Posts Tagged ‘flesh’

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

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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.

Merry Christmas from Pomorie Monastery and a small monastic fire that ended well

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Reading Time: 3 minutes

chestito-rojdestvo-hristovo-merry-Christmas-a-monastery-fire-stopped-by-Gods-grace

I spend the Christmas eve for a first time in Monastery with the brotherhood in Pomorie monastery. The night on 24-th against 25-th when Christmas is celebrated in Bulgaria was marked by the usual morning service and a Holy Liturgy. Silent Night Holy Night song was sung in the Church near the end of the Holy Liturgy.

All went well except small fire incident, out of a suddenr right after the end of the Church service a fire ignited  in one of the monastery store rooms. Actually it was a huge miracle that the fire didn't spread in whole monastic cell buildings as the fire used to be active without anyone noticing it for about 6 hours or so. The restult of fire was that  just one room full of sheets and sanitary equipment burn out completely. The fire happened in a room nearby my room on second stage one stage lower (on first floor). The fire brigade come quickly and stashed the fireplace without serious troubles.

The fire would have quickly spread if in the burning room if only one of the water tubes didn't break up pouring water inside on the burning stuff. The fire emerged around 12:40 and was already еxtinguished for less than hour. Thanks God there was no one in the burning room and no victims  Another sure miracle is that today weather is very calm no wind blowing so fire didn't ignited in a quick pace and was easily extinguished.  

Below are the immersly beautiful Christmas Church Troparion, Kontaktion and Feast singings as translated to English

Thy nativity, O Christ our God,
has shown to the world the light of wisdom;
for by it, those who worshipped the stars
were taught by a star to adore Thee
the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Orient from on high.
O Lord, glory to Thee."

Today the virgin, gives birth to the incomprehensible One;
and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One;
Angels and shepherds glorify Him;
the Wisemen journey with a star;
since for our sakes is born the ETERNAL GOD, as a little Child.

Christ is born, glorify him.
Christ is from heaven, go to meet him.
Christ is an earth, be ye lifted up.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing out with gladness, all ye people.
For he is glorified.

To the Son begotten of the Father
without change before the ages,
and in these last times without seed made flesh from a Virgin,
to Christ God let us cry aloud:
Thou hast exalted our horn. Holy are Thou, O Lord!'

Rod of the root of Jesse,  and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ,
Thou hast sprung from the Virgin.
From the Mountain overshadowed by the forest
Thou hast come, made flesh from her that knew not wedlock,
O God who art not formed from matter.
Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

As Thou art God of peace and Father of mercies,
Thou hast sent us Thy Angel of great counsel,
Who grants us peace;
so we are guided by the knowledge of God,
watching before dawn we glorify Thee, only Lover of mankind'.

The monster from the deep
spat Jonas from its bowels like a new born babe,
just as it had received him;
while the Word having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh,
came forth, yet kept her incorrupt,
for being himself not subject to decay,
he preserved his mother free from harm'.

The Youths brought up together in godliness,
scorning the impious decree,
feared not the threat of fire,
but standing in the midst of the flame they sang:
God of our Fathers, blessed are Thou!

The furnace moist with dew was the image and the figure of a wonder past nature;
for it did not burn those it had received;
even as the fire of the Godhead
did not consume the Virgin's womb into which it has descended.
Therefore in praise let us sing:
Let all creation bless the Lord,
and highly exalt Him to all the ages.

Magnify, O my soul, the most glorious Theotokos,
more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high.
'I behold a strange and wonderful mystery,
heaven is the Cave, the Cherubim thrown — Virgin,
the Manger the Place in which Christ lay,
the God whom nothing can contain. Whom we praise and magnify.

I wish to my dear readers have a great and blessed Christmas Holiday time, let Christ's love, peace and mercies are abundant in your hearts!

Why saint Apostle (James) Jacobs is called flesh brother to the Lord Jesus Christ / 23 October st. Jacobs feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Reading Time: 8 minutes


1st ArchiBishop (Patriach) of Jerusalem, First Patriach of Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Saint Apostle James - The Lord's brother by flesh

Today in Bulgarian Orthodox Church. We celebrate the feast of Saint Apostle Jacobs (brother by flesh) as being known from Holy Gospels. I have many protestant friends and I know they literally understand the said about Saint Apostle Jacobs (James as usually used in English) and fall in the trap to think St. Ap. Jacobs was born by the Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary). This is a very wrong understanding, which I myself have pondered in the early days when I believed in Christ.

What it is meant by “brother in Flesh” is therefore an ambigious milestone for all Protestants, who reject our Orthodox Christian belief that the Mother of God (The Holy Theotokos) gave birth to the Incarnated Logos (The only begotten Son of God Lord Jesus Christ without loosing her virginity !)
This is a great miracle of God and the more one thinks over it the more he gets astounished on the greatness of the Lord and the righteousness of the Orthodox Christian faith!

The actual reason why the Gospel talks about the Lord having saint Jacob as a brother in flesh is due to fact he was Joseph’s Son (a good note to make here is Joseph was actually a man in his old age already even physically incapable to have kids – again something protestant christian and the protestant tens of thousands of denominations often did not know or if heard reject it fully).

Joseph was instructed by God to take Mariam as wife for the only reason to not allow the most Holy Theotokos (Virgin mary – which we consider higher in veneration and Spiritual Rank than Angels) from being accused by Jewish. It was very uncommon for ladies to bring forth kids without being married for that time, probably thousand of times more shameful than now. Jewish considered killing by stoning ladies which give birth to kids born by ladies without husband.

It was God’s salvationary plan for us Humans to bore Christ from a Virgin and this is why The Holy Theotokos conceived without being married by the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophecies states this will happen among with multiple other fully fulfilled prophecies by Christ – (Check old testament Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ (Prophecies for Christ) here ) or here .

With this said we firmly believe in Orthodox Church, The Good Lord give Joseph the order to marry her in order to “save” her from shameful unrighteous jewish accusations..
Joseph himself obeying to God’s instructions to live with Mariam (The Holy Theotokos) was a widowed a man with Sons born by a Holy woman. One of Joseph sons was Saint Apostle James who martyred for Christ in 63 A.D.

The Mother of God (Holy Thetokos) and Joseph were man and Husband officially during, all their earthly living, however they never lived together as man in life and never had sleep together (in a sense of man and wife) but lived in holiness and prayer during their whole living.


The Holy Family Greek Orthodox Christian Icon - The Holy Theotokos with Joseph and the Lord Saviour Jesus Christ

The Holy Family – Greek Orthodox icon

Therefore it is incorrect and sinful thinking to Think Virgin Mary gave birth to others except the Messiah (Christ) Lord Jesus.

Because saint James lived his life as official part of the Holy Family, later in Gospels he was called the brother in Flesh along with his other brothers / other sons of Joseph. Due to God’s desire st. Apostle Jacob was later also choosen in assembly of Holy Apostles, which gathered together and choose st. Jacob to be the first Patriarch of the Jerusalem Church.

St. James Orthodox icon window to heaven Anna Edelman

An Orthodox Church patriarchy which exists even to this day kept by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

In moment the Good Lord Jesus Christ revealed himself to me and blessed me with the gift of Faith about 8 years ago, I didn’t believed in him reading Orthodox Christian Literature, Holy Apostles writings, the Living of the Saints, or not even had a clear idea that there is difference between Christians). How I believed was, I read the Holy Bible and the Holy Gospels of pure interest. Actually I was in a severe desperation not finding a meaning in life and cause of that researched different major faiths around the world (I put here this details because I think maybe there are others around in same or similar situation and my testimony might strengthen their faith in Christ and his one Holy Apostolic Church – The Orthodox Church). In my quest for truth, I decided to read the Holy Bible with a mindset that Probably it contains some Good Wisdom not believing back in that time it is 100% true). My reasoning to read holy Bible was due to fact Holy Bible is today one of the oldest circulating easy accessible books.

Now having a bit of personal story, I can continue with why Saint Apostle James is called flesh brother to the Lord Jesus Christ; I hope my personal shortly writen story on how I ended up believing in truthfulness of Orthodox Church will be useful for Protestant Christians seeking true faith and will help them find the true faith Christ has given us in the realm of our One Holy Apostolic Church nowdays known as the Orthodox Church

In Holy Gospels it is said Saint Apostle James is brother in flesh to the the Lord Jesus Christ. Earlier when I started being in deep interested to Christian faith and found Orthodox Christian faith is the only true faith in Christ currently present, in small steps I started realizing the teachings of Orthodox Church and Orthodox Saints are the only 100% trustable sources of interpretation which correctly explain the Holy Bible, Gospels and thereon inside the Orthodox Church it is only place where true Christian can find true spirituality and more in depth information on the living of the Lord Jesus Christ; his death on the Cross for our Salvation, His Glorious Resurrection triumphing over deapth, living of the saints, the desert fathers livings and the innumerous number of events and miracles which happened before the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, after his Resurrection (from the Death) and all events related to Christianity and Church for passed 2000 years of Church existence.

According to our Church tradition Saint Apostle Jacob believed in his “brother in flesh” to be the Christ after listening to his words of life after the Lord Jesus’s first public preach.

After The Lord’s Resurrection, as st. Apostle Paul mentions the Lord show himself with his resurrected victorious body over death in front of 500 people and st. Apostle Jacob as well.

The Church tradition continues that saint Apostle Jacobs lived and spend all his life before his martyrdom in Jerusalem along with the rest of The Lord Jesus desciples, working for building, strengthening and extending the Church and faith in the Resurrected Savior.

Because of his great holiness he was well known in Jerusalem during his living by both the Church members and the rest of Jews. Publicly they address him as “Jacobs (James – The Just”.

Because of different translation in different languages there is some unambiguality between the old times (Old Testament) Patriach saint Jacobs and some of the new testamential saints also called Jacobs, hence in English st. Jacobs is often called James.


Saint Apostle Jacob the Just the first Hierarch of Jerusalem Antiochian Church orthodox icon


It was also st. Apostle Jacob who first has give the final decision concerning the big “argueing” division between people who claimed circumcision is necessery for salvation and the Church members who said that it is not. The Jewish people claimed it is necessery for everyone to be well educated in old testamential law and follow the circumcision and all jewish laws and tradition in order to obtain salvation. In Jerusalem on the assembly st. Barnaba and st. Paul along with st. Jacob and all the Church hierarchs decided led by the Holy Spirit in truth that gentiles will not be required to circumcise and follow all jewish traditions. They decided together that every Church member receives his salvation by the Grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle assembly (council) occured in year 51 A.D. This assembly was an example on how huge Church discussions should be decided for future and set the building stone of the next Church Ecummenical Councils in which major decisions concerning our faith was taken.
The Jewish people who was in hatred for Jesus (rejecting him as Christ = Messiah (being the Messiah the Saviour of Israel) and the only one begotten Son of God) killed Holy Apostle Jacob by , first threw him from the summit of the Temple in Jerusalem and (being unable to kill him by throwing him down), then killed him with stones (stoned him). According to Eusibeus who retold what Hegesippus (earlier source history writer writen), the jewish broke the Holy Apostle skull with a fuller’s club trying to completely destroy his holy relics. But obviously as Psalm reads, they couldn’t – As “The memory of the righteous continues live on forver”. –

Psalm 112:6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.

While I never before in depth read about Saint Apostle James – (often called THE JUST) for his holy living, whilst reading in in OrthodoxWiki about him, I found also the Church Hymns as translated in English. It is strikingly beautiful to hear and pray with them in this times of decaying less and less faith. Also I was amazed to read about such unachiavable in our generation righteousness in which St. Ap. James lived in; His glorious martyrdom is also one of the most striking ones I ever red ….

The Holy Apostle gave up the spirit after a short prayer, before the Jewish stoned him. He was aged 66 when he received his martyrdom for Christ.

St. James the Just – Troparion – (Tone 4)

As the Lord’s disciple you received the Gospel, O righteous James;
As a martyr you have unfailing courage;
As God’s brother, you have boldness;
As a hierarch, you have the power to intercede.
Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.

saint Apostle Jacob The Just and saint Dinisius from Areopagita / Teophan Kritski, Church Wall painting in Greece
Church Wall Painting painted by st. Teophanus from Crit and Smeon (year 1546) Church Saint Nikolas (Monastery StavroNikita Holy Mount Athos)

Kontakion in veneration of Saint James the first Patriach of Jerusalem – (Tone 4)

When God the Word, the Only-begotten of the Father,
Came to live among us in these last days,
He declared you, venerable James, to be the first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem
And a faithful steward of the spiritual Mysteries. Therefore, we all honor you, O Apostle.

It is interesting fact actually the most ancient Holy Liturgy, text ever written is writen by Saint Apostle James (The Brother of God) himself. This year Praise be to God, a Jacobine Holy Liturgy, will be served in Vidin with blessing of Vidin’s Metropolitan – I read this news in Dveri.BG , an information site discussing Bulgarian Church and related news. Saint Jacob’s Holy Liturgy is served only once per year on his Church feast day. If My memory is not mistaken saint Jacob’s Holy Liturgy is served also on Our Lord Jesus’s Resurrection Day every (Easter), right before the Holy Fire descends from Heaven and lights up the candle of Jerusalem Patriarch

Let by the Holy Prayers of st. Apostle Jacobs (a brother in flesh to the Lord), God have merce on me the sinner and all Christians.

The Notebook a nice romance movie worthy to see

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1 minute
The Notebook a great Romance Movie worthy to be seen

As I a person who values highly love between man and woman and believes in true love between man and woman under God’s providence I really enjoyed The Notebook and I recommend it to everyone out there looking for true love.
The movie gives a good example that one can experience great love. This is a fresh breath for me as I’m surrounded by dozens of people who does concentrate too much about the fleshly pleasure and forget that the essence of love is not in the flesh but in the love between man and woman’s spirit and soul.
The Notebook is a record of one true love story between a man and wife who went through love, hate long time separation, regret broken heart, loss of path in life, fading love and then after a long time of being away of each other burning love again.
It tells the story of a man and wife who loved so much that they get old together a story of true dedication and lasting love. Watch the movie you will certainly not regret it.