Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Great & Holy Thursday / Maundy Thursday (Thursday of Mysteries) day in the Orthodox Church

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Today, a day before the suffering of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for our sins remission we do commemorate the day of the Last Supper or (The Supper of Mysteries) in the Orthdox Church.

According to our Church tradition today is the day on which the saviour has established the Church mystery of the Sacrements! (Eucharist)

Here are the exact passages from (Matthew 26:26-28), where by the word of the Lord the Eucharist was established:


“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” (Mt. 26:26-28)

The feast is celebrated with a morning Holy Liturgy among all Eastern Orthodox Churches around the world.
It’s common that many layman do confess and take the sacraments on this date.

Before sacraments are received we the layman confess our unworthiness for Christ and beg for him to make us worthy to receive the communion with the prayer:



I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first (see 1 Tim 1:15).

I believe also that this is truly Thine own most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own most precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: Have mercy upon me and forgive me my transgressions, committed in word and deed, whether consciously or unconsciously.

And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting.

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: “Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.”

May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, 0 Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.

This prayer is actually said everytime before we do take the sacraments through the year, so it’s one of the most-important prayers in our Orthodox Church life.

The Holy Communion establishment is also an act of remembrance a of the Lord’s suffering for the remission of our sins according to his commandment.

One major difference between Orthodoxy and Protestanism concerning Eucharist is that we orthodox believe that by taking the sacraments, we do receive the Most-holy flesh and blood of Christ and through his blood and flesh, the damage sin has created in our hearts, minds and souls (which is forgiven by God in the the mystery of the confessment) is being recovered completjely.

Merry Russian and Serbian Christmas – The Russian Church Service feast in Nijmegen!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Orthodox Church Nijmegen Holy relics of Patriarch Tikhon of Russian and Moscow and relics from St. Seraphim Sarovski and 3 more other russian saints
It’s 9th and it’s the 3rd day of the Russian and Serbian Christmas as well as Christmas for all those Orthodox Churches and monasteries, who still observe the old orthodox calendar / (star stil)

I’m just coming back from the Orthodox Church service in Nijmegen .
The Church service was great, the Father there Father Sergius is a priest for almost 30 years and is a really gracious and gentle priest!

After the Church service it is common that the Church community gathers together in the kitchen room (a small room in the church), where we had a dinner, tea and coffee together.
I should say the Church community is really tight, mainly constituted of Russians and Ukrainians but there are also quite of Dutch people who by God’s grace found the true church of Christ and thus converted to Orthodox Christians.
It’s really amazing to see a western people with a profound interest and dedication in Orthodoxy and in Eastern Church life! This is definitely a miracle of God!

After the Church service, one of the choire members lady had organized a Russian like Children festival to celebrate Christmas and the Russian New Year.

There was some children games organized for the children. After some of the games in which children had to do some kid games. Snegurochka and Det Moroz had entered the Church as a great delight for the children.

It’s interesting to say that in Bulgaria we also have Snegurochka that we call Snezhanka and Det Moroz which in Bulgarian is Dqdo Mraz

This kind of children feast and a way to complete the 3 days Christmas festival in which we celebrate the unexplainable mystery of our Saviour Jesus’s Christ incarnation had added up to the great joy of the Church service as well as bring back some old memories of my youth where in the Kinder Garden when I was a kid we used to also await and receive the two dear guests, the old man Dqdo Mraz and his assistans Snehznka 🙂

After the children performed some singing dancing and children exercises as well as had some songs and dances together with Det Moroz and Snezhanka it was time for the end part of the feast which is the recital of children rhymes and christmas songs.
Since there were mostly Russian kids there, most of the children performances was in Russian, however there were few Dutch kids so there was some recitals and singing in Dutch and even in English! 🙂

As Det Moroz was very pleased with the great acting of the youngsters he brought in the two sacks packed up with kid presents and after each children performance, he gave a present to the kid.
The kids were completely shining as a result since they were rewarded for their parcipation in the feast and had some photos with Det Moroz and Snezhanka 🙂

After the whole celebrations were over, we the people who left in the Church went in the church kitchen and had a wonderful table full of delicious foods and drinks, some of which were traditional Christmas Russian meals including my favourite’s Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

I had some very nice chats with some of the church members in the mean time and after the great meal together we cleaned up the Church, asked Father Sergii for a blessing and each one of the church brothers and sisters headed back home.

As a matter of fact since I’ve started talking about the Russian Orthodox Church in Nijmegen, maybe it will be nice to mention that the Church Bulding is actually an Byzantine Chapel taken from Roman Catholics, so the Church didn’t really have a classical Orthodox Church architecture, however this is not a problem at all since everything within the Church icons, iconostasis, alter wall , icons etc. are Russian and serbian Orthodox icons.
The alter was also reconstructed in order to be suitable with the Church requirements for an Orthodox Church alter, it’s interesting fact that the man who sells candles and does a lot of the Russian Church minor maintenance is a Bulgarian just like me 🙂

Currently the Orthodox Russian Church in Nijmegen had church services every two weeks (9th January, 23 January, 6th February etc.)

Although I should say that in the Church building the Serbians had their Orthodox Church service every two weeks also, which means that the Serbs has their Orthodox Church services in the same Church in Nijmegen on (16,30 ,13 of January etc.)

Therefore there is an Orthodox Church service every week in Nijmegen by God’s mercy where services alternate with each other, one week is Russian Orthodox Church and one week is the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Hope this info is helpful to somebody!
Again Merry Russian and Serbian Christmas! Cheers!