to re-join the Holy Body of Christ through the holy sacraments gifts in Church.

If you're bringing to communion your kids it is a different story and you can be less vigilent to obseve all this, as it is impossible to know what a kid could do.
It should be known except spitting, right after receiving the holy communion all is not a must observe rules but it is good ones to follow.

Most of the information of this post is based on Coptic Oriental Orthodox forum with questions and answers on wha it is better not to do after communion, anyways as we Eastern Orthodox Chrsitians are so close in faith to Copts, the answers there are true for us too.

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Feast of Saint Stephen’s martyrdom in Bulgarian Orthodox Church / Saint Stephen the first Christian Saint

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Saint Stephen Martyrdom Orthodox Christian Icon

It is 27th of December, the 3rd day of Christmas and in those day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church we co-memorate saint Stephen's Martyrdom.

Its a well known fact that by his martyrdom Saint Stephen become the first Christian martyr
Stephen's name etymology comes from Greek (Stephanos) and translated means "Crown".

What we know from Orthodox Church's tradition is that Stephen was a very young in his age of Martyrdom probably in his 20s.

Stephen's glorious martyrdom has inspired and strengthened significantly the early seveerly hunted Church and has give a lot of courage and faith to many of our early Saint Martyrs. These early Church saints now incesently pray to God to have mercy on our earthly Church.
Its not much known fact St. Stephen held a rank in the early Church clergy, he was a HieroDeacon.
Hierodeaconism in our church is considered the maximum rank of deaconship one can have just before he is ordained for a Priest.

St. Stephen Orthodox Christian icon

St. Stephen was burning for love in Christ and had a strong faith in God, turning many Jewish to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He has shown the truth way to many by teaching them, how to properly interpret the Old Testament (Ancient Jewish) writtings.
He explained to many jewish, how all the old scriptures testify about the coming of the Messiah (Christ), which will save all who believe in his name from sins hell damnation.
As Jewish looked for ways to shutter any kind of preaching of the Gospel and kill Christianity, they saw Stephen as a big enemy just like all Christians in those early days. Therefore they looked for ways to accuse him and execute them and end up the large numbers of jewish people converting from Jewism to Christianity
The whole story of stoning (execution) of st. Stephen is described in the Holy Scriptures in the book called Acts of the Apostles

As he was about to die, Stephen looked up to heaven and said;

"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."
Then, as he was being stoned, he cried out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.".Our Beloved saints last words were, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." manifesting his saintship and deep Christ love even during his last moments of earthly living.
St. Stephen is celebrated in almost all West Roman Catholic Church and in Anglicans.
Churches who co-mmemorate the great saint are located in all around the world.
St. Stephen is also considered a patron saint of Republika Sprska (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Stephen's name later probably become the origin name for western's so popular Steven name).
Saint Stephen Orthodox Christian Icon 11th century byzantine icon
 

Saint Stephen's Byzantine Icon from the 11th Century

Let by the Holy Prayers of St. Stephen God have mercy on the Church and increase our faith and mercies to us sinners.

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The third day after Resurrection (Easter)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

It’s the third day, after the saviour’s tomb was found empty. The third day after the evel living has manifested his divinity by showing himself alive to The Holy Virgin Mary (Theotokos) to Mary Magdalene and to few of the Holy Apostles.
The upcoming week is called within the Church The Bright Week
The whole week is a week of a divine spiritual joy which we all the Christians experiens (feels).

God is really graceful to us the sinners in this holy days of the year.

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A living saint in Bulgaria Dqdo (Elder) Dobri of Baylovo village – The living Christ example we Christians should follow

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

elder-dobri-from-baylovo-a-great-saint-like-example-christians-should-follow

In this dark days of humanity, we can rarely find persons who live in a holy way like the saints from the Holy Bible or the Books of the Living of the Saints

Saintship has been slowly disappearing from earth just like it's prophecised by Christ our Saviour and the Holy Apostles and in later times by many monks, Church hierarchs, patriarchs and hermits.

In Bulgaria as in most parts of the Orthodox world the Christian faith apostacy is also clearly seen.
We can no longer see saint hermits like our patron saint of Bulgaria Saint John of Rila

Even in this dark days God still shows mercy to us and still present us some of his saints.
The topic of this article as you have already red in the title is Elder Dobri of the Baylovo village

Elder Dobri of Baylova has been a regular person like all of us with a family and children just until 12 years ago.
About 12 years ago the I would call him The Living saint has decided to let all the earthly passions and sorrows for Christ and his eternal salvation.
He despised the earthly goodness and become a beggar, all the collected money he got were distributed among other poor people or donated to Churches and monasteries belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

Day by day and a coin by coin, he has collected thousands of levs (the bulgaria national currency).
The gathered money were given to support the live of monasteries and Churches, by this very date. This old man is the greatest donator for the Cathedral Church St. Alexsander Nevski (situated at the heart of Bulgaria's capital Sofia)

His words spoken just like the saints are full of grace and goodness. One of his famous sayings are:

Man has Always two wills in himself in every moment of his life, the will to do good and the will to do evil
As all the truths his sayings are simple but represent the ultimate truth which was also said in many other forms in The Holy Bible Gospels and God's law.

The external outlook of Dqdo Dobri is also saintly, he has long beard a shining eyes and a national folklore dress.
He looks like he has been out of some old Bulgarian tale.

It's very striking fact that he that this old man is the biggest donator for our Cathedral Temple, we have many millionaires and businessman in Bulgaria but nobody has decided to donate to our Church such a high sum of money.

Elder Dobri's donation for the St. Alexander Nevski's Church is in value 35700 levs (around 19000 euros).
Dqdo Dobri is a beggar for Christ, this is one of the major types of saintship we read about in the living of the saints.
All the collected money from people are given for God's Glory. It's amazing heroism and an example, all we the Christians should follow to fulfill Christ's law of love and inherit the internal salvation.
A friend of mine who has the blessing to see Elder Dobri with her own eyes and have a small talk with him, has shared with me that even though he wears an old ragged clothes, his clothes and body emit a roses like odor!

As the fame about the same has grown these days, the Bulgarian National television has prepared a small video about the saint. I believe the video as a true blessing for us the Christians and will encourage us to persist in the good deads.
Here I present you the videos you can see the living saint, I hope by his holy prayers God will show mercy to all us who watch his graceful words:


The Living Christian Saint from Baylovo Village – Bulgaria


Elder Dobri from Baylovo – Bulgaria

Inteview with Elder Dobri in his house in Baylovo (the interview is in Bulgarian)

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Will the End of the World come in 2012? The Orthodox Christian perspective

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Nowdays, there is a lot of talk and discussions about the end of the world.
The fear of the End of the World in year 2012 is highly proclaimed, ancient mayan false “prophecies” are highly buzzed about.

Many people are more interested into the of the world, as many of the signs of the end times has been fulfilled.
Many people are turning back into occult and pagan beliefs to look up for prophecies to backup their thesis of the mayan prophecies.

A mess of false prophecies from different religions are usually mixed in order to proof to ourselves that the end of the world is at hand.
A number of apocalyptic movies has been produced until in the making industries as the more the time is close to year to 2012 the more sci-fi and all kind of movies on the apocalyptic theme are being produced.

Many people live in a constant fear that they’re gonna die in 2012 and start living even more irresponsible than before, asserting that there is no reason to do anything valuable now as the world’s end is near.
I myself some few years ago have been among this blind “false prophets” and has confessed the same destructive philosophy.
Yes it’s true that the Apocalypsis is approaching and has been approaching since the last 2011 years that passed since our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth on earth.
What is erronemous is the mistake that, we should live in fear about the end and we should do belief like the pagans in their shaky wrong beliefs based more on superstitiousness than on prophetic facts or signs of the time.

Even a plenty of music bands Protestant Christian bands like Saviour Machine are writting lyrics on the topic of the End Times, spreading fear unto some degree even among Christian Metal heads.

The situation outside the realm of the Christian secularity is even worser, I’ve heard a whole bunch of people especially in (USA) are preparing food and provisions to survive great cataclysm that they say is expected to come over the earth.
You can judge how insane is that! The end of the world as my spiritual father has told me some long time ago could be individually for us in every further minute.
If I as an individual die then I will experience the end of the world and when I will die is in God’s hands, so there is no point to worry about where the all world will end, if there is a high probability that my personal end could occur every single minute.
It’s sad that the consequences of such an panical beliefs about “the evils that are about to come on the world” are being falsely interpreted among Christians, this kind of tendency is also spread this days even among some practicing Orthodox Christians.

At many times studying of the Holy Bible “Book of the Apolapysis” are soul and mind destructive.
It’s a well known fact that in the past the book of Apocalypsis has been officially included in the Holy Bible, somewhere nearby the 5th century.

The reasons the holy church fathers decided to place the book of revelation in the bible so late is that, many of the things written are hard to understand and can lead novice Christian astray from the true essence of our faith which is love for God and love for the neighbor
Very pitily even I as an Orthodox Christians have suffered the great consequences of attempting to interpret the prophecies among the end of the world.

Therefore I found interesting that I share in this article what is the position of the Orthodox Church on the Apocalypsis or the so called End Times

First it should be said that Orthodox Christians positions is mostly based on factological information and prophetic saying by the Holy Fatherswhich by itself require a spiritual father to interpret them properly.

In the Orthodox Church we’re expecting the End Times, since the beginning of the one Holy and Apostolic Church. However the Apocalypsis is never being perceived as something that we should concentrate about but as an information that it’s good to have a general awareness of in order to have understanding in the spiritual times we’re living and how close we’re to the Second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Orthodox Christian belief on Apocalypsis is completely opposite to the worldly belief which plants panic and fear in people’s mind and souls.
We belief that drawing near to the End Times, we’re drawing near to our second coming of our Lord and hence near to our eternal Salvation therefore the end days to come are not to be a concern of fear but on a contrary, they should accepted with humility and joy that we’re drawing near to our eternal salvation.

As a part of the topic of the End of the World, it’s very common nowdays in Christian and Non-Christian (heretical) groups (Mormons, Jehova’s Witnesses) to talk about the expected AntiChrist and to propagate fear in their deceived deciples.

These heretical groups has the wrong idea that starts with the definition of AntiChrist in that groups they belief AntiChrist means Against Christ, which is not very proper definition of the word.
The Orthodox Christian understanding about the AntiChrist word is Instead of Christ
Therefore the true meaning of AntiChrist in the original church was always perceived as Instead of Christ and not literally Against Christ.

Instead of Christ means, a substitute for Christ. Now if we think deeply in the modern world we have a bunch of substitute of Christ in the form of passions we have, disbelief inattendance of the Holy Liturgy – the Ancient Church service in our Orthodox Church.
In the number of Instead of Christ are a false belief to all kind of transcendental philosophies buddhism, reincarnation, hinduism, muslim beliefs, cult to public perons like let’s say Madonna or Marilyn Manson etc. etc.

If we as Christians have an example person for our life instead of having our saviour Jesus Christ for an example to follow, then we are definitely following an AntiChrist.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t say that Madonna or Michael Jackson or whoever is an AntiChrist. They’re definitely not, even though very often their behaviour and public performance becomes the reason for many people to be falsely leaded to false beliefs and false teachings different from the teachings of Our Holy Orthodox Church.

In that sense the danger of the mani AntiChrists is rooted in following anything different from the real Lord Jesus Christ who leads our Orthodox Church and who gives us grace by the 7 Church established mysteries.

Now as I said a few words about the general perception of Apocalypsis, the End of the World and the AntiChrist. Let me answer the question is there a date when the world will end up?

The Church is definitive about that and the answer is NO! NO! and NO!

It’s even written in the Holy Bible, here is the exact quote that clearly states, that we’re not given to know the exact time and date but only some general signs:

Mark 13:32:
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Having said that for us Christians it’s more than clear that it’s almost impossible that the end of the world is in 2012, especially if that kind of false belief is taken from a pagan religion like the mayans.

Throughout the years before this year 2011, there were plenty of so called “prophecies”, each of which has claimed the end of the world will be soon, some of the “new days end time prophets” even has gave a specific date and time for the global cataclism expected to occur..
For instance followers of William Miller (the founder of the deadly end-times movement) has predicted the exact day on which the world will end according to their calculations this was Oct 22, 1844.

You can see by your own that this kind of deliberate fear creation and massive panic is not something new and has been known to exist for several decades.

Concerning the fear of the end of the world, I remember that one of our Holy Fathers said I quote by memory: “Even if the World falls apart and the sky falls over, I would not be afraid for I believe in God”.

Our Orthodox Christian perspective is not to focus on external cataclysms and calamities but to focus on our internal spiritual life.

Knowing when the world will come doesnt’ worth a cent for us the Christians, as it is not a goal of our living. Our Goal is to gain an eternal salvation by faith in Christ and repentance for our bad sinful lives.

Today many of the panical false beliefs and “warnings” from Jehovah’s witnesses and other sects a like are absolutely deliberate, they use this as a tool to set fear and then gain followers of their soul destructive satanic teachings.
We the Orthodox Christians, should not be afraid of the end but be joyful as it’s said in Thessalonians: “..Always be joyful..”

I personally belief that the end times fear that is being planted nowdays from all medias and the internet is at many times done on purpose, to even try to deceive us the Orthdox Christians.

This kind of end times and mystical interest into prophecies and future things to come very often could mislead us and make us belief many of the false beliefs the fortune-tellers has and preach.

Unlimited interest into spirituality, definitely ends up in spiritual blindness and spiritual disored, even often to a mind inconsistencies.
The recent raise of Neuro Lenguistic Programming is nothing different, it’s just another way to blind up and deceive people and mislead them from the way of thuth that our Saviour Jesus Christ has shown us..

Interest into broken-mysticism is very natural for our fallen sinful state, but we should not let this to lead our lives, we should not live in fear Christ has never given us a spirit of fear right on the contrary.

Note that the above reasonings include a lot of my personal reasonings and it might be that I’m wrong somewhere as I’m not a father and I’m not 100% aware of all Church beliefs.
However I’m pretty sure that most that I said so far is truthful and does correspondent to our Orthodox Church understanding about Apocalypsis and End times.
There is much to be said on the topic of End of the World and our Orthodox position about it, but as my goal was simply to answer the Will the world over in 2012 and I believe I answered thoroughfully enough it will most probably not!Now to close up this article, I do pray that God (The Holy Trinity) save us and protect us from all evil and show us the true way in the Orthodox Church and deliver us from false doctrines, false beliefs and end times paranoias.

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The Celebration of the feast of the temple Holy Trinity

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Just few weeks ago it was the feast of our temple here in Dobrich the holy triniy. For this event a lot of priests either from Dobrich and the district as well as the Metropolit Kiril of Varna. Father Veliko has insisted to ordain me with a church rank. The church rank I received grants me oportunity to enter the holy altar and help in the church services (the holy liturgies). My sister has captured a couple of snapshots both video and pictures the pictures I’ve upload and can be seen

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My cousin’s Marriage – Impressian from Burgas (Bulgaria) marriage and Kamenartzi herbal healer

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

kamenar-near-burgas-herbal-healing-bai-Dimitar-natural-healear-who-was-healing-cancer
We (Me and My Family) had to stand up early in the morning around 4:30 in Saturday and we traveled to Burgas. First we had to go to a herbman to prescribe me some Herbs. The herbamn is called “bai Dimitar” where bai is a bulgarian specific title for a man on age after the middle age he is located in Kamenartzi village (a small village near Bourgas). He is a sort of strange guy and is speaking very strange things. I hope this herbs will help me. I have to boil them and drink them five times a day. After that we went to Bourgas in my aunt Galia and uncle Galen’s apartment. Everything was a sort was going smooth, Gergana my cousin which was going to merry dressed with a bride dress and waited for his future man (son-in-law). The guy appeared with a limosine and an orchestra. Some ordinary Bulgarian rituals were followed after that the ceremony continued in the council house. Where they became man and wife officially (in front of Bulgaria). After that it followed a celebration in a Bourgas Hotel called “Bulgaria”. The celebration of the marriage included again different traditional Bulgarian dances, guest also danced and ofcourse the Bulgarian familiar horos. I did eat a lot of food and drinked a lot of the meaningless of marriage and all this vanity into celebrity and a lot of empty words spokened there I also convinced myself that I would NEVER EVER allow to have a marriage celebration like this. Some 20 or 30% of the music was Chalga which ofcourse drived me mad. In somewhere 05:00 in the morning we traveled back by car with my father driving. My father is driver from some few months and I definetely can’t say he is an experiencable type of driver which may allow himself to drive with speed higher than the maximum allowed, anywayz he did and I just tried to make him aware that he is braking the driver codex rules. He instead of taking my notes which I made with the idea that I would like to be home back ALIVE, nagged him and he started yelling at me and telling me to stop to complain. That ended in again making me hate him and regret I have parents like this which was a expected to happen since I was angry at all the stupidity and the low intelectual level of most of the ppl who were invited into the Marriage ceremony (although most of them were businessman and a ppl with a high degrees, education). The thing that irritated me the most that the had a marriage ceremony in a orthodox Church and they probably did this just because this is the ordinary way most ppl in Bulgaria does. PFF.. I have slept just for a hour or two today so I probably will go to sleep soon. But first I intend to go for a Liturgy in St. George’s orthodox church. This is after 20 minutes from now. Well thats most of how I spend my saturday on “nothing”. The good thing from all that was that Niki, a.k.a. Nomen’s brother has given me his PSP for the weekend. So I had the time to examine it and generally play with it. I even used a free wifi access in the restaurant where we were and did a bit of browsing :)END—–

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