Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Pentecost the Birthday of the Church and the receival of the Gifts of Holy Spirit of Faith, Hope, Love for the Mankind

Saturday, June 19th, 2021

For one more year it is Pentecost 50 days after the celebrated Easter (Resurrection of Christ), we celebrate the feast that marked the birth of the Church as a Body of Christ that is binding all its members us the ordinary people who are baptized in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is a day of mystery that turned human history, as the same Spirit who was in Christ and has been in the Father in the Holy Trinity has descended from Heaven sent as a helper to each and every believer in Christ to strenghten and guide him in his narrow path to the Kingdom of Heaven and the Eternal salvation promised by the Savior Christ.

There is many books written about Pentecost but no book or intellectual thought is capable to transpond one's experience of receiving the Holy Spirit in the Soul and Heat of man. This glorious event is experienced by every Christian during baptism and the following Mystery of Chrismation when the Priest baptizes a new member in the name of God and is experienced, by us in the mystery of repentence when crying for our bad deeds and transgressions of the law of God, we cry in sorrow to God asking for forgiveness and renewal. The descent of the Holy Spirit over us is supernatural event that put the beginning of the contemporary understanding in our contemporary civillization of supernaturality and the realm of spirits as we understand them today where the Spirit of God is over all things.

On Pentecost it is the Holy Spirit who descended towards the Holy Apostles giving them the Super natural powers to Heal The Sick, Prophecise, speak in all human tongues, chase away evil spirits and do multitude of unseen wonderworks in human history that are continuing even to this day in the Church. The Holy Spirit has gifted all Church members with the gifts of the Spirit of Faith, Hope and Love, Endurance, Manhood, and all the virtues of man that were in Christ not because of a human effort but for the Love of God for man.
The abiding of the Holy Spirit in man is a never ending Heaven and a bliss granted for man for free. Saint Seraphim of Sarov has well described in his Conversation with Motovilov what is the experience to have the God the Holy Spirit in One's self.

The_Descent-of-the_Holy_Spirit-Soshestvie-Svetago-Duha

A bit more on the facts around the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles is in my prior article here , though this is just a very basic attempt to transfer the meaning of the feast as definitely all the books on the earth and all the human knowledge put together is like a drop in the universe compared to Holy Spirit itself.

The Spirit of Truth which the world could not comprehend was sent by Jesus Christ first to the apostles and the desciples and then to each and every Christian member of the One Holy Eastern Orthodox Church throughout human history until the end of ages.

Pentecost_Rabula_Gospels-6th-century
One of the most ancient icons of the Pentecost Syriac Rabbula Gospels 6th century

Happy Feast to All Christians ! Happy Birthday Church !

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!