Posts Tagged ‘Cross’

Thomas Sunday – The day of Disbelievers

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Thomas-sunday-the-day-of-disbelieve-Thomas-reaching-to-Jesus-wounds

A week passed since we Christian celebrated Resurrection of Christ (Pascha). Each year on first Sunday after Easter in orthodox Church is celebrated the so called Thomas Sunday. So why is it called Thomas Sunday and why it is the day of disbelievers?
The root of this ancient Christian feast comes after commemoration of Christ desciple St. Thomas who disbelieved the testimony of ( 10 apostles ) and the Virgin Mary  that Jesus Christ is Risen from the Death.

The disbelieve of Thomas was logical and human cause even though Thomas was with the Apostles with Christ for 3 years, saw all Jesus miracles and shared the Secret Supper (Last Supper), and even knew in advance (heard by Jesus on Last supper) that Jesus will betrayed mocked, hanged on the Cross and Rise from the death on the third day, he disbelieved.

Thomas Sunday (Sundy of Thomas) is "the day of Disbelievers", because all are disbelievers in moments of their life not only those who believe God but all the humanity!  Even the most faithful Christian, be it a deacon, monk or priest has difficult moments in life where God's existence or providence for one's faith is seriously questioned.
The fallen nature of man is such that the initial belief in God given to man in Eden (Paradise garden) is broken, and only in Jesus's name through the Gift of Faith given by the Holy Spirit, believe in God is restored.

Thomas very much like unto everyone of us doubted the rumors of Christ resurrection and said he would only believe in Resurrected Christ only if he sees his hands nails print and put his fingers into Christ’s wounds to test he is not seeing a Ghost but Christ is alive in a body after his death.

Here is the Gospel reading re-telling the story in short:

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-26)

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

We Christians should be joyful for have not seen Christ in Flesh but have believed for we are blessed for his believe without seeing.

By same faith in God without seeing him even in old times the Jews were led by the Lord God in the desert have won wars by their believing without seeing God, prophets has prophecised, Simeon (The God receiver) hold The Savior (Christ) in his hands, by faith David won the battle with Goliath, by faith we understand the universe was formed at God’s command, by faith we know that the visible came out of the invisible.

o Kyrios mou kai o Theos mou (Greek) – My Lord and my God (Jn. 20:28) this declaration of faith clearly shows an unexpressable excitement of Thomas and his unexpectency to see Christ resurrected. Here it is interesting that here the son of God Jesus Christ is called by Thomas exactly how Jewish used to call God Yahweh (One and Only God) in the Old testament.

Today the evangical story is very accurate for our generation – a generation of disbelievers, even we who say we believe often doesn’t justify our believe with our deeds, we say we believe but we don’t keep God’s commandment “to love God and our neigbor like ourselves.” Often only difference between believers and disbelievers is on Sunday we believers visit Church and “play Christians”, but even but in daily life our deeds are same like unbelievers. Often many are disbelievers not because they reject God but because they never heard the Gospel or misheard it, also we disbelieve because we’re very much like st. Thomas, we often say “I will believe in God if I see him”, but even Thomas who saw God before the Crucifix and knew him disbelieved – a proof that often seing once could still leave space for doubt. The glorious event of Christ showing himself Alive to Thomas was made by Christ to establish the Church and strengthen faith of first Christians in resurrection. Nowadays there are plenty of people who question God’s existence saying that they will believe if they see but they’re not given to see the resurrected Christ because God knows that even if we see the Lord Jesus Christ resurrected we would try to rationally explain the phenomenon with holograms, modern technology or science.

Thomas Sunday is not only a day of Thomas disbelieve it is a day of disbelieve of all humanity. , St. Thomas should be an example even to all of us Christian disbelievers and non-believers that even if we disbelieve and doubt and strive to see God, He is powerful to come and appear Resurrected in His Glory to our souls.
Let us therefore have the Wisdom of the Holy Apostles and say together with them “Lord, Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5

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A list of Christian Metal website resources on the Net for Christian Metal lovers

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I’ve been an old times Metal head. The moment I accepted Jesus Christ as a Lord and Saviour and been visited by the Lord’s Holy Ghost grace, my life changed severely. I found out most of the metal bands, I used to be regularly listening to is against Christ and anti-christian in essence, I still however hold my love for Metal as my teenage years were dominated by Metal Music. Happily I found there is plenty of nice Metal music a Metal head could enjoy that are written for glorification of Christ and hence did not have the negative spiritual anti-christian charge that is so typical for a lot of the bads in the metal music world. Recently I’m not listening to as much music as few years from now but still every now and then I like playing some of my old Christian metal loved bands. I was maintaining a small list of Christian metal nice bands I found and playlisted on youtube. If you’re a metal geek you might enjoy my old christian metal playlist here 🙂.

For Christians, who are looking for online Christian Metal community I also suggest you check out Firestream – The believer’s Heavy Music Refugee . There are plenty of other interesting places on the net dedicated for Christian metal fans;;;

I will end up this post with 2 videos of one very favourite Ukrainian Christian Metal band – Angel 7;

Angel 7 – Jesus the Saviour

Angel 7 – The Last Day

There are probably plenty of other nice Christian Metal sites and resources on the net; surely I’m missing a lot here? if you know some other good Christian Rock / Metal resources please drop a comment.

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Jesus is Risen – Truly he is Risen / Hristos Voskrese paschal greeting and why Orthodox Christians don’t celebrate with Roman Catholics and Jewish

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Jesus Glorious Resurrection from the grave in the third day Orthodox Christian Icon

It is the first week after Orthodox Christian Easter. This year 2012, the Orthodox Christians Easter date was on fifteen of April.
We've not just had a feast of an Eastern, but we actually celebrated the greatest day in all human history that happened 2012 years ago – The Glories Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Death in the Third day!

Some Roman Catholic Christians, might be wondering, why the Orthodox Church is celebrating one week after Jewish Pascha, so in short I will explain in the reason.We orthodox christians do not celebrate with Roman Catholics Easter because Roman Catholics use the gregorian calendar to calculate and decided the day in which the Eastern celebrations should occur, where we the Orthodox Christians use still the old moon calendar (which the jews used too), when Jesus was crucified.
The gregorian calendar is very precise from a scientific point of view, however from a Church stand point it is completely wrong because, plainly taking the gregorian calendar math model doesn't take in consideration, that the jews are still celebrating their pascha following the old moon calendar.

The consequence is this year Roman Catholics, celebrated with Jewish. This from our Orthodox Christian point of view is incorrect, because Christ's Cross suffering is the pascha for us christians.
We Christians consider that the old God ordained jewish pascha was a prophecy feast, simply to remind jewish people before Christ's coming that Messiah (Christ) will come to say his people.
As Jewish rejected their true Messiah and Crucified him on the Cross, they have rejected to accept Christ as being the true pascha lamb slained for our sins.

Hence the Orthodox Christian Church teaches even to this day, that it is not righteous to celebrate Christ's Glorious Resurrection with Jewish Pascha.
Prohibition to celebrate Easter and Jewish Pascha on the same day is an Orthodox Church rule, since the early church days.
The Holy Fathers in their Church councils Council of Nicaea etc. has established as unchangable Church rule that, Jesus's Resurrection day feath, should never-ever coincide with the Jewish Pascha Celebrations.

The reasons the Church fathers ordered the Church Easter day to be always 1 week after Jewish Pascha is our saviour Jesus Christ ate pascha with his desciples as we can read in the 4 gospels in Holy Bible. After Jesus ate pascha, he was caught mocked, tortured and crucified (killed on a cross shaped trees).

Jesus is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

The Slavonic Paschal Greeting, translated words, we use across the Slavonic dome: ( Bulgaria / Russia / Ukraine, Serbia) is:
 

Христос Воскресе! Войстину Воскресе!

According to our Church Tradition, Christians should great each other with the Paschal greeting Hristos Voskrese during the whole "bright week" instead of the usual Hi / Hello phrase.

The current Bulgarian version of Христос Воскресе – Войстина Воскресе! is

Христос Възкръсна! Наистина Възкръсна!

 

One great miracle that testifies about the Christ's resurrection each and every year happens on each Orthodox Christian Eastern in Jerusalem in the Temple of Holy Sepulchre (where the saviour's grave cave, before the resurrection used to be). Last year, I've written to great all Christians for the Resurrection with the joyful Paschal Greeting Jesus is Risen and the Miracle of the Holy Fire
Pitily, the number of Roman Catholics who heard or know about this amazing miracle are mostly within the clergy. Its very rare a layman Christian in Roman Catholic realm heard of the miracle. Once again as a closure I want to great everyone with the joyful paschal greeting.

Христос Воскресе!  Воистина Воскресе!


Христос Възкръсна! Наистина Възкръсна!

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The Legend of the Christmas Tree and Why do we put Christmas trees at home in Christmas time? :)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Why we put Pine tree / Fir in Christmas origins of Christmas tree / Legends for the Christmas Tree
 

Christmas has just passed away. As a Christian I was curious what is the reason in so many Christian countries, we decorate Pine trees and I did a quick research on the topic. In this small article, I'll present my findings.

Observing the Christmas Pine Tree tradition has been quite ancient and probably according to many sources dates back to the XIIth century.
The first written records of a Christmas tree are of an anonymous Frenchman who visited Strasbourg, Germany in 1601. His description of the decoratd pine tree says like "wafers and golden sugar-twists (Barley sugar), roses cut out of many-colored paper, apples, gold foil and sweets."

Later in the 1800s, the local German Christmas pine tree tradition was spread across America by German emmigrants.
In UK the Pine tree decorating tradition appeard in 1841, where a royalty (Prince Albert) decorated his castle (Winston Castle).

A little later after the Queen Victoria adopted the pine tree, United Kingdom citizens started to decorate pine trees for themselves, folliwng the highly regarded Queen.
Usually the pine tree has historically been decorated with gifts as well as an Bright star is put atop.

One of the Christian interpretations for the Christmas tree is that it represents the same Cross (tree) on which Christ was crucifixed. Then after Christ's resurrection because of (or through that) tree, the humanity received the Lord big spiritual blessings. These blessings are represented by the gifts decorated on the Fir tree. The pine tree itself is in Christianity a reference for the symbol of Salvation that we received came from the Holy Cross, where our saviour was crucified.

The Fir is decorated with lights to represent the joy and the lights of Christmas (that burns in our hearts), the star atop the tree is a reminder of the Star that rised in the East during the night of Christ's birth as we read in the gospels.

Roman Catholic Church Christmas Pine Trees
Decorating Pine trees is commonly observed mostly in Roman Catholic Church and often followed by some protestant denominations and less used in Orthodox Church (though this is changing nowdays).

In Eastern Europe, the Christmas tree appeared quite Legends about the Christmas Fir Treelate and the whole concept was unknown in the Orthodox Christian countries, just until the end of the 19th century.

With the recent severe globalization the pine tree was silenty adopted in almost all parts of the world, including even communist countries and even sometimes in muslim ones.
Enormous Fir Tree in Tarnovo city hill Bulgaria

Unfortunately, the relation between the Fir tree and our Christian faith is little known today and with the years to come it will be less and less associated with Christianity.

Here are few interesting legends which I found explaining, some of the possible roots of the Christmas tree decoration:

Legends about the Christmas Fir Tree

1. Legend of the Pine Tree Saving the Holy Family

When the Holy family was pursued by Herod's soldiers, many plants offered to provide them with shelter.
One such plant was the Pine tree. With Mary too weary to travel any longer, the family stopped at the edge of a forest to rest.
A gnarled old Pine which had grown hollow with the years invited them to rest within its trunk.
Then, it closed its branches down upon them, keeping the family safe until the soldiers had passed.
Upon leaving, the Christ Child blessed the Pine and the imprint of his tiny hand was left forever in the tree's fruit… the Pine cone.
If a cone is cut lengthwise, the hand may still be seen.

2. Pine tree and Easter Legend
 

Pine tree on cones on Easter forms Cross shape

There is a legend that pine trees "know" when it's Easter.
The pine trees start their new growth in the weeks before Easter.
If you look at the tops of the pine trees two weeks before Easter you'll see the yellow shoots.
As the days get closer to Easter Sunday, the tallest shoot will branch off and form a cross.
By the time Easter Sunday comes around, you will see that most of the pine trees will have small yellow crosses on all of the tallest shoots.
This really happens we live where there are lots of pines,
and each year this actually happens, it is amazing to watch,
and the process of the new growth appears as crosses on the ends
of each branch.

I've not personally observed that, but according to people who live in pine tree forest areas this is a fact.

3. Legend about M. Luther and the Pine tree

Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant religion, was taking a stroll through the woods late one night.
The sky was clear and many stars were shining through the branches of the trees,
giving the impression of twinkling lights.
Luther was so captivated and inspired by the beautiful brilliance of the sight
that he cut down a small evergreen and brought it home.
He recreated the stars by placing candles upon the tree's branches to imitate
their radiance and presented it to his children.

This story explains why, the pine tree become so wide spread initially in the "western world", as it gives some connection between the Pine tree and Protestant Christianity.

4. The Children Legend of the Fir Tree (Kids Story)

On the night of the Christ Child's birth, all living creatures, both flora and fauna, traveled to Bethlehem bearing gifts.
The Olive tree, for example, brought its fruit and the Palm tree its dates.
But the little Fir tree had no gift and was so tired that it was unable to resist when the larger trees pushed it into the background and hid it from view.
But then, a nearby Angel took pity and commanded a cluster of stars to descend and rest upon its delicate boughs.
When the Baby Jesus beheld this lovely lighted tree, he smiled and blessed it,
declaring henceforth that Fir trees should always be filled with lights at
Christmastime to please little children.
When Christianity first came to Northern Europe, three personages representing
virtues were dispatched from Heaven to place lights on the original Christmas tree.
These personages were Faith, Hope and Charity.
Their search was long, since they were required to find a tree as high as hope, as great as love and as sweet as charity.
In addition, the tree had to bear the sign of the cross on every bough.
Their search finally ended in the forests of the North where they found the Fir.
Lit by the radiance of the stars, it became the first Christmas tree.
The triangular design of the Fir has also been usedto describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
Eventually, converts began to revere the Fir as God's Tree…as they had once revered the Oak.
By the Twelfth Century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime
in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.

5. The Paradise Tree Legend

A very old and delightful European custom centers around decorating a Fir tree with apples and small white wafers which represents the Holy Eucharist.
These wafers were later replaced by small pieces of pastry cut into the shapes of stars, angels, hearts, flowers and bells.
Eventually additional pastries were introduced bearing the shapes of men, birds, roosters and other animals.

During the middle Ages, around the Eleventh century, religious theater was born.
One of the most popular plays …
The German mystery play concerned Adam and Eve and their fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, represented by a Fir tree hung with apples.
This tree was symbolic of both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Discernment of Good and Evil, which stood in the center of Paradise.
The play ended with the prophecy of a coming Saviour. For this reason, it was often enacted during Advent.

The one piece of scenery, the "Paradeisbaum" or "Paradise Tree" become a popular object and was often set up in churches.
Eventually it also found its way in private homes and became symbol of the Saviour.
Since the tree was representative not only to Paradise and the fall of man, but also the premise of salvation.
It was hung not merely with apples, but with bread of wafers (Holy Eucharist) and often sweet to represent the sweetness of redemption.
In some areas of Bavaria, fir branches and little trees decorated with lights, apples and tinsel are still called "Paradeis".

According to some other Christian legends, it was a Fir tree that grew as the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.
When Eve plucked its fruit, the foliage and flowers shrank to nothing but needles.
Only on the night of Nativity would the Fir tree bloom again a moment marked perhaps by the Christmas tree we Christians use.

Of course these are just legends and as with every legend there is plenty of romantism included.
Nevertheless I consider most legends similar to proverbs contain deep truth and contain truthful facts. Moreover knowing the legends of our forefathers connect us to who and what we are and from antropological point of view is precious knowledge, we should try to sustain and spread to our children.
 

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A preaching words Paschal greeting for Great Saturday and the Resurrection day by Byzantium Emperor Theodore II Ducas Laskaris

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Theodore Ducas Lascaris coin Christian Seal

Below’s text is a Paschal greeting of the Byzantium Emperor Thedodore Ducas Lascaris, the text is really beautiful, I’ve translated it from Bulgarian translation which was translated from Greek, the general idea of the text is clearly observable. I’m really sorry if the text has translation mistakes. Have an enjoyable reading!

“Christ is risen from the death”, that are the words of the Angel; this saw the women; this testifies Pilatus stamps, this is what the empty grave of the Saviour proclaims; this is what testifies for the moved tomb (about 2 tons) stone; the guardians lay bare by their own speech; the grave guards acknowledges and takes the money; the High Priests [Anna and Caiphas] show off they’re guilty; Pilatus is feeling guilt; the centurion on the curtain tear down does believe; the sun has prooved the Godly essence of Christ darkening itself during the crucifix; the resurrected bodies of the many dead saints does testified about the truth; the whole nature confirmed the Resurrection, which has happened in the end of the Saturday, in the beginning of the [first day of the week].

Rejoice oh Man: Christ has Risen from the dead; the testimonial is truthful; Rejoice for you have been freed; hell is bound up, Rejoice!; It’s the day of the Resurrection, rise up your voice; The master of our salvation has risen up from the dead; rejoice oh heaven and earth, see through the resurrection a harmony between holy Angels and humans has been established; rejoice oh you plants; the execution of Christ has been on a Cross, but through the Cross the Resurrection has accomplished; Adam has been risen up again; Eva has been released from the chains; Christ has preceeded over the prophets; The Kings Solomon and David are salute with victorious songs!

Rejoice oh man the darkness has lessen [in the world] the light has come; the shadow has fade away quickly; grace come in; the spring of life has rised. Does somebody needs to hear about God? Doesn’t everybody know, that he rose up from the dead? Why Pilatus is riotous; Chaiphas thinks where to have the assembly of the Jewish elders. Rejoice oh also you robber, and enter in paradise, when everyone is gathered there; here is the firy sword has turned it’s back; the grandparent has been released; rejoice oh you children of him. From Eva has the has the falling come, from the immaculate Theotokos – the rising up; through disobey death has come, through humility of the Son of God has the resurrection was given as a gift. Through a woman the fall up come, and through a woman is the resurrection preached.

Christ is Risen from the death!, let the clouds flow the rain of joice, let the plants draw a fresh leaves and the earth does bring forth fruits.

The creator of all has Risen from death and you rejoice; virtuous branches bring forth your fruits.
Who is not joious today; who is not feeling sweet joy, who is not rejoicing?

Risen up from the death, Christ destroyed kingdom of hell, He is Risen and destroyed the devil; he has risen and erased sin; he has Risen and decreased the idol-mania; He has risen and chased away dilusions; he has risen and rescued Adam; he has Risen and made the engles motionless for evil; He has risen and rescued Man; He has risen and joined the heaven ones with the earth ones, ruling himself as a King of the whole world and most-supreme ruler of all; angels and man, elements, elemental force something unseen so far by the demons.

Therefore rejoice with unspeakable joy; rejoice oh you who hear that Christ is Risen from the death; who does not obey to the first and the last in accordance with the God driven voice (Revel. 22:13), who is not glorifying him? The darkness has been crucified, we’re free from the chains; we’re risen to the upper (heavenly) kingdom.

It’s the day of the Resurrection; who is not picking up a spiritual guitar, to sing up many times a repeating song, with songs, psalms and great joy and with a piercing melody to cry out?: “He is risen from the death” Christ has risen from the death

Let all demons phalanx run far away; and the ruler of darkness with his army let enter the Tartara (hell), because the master of life has Risen and the evil one’s kingdom is robbed.

Let noone all you who are truthful be on the feast with poor garments; let we the Orthodox, does dress our corporeal and spiritual eyes with the shiny garments of goodness; let we the orthodox christians, be dressed up shiny; the enemy [the devil] is dead; the Bishop of Bishops has Risen; yesterday’s sorrow has turned to joy, what is keeping us to sing together with the pupils, to sing up victorious songs together with the Maryies? The Godly home-building is achieved: the descendance of [the Holy Spirit], the conceal, the birth of a Virgin, the baptizmal, the Godly signs, the suffering and Resurrection; Christ has risen from the death, rejoice ohh all you nations.

Likely we on Great Sunday with a divine hymn do glorify the risen from the death Master Christ – truly Risen, truly without doubt.
And for us oh God where from will there be mercy sent for our petitions.

Theodore II Laskaris head painting
Paschal Greeting Text by Byzantium’s Emperor Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258 AD)
Translated from Bulgarian (Original text translated from Greek by Alexey Stambolov)

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Some of the most important Symbols for Orthodox Christians in The Eastern Orthodox Church – Symbols in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith (Eastern Orthodox Symbolism) and Christian Symbolism in the Roman Catholic Church (Symbolism in Western Catholicism)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Some-of-the-most-important-symbols-for-orthodox-christiains-in-the-eastern-orthodox-church-symbols-in-eastern-orthodox-faith.

Yesterday, while browsing randomly I came across an interesting Roman Catholic webpage.
The website is created by Catholics with the idea to better explain the Catholic religion and Symbolism.
Though as an Orthodox Christian, my interest towards Roman Catholicism is only scientific, it's really interesting to see the common symbolism surrounding Roman Catholicism and compare with the Orthodox Christian symbolism. Many of the Roman Catholic Symbols are equal symbol with the one we nowadays used in the orthodox church.
I presume this common symbolism between Orthodox and Roman Catholic church,has stayed the same from the time before Roman Catholics split from the Only Holy Apostolic Church  to become the Church of the West Roman Empire, that's how the naming Roman Catholic came forward.

To find out more about Roman Catholic symbolism please see the following links I've mirrored the information from Fisheater's website which is btw is a great website targeting Roman Catholic layman. Everything on the website is explained in a simple everyday language without too much terminology which makes it a great resource for Roman Catholic Christians and people like me who who like to take a look in Roman Catholicism.

It's really a strange and intriguing fact let's call it a "co-incidence" that the inverted cross (upside-down) cross,also called "Peter's cross" on which saint Peter was crucified is also a symbol of Papacy .
It's a popular fact that nowadays Satanist use a similar inverted cross to the one said to be symbol of papacy for their "Black Masses" (Satanic Masses). Maybe some Roman Catholic priest or Cardinal has to explain, how comes that the Roman Catholics ended with such a significant symbol used nowdays in anti-christian satanic religion to be also a symbol of their beloved Pope??

I will skip forward to the heart of this article, which is to explain the Christian Symbolism which is important for us the Eastern Orthodox Christians. Many of the symbols might have in common, also with other Christian early Churches like the Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Churches and other Chruches which somehow are closer to the One Holy and Apostolic Church – the Orthodox Church but officially are not in communion with us the Orthodox Christians.

Here I'll share only the most notable Christian Symbolism which is also used in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Many of this symbolism was always bothering me while in Churches or Monasteries and was always pushing me to more and more questions without answers, thus I finally did some research on this symbols in get a better understanding on my Orthodox Christian faith.

Since I don't have a Theologian education and many of us the ordinary layman's in the church doesn't have such education I hope this orthodox Christian symbolism shared here and it's meanings will be of interest and will help you fortify your good faith in God and our Orthodox Christian faith.

Lamb of God Christian Symbol
Lamb

Lamb: symbol of Christ as the Paschal Lamb and also a symbol for Christians (as Christ is our Shepherd and Peter was told to feed His sheep).

This symbol is also presented in Bulgaria on the little yellow book they sell in our Bulgarian Orthodox Churches.
This tiny book contains the Divine Liturgy compiled by God's inspiration by st. John Chrysostom
If you're coming from an Catholic Background and you hold interest for Orthodox Christianity, as historically East Orthodox Christianity Symbol of Faith as well as basic doctrines were kept untouched, you might consider reading online here The Divine Liturgy by St. John Chrysostom
It's really important to say that the Divine Liturgy by St. John Chrysostom is the "backbone" of the church life, since it's the main and most served Liturgy in the eastern Orthodox Churches around the world.

Dove and Russian Patriarch
Dove: symbol of the The Holy Spirit and used especially in representations of our Lord's Baptism and the Pentecost. It is also used to recall Noe's dove, a harbinger of hope.

Chirchoao, Chi-Rho Sigla
"Chi-Rho" or "sigla": the letters "X" and "P," representing the first letters of the title "Christos," were eventually put together to form this symbol for Christ ("Chi" is pronounced "Kie"). It is this form of the Cross that the Emperor of Byzantia Constantine saw in his vision along with the Greek words, TOUTO NIKA, and which mean "in this sign thou shalt conquer.

Orthodox Tau Cross
"thau" or "tau": the T-shaped cross is mentioned in the Old Testament and is seen as a foreshadowing of the Cross of Christ.
Ezechiel 9:4:
"And the Lord said to him: Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem: and mark Thau upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and
mourn for all the abominations that are committed in the midst thereof."
I've noticed that the tau_cross is often worn by Orthodox Monks as "a badge" on their clothes somewhere in the right of their chest

Greek Orthodox Cross
The Greek Orthodox Cross This symbol is one of the earliest Christian symbols which emerged right after Christ's resurrection.
The Greek Cross has all fours members the same shape and form (crux quadrata) and usually suggests the Christian church rather than a symbol of Christ's suffering.

Jerusalem Cross
Jerusalem Cross: also called the "Crusaders' Cross," it is made up of 5 Greek Crosses which are said to symbolize a) the 5 Wounds of Christ; and/or b) the 4 Gospels and the 4 corners of the earth (the 4 smaller crosses) and Christ Himself (the large Cross). This Cross was a common symbol used during the wars against Islamic aggression. (see less stylized version at right)

Baptismal Cross
Baptismal Cross: consisting of the Greek Cross with the Greek letter "X", the first initial of the title "Christ," this Cross is a symbol of regeneration, hence, its association with Baptism. Usually the Orthodox priest dress is decorated with a sign like this.

Red Orthodox Egg
The Scarlet red Egg:
Church tradition has it that St. Mary Magdalen went to Rome and met with the Emperor Tiberius to tell him about the Resurrection of Jesus. She held out an egg to him as a symbol of this, and he scoffed, saying that a man could no more rise from the dead than that egg that she held could turn scarlet. The egg turned deep red in her hands, and this is the origin of Easter eggs, and the reason why Mary Magdalen is often portrayed holding a scarlet egg.

Ichthus an early Christian Symbol
Ichtus (Ichthys) – The Fish:
Fish: the fish — ever-watchful with its unblinking eyes — was one of the most important symbols of Christ to the early Christians. In Greek, the phrase, "Jesus Christ, Son of God Savior," is "Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter." The first letters of each of these Greek words, when put together, spell "ichthys," the Greek word for "fish" (ICQUS ). This symbol can be seen in the Sacraments Chapel of the Catacombs of St. Callistus. Because of the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the fish symbolized, too, the Eucharist (see stylized fish symbol at right). Important note to make, here is that nowdays this sign's variations is not too often to be seen in Orthodox Churches. It's highly adopted by protestant Christians, seeing this sign on somebody's car or inside his home is a sure sign that probably he adhere's to Christian teachings different from orthodoxy.

Alpha Omega orthodox symbol
The Alpha-Omega symbol
Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, became a symbol for Christ due to His being called "the First and the Last." The roots of symbolizing these attributes of God go back further, all the way to the Old Testament where, in Exodus 34:6, God is said to be "full of Goodness and Truth." The Hebrew spelling of the word "Truth" consists of the 3 letters "Aleph," "Mem," and "Thaw" — and because "Aleph" and "Thaw" are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the ancients saw mystical relevance in God's being referred to as "Truth." At any rate, the Greek Alpha and Omega as a symbol for Christ has been found in the Catacombs, Christian signet rings, post-Constantine coins, and the frescoes and mosaics of ancient churches.

IC XC Nika Orthodox Symbol
The "IC XC Nika":
comes from Ancient Greek and was a widespread ancient Christian Symbol which is nowadays still present in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. IC XC Nika literally translated to english means "IC XC = Jesus Christ, NIKA = Glory to". In other words translated to modern english IC XC NIKA means Glory be to Jesus Christ!

Many Protestant Christians, nowdays falsely believe and claims this fish Christian symbol preceded the Crucifix as a symbol of veneration of Jesus and his Cross sufferings in the Church. This kind of belief is a falsely spread along many Protestant or "Evangelical" Christian denominations and Methodists. to be seen in many ancient Christian Church buildings is a Christian symbol. Today, some ancient Orthodox Churches still contain the "Christian fish" symbol. The reason why this symbol was used by early Christians is as a remembrance of the great miracle of Jesus to feed 5000 with 2 fishes and seven breads.

Holy Eucharist Cup, Bread and Wine

The Holy Eucharist vessels used by Orthodox Priests This is the cup of salvation as also called during the Divine Liturgy each time, the Wine and the Blood that the priest prepares in that Holy Cup is transformed by The Holy Spirit into a veracious flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Orthodox Byzantine Coat of Arms
The byzantine coat of arms
is an ancient Christian symbol used in the early Byzantine Church, nowadays it can be observed only in the Orthodox Churches.
It symbolizes the power of the Byzantian empire under the guidance of the the Holy Lord and the Gospel Truths.

Orthodox Bishop Crown
The Orthodox Bishop Crown is only worn by Bishops in the Orthodox Church. This crown indicates the Bishop's Church and spiritual (rank) and dignity.

Byzantine Orthodox Cross
Byzantine Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Cross
Is used most often by Eastern Catholics and Russian Orthodox, this Cross is the Byzantine Cross with the footrest at a diagonal. This slant is said to represent one of a few things:
– the footrest wrenched loose from the Christ's writhing in intense physical suffering; lower side representing "down," the fate of sinners, while the elevated side represents Heaven;
– the lower side represents the bad thief (known to us as Gestas through the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate" ("Gospel of Nicodemus") while the elevated side to Christ's right represents the thief who would be with Him in Paradise (St. Dismas);
– the "X" shape of the slanted "footrest" against the post symbolizes the cross on which St. Andrew was crucified.

Megaloschema a dress of a schimonk
The Megaloschema is a dress worn by schimonks. This monk rank is actually the highest possible rank an orthodox Christian monk can achieve. The symbolism on the dress is a brief form of:

  • IC XC (IECOYC XPICTOC) "Jesus Christ"
  • IC XC NIKA ("IECOYC XPICTOC NIKA") meaning: "Jesus Christ is Victorious"

The letters below IC XC Nika has a meaning – The Light of Christ shines on all.

  • XX. X.X letters. – means "Christ bestows grace on Christians"
  • The 4 Thitha (called) signs are a symbol for: Vision of God Divine wonder

Then the

  • T. K. P. G – Means "The Place of the Skull becomes Paradise"
  • The text placed in the lowest translated to English is "AdamThe First Man" and also is a symbol for the Place of the Skull (Golgotha).
  • In the Orthodox Church and the Church fathers teaches us that Golgotha or the Place of the Skull is the Place where the first man (Adam) was buried, and by God's divine providence coincides with the place where our Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified.

Orthodox Bishop Dress
Orthodox Priest dress / robe
This dress is only worn by Orthodox Christian Bishops.

Bulgarian Orthodox cross with 4 lights
The Cross with four lights emitating near the center of the cross This cross is actually used in more modern times as a Christian Orthodox symbol, The four lights coming out of the cross are added,
as the gospels speak that Christ is the Sun of righteousness
I've had quite a long time trying to figure out why exactly this cross is made with this 4 lights. It was a real joy when one time a priesttold me the meaning.
It's interesting fact that most of the Roman Catholic's crosses nowdays have the four lights radiating from Christ's Crucifix or the Cross symbolizing the Crucifix.

This is all I will say for symbolism for now. I hope this Christian symbolism will shed some light on the matters of Symbolism in both the Orthodox and the Catholoic eastern Church. I'll be glad if somebody out there more literate on the subject comment on my post and correct me if I'm wrong with smething.

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A Church Service in Balgareevo and the pilgrimage of the Holy Cross

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Today was a blessed day, Praise the Lord! The day started with a holy Liturgy in theChurch Holy Trinity in my hometown. A brother in Christ and a friend of mineinvited me to join him and his girlfriend for a pilgrimage journey to Balgareevo,a village in Bulgaria situated 6 km. away from Varna. What made this place so specialwas the blessing to worship a small particle a Holy remnant of the Cross on whichour Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Besides that in the Churchst. Archangel Michael in Balgareevo some other relics of a saints were exhibitedfor veneration. Thanks God, we have traveled safely to Balgareevo and backwith Ceco’s car. We were accompanied by a cute old lady who made the travel timequite enjoyable singing old Romanian songs and telling us some of her nice poems.She also blessed us numerous times throughout the trip and expressed her deepgratitude that we took her for the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage was wonderful, the cross itself to which the particle of the HolyRemnanant of our Saviour’s Cross was embeded was filled in with huge spiritual powerand joy. After we worshipped the holy relics and the our Lord’s cross. We followedthe priest who had triumphantly went from the church wherein we were to the cloisterwhere a lot of delicious food was awaiting us. The metropolitans who were present(Metropolitan Ilarion and Metropolitan Kiril) with the other priests present serveda consecation service and blessed the food. After which we again honored the holycross to which the remnant of our Lord’s cross was attached and had a great timeeating the blessed food. We spend like 2 hours in which we also had the pleasureto meet the main priest who is responsible for Balgareevo’s church. He told usa few of his ingights he gathered as interpretations of Revelations of the Holy Bible.And how we the Orthodox Christians should be careful in what kind of food we eat, hestressed out that a lot of the food we devour nowdays is spiritually contaminated andhow does the devil exercise control over us through the control he is granted by themany non-natural home-grown food and drinks we consume daily. Even though this teachingis not officially recognized by the orthodox church, he probably has some point about it,and there is certain truth in that priest sayings. However it’s to everybody to decide.Later on with God’s help we traveled back to Dobrich and I went to see my grandma after which I went to my aunt Zlatina to configure theirnew wireless router as well as to fix her two notebooks running Ubuntu Linux. The two Linuxes had some annyoing problems with auto-connection to thewireless networks, on one of the two machines the connetion problems wereprobably a consequence of the malfunction of the gnome-keyring daemon.On the other one the system had some weird problems with remembering the passphrasefor the TPK-PSK WPA2 2 wireless connction.Another really weird problem in Ubuntu on the amd64 Ubuntu 9.04 on their Toshiba L300 PLSBGE laptopwas that randomly the screen size changed. Sometimes displaying the default resolution in a Fullscreensometimes narrowing the screen? I guess a bug probably in the 64 bit release of Ubuntu).The day as I said earlier was quite dynamic, I met a friend of mine for a chat mainlydiscussing about faith issues. Laters I went out to see the New Rock Club they which wasrecently opened here in (Dobrich). I also had a discussion with another friendconcerning the desperating situation in which we oftenly fell and how partly thisis caused by the country politics and social system. END—–

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The Sign of the Cross

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I’ve been on a holiday with my family for 10 days to a Place Called “Narechenski Bani”. I’ll further write more about it however I decided to post this because I just came upon an interesting picture taken on the road for a place near called Krystova Gora / Christ Forest. I’ve carefully looked over the picture to assure myself that the cross is not fake or a reflection from the front glass of the bus, however it’s obvious that the cross is probably real The Sign of the Cross . Moreover I have to add I remembered that the Holy Fathers and the Church teach that the Sign of the Cross would appear in Heaven before the second coming of Christ our Saviour and Lord. I have to praise God and thank him for all his mercies towards me. Bless you Lord!END—–

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Here I’m :)

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Haven’t blogged for some time so I’m going to write down few lines. Today I passed succesfully the Cisco CCNA2 Final Exam and the CCNA2 Voucher exam thanks to God :). The Voucher exam grants everybody who passed succesfully a discount of the price of the CCNA Certification exam, whi ch is pretty cool. To be honest I cheated at the 2 tests otherwise I won’t have passed but I’m really busy this days and I’m a bit of tired so this was the only option. I also made my CCNA2 (9,10,11) tests for which I used the cisco answers page :). CCNA2 The Final Exam and the Voucher wasn’t included in the blogspot cisco answers so I googled around but thanksfully I found the answers on a website in the net. This days I had a lot of fun and saw a lot of old friends (some of them studying others working in Sofia). It’s the summers holiday period in which tons of friends who are in other cities are back in Dobrich so I was able to spend nice time with a lot of them. This are ppl like: hellpain, nomen, mariana (one of my ex-girlfriend). At Wednesday I and Nomen went to the beach at Balchik, we had great fun there. We met together in front of the place we call “The Young House” at 7:30, at 8:30 we were already travelling to Balchik and in 9:35 we were on the beach. We stayed there until 12:30. Vlado and Mitko tried to learn me to be able to relax on my on back while in the water I almost did it but still I need some more tries until I’m able to make it the right way. At 13:00 we were back in Dobrich and we went to an open restaurant “Seasons”. I ate vegetarenian pizza and Vlado ate a meal called “English Breakfast”. “English Breakfast”. Right after that at 14:00 I went to the regional Red Cross building, because I had to get a course on “First Aid”, it’s required to have that course passed until you’re able to apply for a driving license after you complete both the theoretical exam and the practice exam. My driving practice exam would be at Wednesday at 9:00 to be honest I’m not still driving well and my driving course is almost over. My only hope for passing it in the Lord, only if he support me and guide me during the exam I’ll be able to pass. The same night I went out with Shanar and we later met hellpain and Alex. We had nice discussions in the city park until somewhere around 11:30. When we were going back home I met Mariana and I proposed her to have a walk together she accepted and we negotiated to meet around 30 minutes later. We spend 4 hours with her talking about stuff and drinking beer. I should say she is one of the only girls I’m able to speak for hours and still feel good and confortable. The center of our talks were mainly God the Bible and in particular my belief in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. At Friday morning I had driving courses early at the morning from 8:00 o’clock, later I went to Varna with my father because I had to pick up one bag I forgot the last time when I was in Varna, Thanks God we didn’t crashed. On our way to Varna there was a very dangerous situation in which the chances to crash was pretty big but thanksfully to God’s protection and kindness we didn’t. Later when we came back in Dobrich I went to the police office to check if international passport is ready. Thanksfully it was and now I have the “red passport” home and ready :). I called to Mariana to great her because it was the great christian feast, we at the Orthodox Church believe that at that day the Eartly Mother of our Lord Jesus has resurrected in the 3rd day and ascended to heaven just like our Lord! We call that celebrity “The Maryam’s day”. Everybody who is named after Mary’s name is also celebrating this great feast. We decided to meet at night time at 11:30 and have walk. Like I said earlier I really enjoy Mariana’s company. Unfortunately an hour later we met Bino so we wasn’t able to talk much about stuff with Mariana. Bino is pretty cool guy but sometimes his company is pretty annoying :). Later I went home and after a minute of prayer I went to bed. On August 22 I’m traveling to the Netherlands to continue my studies at the HRQM stream, sometimes I feel a sort of preliminary homesickness but I believe this decision is right and it’s God’s souvereign plan for my life. Well as Bugs Bunny (my favour cartoon character) says that’s all folks!END—–

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