Posts Tagged ‘orthodox church’

Saint Holy Rightous Joachim and Anne the partents of The Virgin Mary Mother of God feast in the Eastern Orthodox Church

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Saint-Joachim-and-Anna-and-Jesus-Virgin-Mary-the-Mother-of-God

Feast day is cebelrated today in our Mother Church the Holy Eastern Bulgarian Orthodox Church 9th on December 9th December.
The name Joachim as derived from (/ˈdʒoʊəkɪm/; Hebrew: יְהוֹיָקִיםYəhōyāqīm, means "he whom Yahweh has set up"; Greek Ἰωακείμ Iōākeím)..
Anne, alternatively spelled Ann, is a form of the Latin female given name Anna. This in turn is a representation of the Hebrew Hannah, which means 'favour' or 'grace'. Saint Joachim has been a descendent of the bloodline of Saint King David (the one to whom the Psalms section of the Bible are ascribed) and Anna descends out of the Aaron the brother of Moses (who is the father of priests family line in Judaism).

Saint Joachim and Saint Anne are two less known saints in nowatimes even though in the Middle Ages this feast has been enormously popuplar in Both the Orthodox Christian East and the Roman Catholic West.  

St. Joachim and St. Anne (Anna) has been called Holy Righteous by the Church for a good reason. For they have possessed immerce sanctity that only of the born on earth ever have. They were called Saint Holy and Righteous, for a reason, and perhaps little might know but their is a sanctity hierarchy in the Church and the reason this accent of 3 words of the Church fathers is to emphasize the couple of St. Joachim and St. Anne had exceeding grace.
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne just like the Holy Family of Holy Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph are the Christian model for perfect famly in virtues, which all Christian families should try to follow to their maximum. The celebration of St. Joachim and St. Anne feasts seems to have been on purpose put to be done during the Christmas Fasting period for a reason, as for another preparation for the Great feast of Christ-mass known in the Church as Nativity (which improperly is unknowingly profanized by many with the abbreviation XMAS).

Lets shortly see few details of the Earthly Living of the two saints and why the Holy Fathers who prepared their Living we read today, call them with this grandiose epithets – Saint, Holy and Righteous.


Holy

  • They have lived all their live in servitude for the sick poor the hungry and the weak and dedicated all their God given lifetime in service for all whose begged in need.
  • They have been praying regularly and longly for the goodness of Mankind and families all around
  • They have been strictly following God's Old Testamental Jewish laws


Righteous


The english word Righteous stems from the Word 'Right' for a good reason as in the light of the Holy scriptures the Right side has been always associated with Good and the Salvation for the reason we know from Revelations that when time comes for God to judge the nations and everyone's individual deeds and rights as Christ has told in the Gospel those who have been done right (e.g. they have done good) and persevered to do good things throughout their short lifetime, will be put on the Right side of God – those are the so called Sheeps of Christ, the Unrighteous one will be put at the Left hand on the Judgement and will be cast out of the face of God because of their own undesire to receive and reflect the light of Christ (just like the Moon reflects the Light of the Sun) and transfers it to the earth and gives Light at night, each mans eternal God's predestination is to be like this receivers and reflectors of the Grace of The Holy Spirit.
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne has been such reflectors in such a enormous size that most of the Light they have emitted from God was transferred to rest of their relatives and people to whom they were continuously at help and as we believe in the Orthodox Church this process of re-emission of light is continuing even today. As we believe those who have departed from this life and have been favorable for God are staying in front of the face of God and praying fervently incessantly to God for the good of mankind. 

Saint-Anne-detail-national-from_Faras_National-Museum-Warsaw

Saint Anne fresco from Faras Gallery in Warsaw


True Saints

The saintship is a quality one receives as a Gift from God as we read in the patristic literature and cannot be attended by deeds, however the greatest gifts of God due to the practice were given to those who have persevered to suffer, greatest trials, persecution, shaming, hatred and lack of reception in society for their confession of the faith – this as we know in the New Testamental Church of Christ is mostly seen in the Holy Martyrs who confessed Christ to the degree they preferred to give out their life and bodies to martyrdom than to reject Christ.
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne even not a physical martyrs has the same perseverance even before the age of the Martyrs (that had been at highest degree in the first  centuries 1-st, 2nd, and Third century until Christianity has been legalized in the Roman Empire by Saint Constantine).

They longed for a child but remained childless into their old age (which can be equalled to martyrdom – many couples even today know how uneasy it is to live together for a very long time and not to be able to have inheritance).

Because of their continuous fasting periods they have followed, St. Joachim and St. Anne did not have much of physical intimacy (or sexual life) as we use to call it today, we know today that the lack of intimacy doesn't bring babies, plus the fact that it was obviously Gods desire for them be childless  until their very old age.
However  not realizing this once they have bring their Thanks Giving offerings according to Jewish law they have been ashamed by the Jewish Priest in the Solomon Temple in Jerusalen, even in their old age – (the jewish priests, just like our Christian priests are absolutely forbidden to insult anyone, and insulting an old person was a taboo back then just like it is considered bad today) being blamed for not being able to carry out a Child. 
Being shamed by a Priest at the community of jews was a terrible thing and some would even commit suicide.

Saint_Joakim_Joachim-Orthodox-icon

Others who had children jostled Joachim, thrusting him back as unworthy. In despair, he consulted the geneological records of the tribes of Israel and discovered every righteous man in the nation had been blessed with children, except him. 
This caused the aged saints great grief, and he and his wife left with heavy hearts.

However as the couple was saintly their reaction was to seclude from people and pray secretly to God. 
Saint Joachim went to the desert and fasted and prayed grieving with inhumally for 40 days, and saint Anne stayed and grieved in her garden thrice as first she has never had the chance to become a mother and she was publicly ashamed at their community and did not know where her Husband has been, perhaps thinking he might passed out somewhere because of his exceeding grief.

Sts. Joachim and Anna had been married for fifty years, and were barren. They lived devoutly and quietly, using only a third of their income for themselves and giving a third to the poor and a third to the Temple. Joachim had done this since he was 15-years-old, and God multiplied his flocks, so the couple was well provided for. 


The Miracle of Faith, Hope and Love – The Birth of the God-Mother the Queen of Heaven Virgin Mariam
 

Saint-Joachim-and-Anne-Chanter_Angelos_Akotandos_-_St_Anne_with_the_Virgin

God has seen the great grief of the two and as he is merciful worked a great miracle just like with  Abraham and Sarah, and give them a blessed child to comfort their old age, which will become later the Holy Virgin Mary (Theotokos / Богородица), to become the Mother and Hope and all Humanity from which the Light of the World and Saviour Christ was born. 

Holy-Righteous-Joachim-and-Saint-Anne-Birth-of-Virgin-Mary

God sent the Archangel Gabriel to each of them, who gave them tidings of the birth of "a daughter most blessed, by whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and through whom will come the salvation of the world." Each promised to have their child raised in the Temple as a holy vessel of God. The archangel told St. Joachim to return home, where he would find his wife waiting for him in the city gate. St. Anna he told to wait at the gate. When they saw one another, they embraced, and this image is the traditional icon of their feast.

Saint-Joachim-and-Anne-with-Holy-Virgin-Mary

St. Anna conceived shortly thereafter, and in the ninth month gave birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Conception of the Most Holy Mother of God is celebrated by the Church on December 9 and the Nativity of the Theotokos is celebrated on September 8.

God sent the Archangel Gabriel to each of them, who gave them tidings of the birth of "a daughter most blessed, by whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and through whom will come the salvation of the world." Each promised to have their child raised in the Temple as a holy vessel of God. The archangel told St. Joachim to return home, where he would find his wife waiting for him in the city gate. St. Anna he told to wait at the gate. When they saw one another, they embraced, and this image is the traditional icon of their feast.

Ikona_Kopiya_Sveta_Pravednaya_Anna

St. Anna conceived shortly thereafter, and in the ninth month gave birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Conception of the Most Holy Mother of God is celebrated by the Church on December 9 and the Nativity of the Theotokos is celebrated on September 8.

Sts. Joachim and Anna took Mary, at the age of three, to the temple to be dedicated to the service of the Lord, and presented her to the priest Zechariahs. The parents then, after offering up her sacrifice (according to the custom of the time), left the Virgin with other maidens in the apartments of the temple to be brought up therein. The Church commemorates the Presentation of the Theotokos on November 21.

 Although Anne receives little attention in the Latin Church prior to the late 12th century, dedications to Anne in Eastern Christianity occur as early as the 6th century.

Bistritsa Monastery of Saint Jaochim and Saint Anne (near Sofia, Bulgaria)

The Bistritsa monastery "St. Yoakim and Anna" is located in the Mali dol part of the Vitosha mountain, about 2 km to the south-east of the village of Bistritsa.

Bistrishki-monastery-st-Joachim-and-st-Anna

Short History

According to priest Dragomir Kotev, author of regional studies of Bistritsa, during the time of Tsar Boris I or later during the rule of Simeon, a great temple was built there and was expanded during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It was part of the monastery complex called "The Little Mount Athos."

Bistritsa-monastery-st_Ioakim-Anna-Church

During the siege of the Ottomans and after strong resistance, the fortress and monastery were destroyed, and during the Ottoman domination the ruins of the old monastery were buried deep in the ground. The site was marked by a stone cross and people continued to gather at the sacred place. During excavations in the 20 century, the cross was discovered erect placed in what is today's holy throne in the temple. Now the cross can be seen outside the church.

Saint-Joachim-and-Anne-Bistritsa-near-Sofia-monastery-Cross

During the period of the Bulgarian Revival the memory for the monastery continued to exist.
The monastery "St. Peter" which had existed on its present place in the IX—X century, was destroyed by the turks in the XIV century. Its foundations were discovered in 1925 and the present church was sancrified in 1950. After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878 the church was rebuilt as a chapel. The construction of the present monastery is connected with the visions of the prophet Bona Velinova. On Orthodox Sunday (the first Sunday of Lent) in 1925 she spent the night in fasting and prayer, and in the morning gave a detailed explanation of how the church destroyed by the Ottomans looked like. Bona ordered people to dig and foundations of the old temple were discovered. She said that it should be rebuilt, and called after the holy family pf Sts. Joachim and Anna. Since then, every year on Orthodox Sunday a solemn service takes place here. The new church was built with funds and volunteer work from local people in the period from 1936 to 1950 and was consecrated on August 6, 1950. Legend has it that the treasures of the last Bulgarian kings are buried somewhere around. Not far from the monastery there is a a spring. Here on Christian holidays, after services in the monastery, pilgrims come to drink water from the holy spring. They believe that this water cures eye diseases. 
During the period 1965-77 residential buildings were built. The complex consists of a parish church, the St. Ivan Rilski chapel and a massive building to its right, a kitchen and rooms. 

At present the monastery functions regularly. It is a complex including a church, one-nef, one-apse, with a cupola and inner and outer narthex, residential and farm buildings. The church was built over a mound necropolis, and under the church nef there is a preserved ancient vault from the end of the IV – the beginning of the V century (3,35 x 2,99 x 2,28 m), to which a stone staircase from the narthex.

Bistritsa-Monastery-saint-Joachim-and_Anne-near-Sofia-Church-view-to-altar

The iconostasis of on the picture is from the palace (chapel) of last Bulgarian King Boris III. It was brought to the monastery after 1944.

Let by the Holy Prayers of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne God grants mercy and Grace to All families everywhere and to everyone that is grieving
God provides his abundant consolation of the Holy Spirit so we can endure the temptations and hardships of life !

Amen

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

Coptic Patriarch Preaching on Hope – We Christians should never loose hope! God is with us!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

patriarch__Shenouda-of-coptic-oriental-orthodox-Church

Whoever believes in Christ he has an everlasting life, as Christ promised us. Faith, Hope and Love are the three essential things we should always keep in heart. I myself being a Christian often forget about importance of Hope. It is one of the spiritual weapons we Christians should hold firmly in our life. I've been in situation, where all around is failing and I'm miserable and powerless, in those moments I should remember more often the Holy Scripture advices that Hope should always be with us. Below preach is the words of Pope Shenouda the Coptic Oriental Church patriach, I believe we can only learn and astonish on his graceful words.


 

His Holiness Pope Shenouda Words on Hope – Hope Christians unfailing all time weapon

Let by this holy patriarch words, God bless Christians with a good hope. It is the beginning of the Great fasting in the Orthodox Church worldwide, so now we need hope more than ever! By the prayers of all saints oh Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us sinners …

Nativity Orthodox Church Hymn songs for 6th against 7th January – in Russian, Ukrainian, Macedonian, Serbian, Arabic and Syriac language

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

 

Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ Mother mary bowing Christ orthdox icon

Today is third day of Nativity and as this year I'm celebrating Christmas feast with Serbian and Orthodox Church feast, it is also the 3rd day of Christ's birth for me too 🙂

On 6-th against 7-th January eve Nativity is celebrated in following nation wide Orthodox Church patriarchates:

 

 

  • Russian Orthodox Church
  • Serbian Orthodox Church
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church
  • Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem (Patriarchate of Jerusalem)
  • Moldovan Orthodox Church

I'm eager to find as much as possible, about the Orthodox Church worldwide. So I took the time to collect the Church Hymns (Troparions and Kondaktions) which are sung in each of patriarchate Churches celebrating on 6th against 7th. Hopefully my little article will help other Orthodox Christians who want to know more how other nation-wide "sister" Orthodox Churches are celebrating Nativity's feast, as well as hear the identical Orthodox Church hymn performed in other languages.
 

Рождество Твое, Христе Боже наш (Rojdesto Tvoe Hriste Boje Nash – Russian Nativity Troparion)


 

Рождество Христово – Рождество Твое Христе Боже наш – Russian Christ Birth Troparion


 

Рождество Твое,Христе Боже наш…(хор Матфея) – Nativity troparion Ukraine (Ukrainian) hymn


 

РОЖДЕНСТВО ТВОЈЕ-Тропар Глас 4 – Serbian Chruch Christ's birth troparion


 

Дева Денес – Кондак на Рождество Христово * впнмј – Kondak Christ's birth Macedonian


 

An Arabic Christmas Carol (Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity) – Nativity Troparion in Syriac (Arabic)language

Byzantine Hymn for Nativity (in Arabic) ترتيل بيزنطي للميلاد المجيد

There are some other Christians part of the Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches  celebrating Christmas on 6-th against 7-th of January, those who I know of are;

  • Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
  • Armenian Apostolic Church
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Church (under the patriarchate of Coptic Church of Alexandria)

This two Churches areclose to Eastern Orthodox Church in teaching, but are not in official eucharistic communion. Probably there are also other Christian Churches celebrating on  6-th against 7-th of January and maybe I'm missing some Orthodox Church. I personally know a person from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Lets hope by the prayers of the Holy Theotokos Virgin Mary and all saints, soon the Oriental Orthodox Churches will come back and recognize decisions taken by Holy Fathers on 7 Orthodox Church ecumenical councils and then we all joyful sing together united in the faith of the Holy Apostles our Lord Jesus Christ's Nativity hymn !
 

If you happen to be reading my post and you belong to another Orthodox Church patriarchate I forgot to mention or don't know about, please drop a comment to which Church you belong and put a link to your Church sung Troparion and Kontakion.
Let us together rejoice with the joy of Angels and the wise East Magis who came to venerate the birth of King of Kings with gifts and gold.
 

Troparion (Tone 4) Your Nativity, O Christ our God, Has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! For by it, those who worshipped the stars, Were taught by a Star to adore You, The Sun of Righteousness, And to know You, the Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to You!

Kontakion (Tone 3) Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, And the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels with shepherds glorify Him! The wise men journey with a star! Since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a Little Child!

6th against 7th Nativity / Budni Dan / Божић, ( Christmas ) in Serbian Orthodox Church Nijmegen

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Saint Savva Nijmegen Serbian Orthodox Church Bojic Badni dan Rojdestvo Hristovo Nativity

I'm in Holland and here the closest place to Arnhem where Orthodox Holy Liturgy is served is in Nijmegen. I go every Sunday on Church taking the train from Arnhem to Nijmegen – the whole trip takes 15 to 20 minutes .One Sunday, I go to Russian Orthodox Church, and one Sunday to Serbian Orthodox Church. As a rule of thumb for us Orthodox, if we attend Orthodox Church different from your nation wide (autocephalous) Orthodox Church, the person who takes part in prayer and Eucharist communion with the respective Church should celebrate the Church feasts according to the respective Orthodox Church calendar (in my case Russian and Serbian Orthodox Church) calendar. Both Russian and Serbian Church are following the so called Old Church Calendar, where in my national Church the Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like Greeks, we follow the "New  feasts Church Calendar". The difference between the two calendars is 13 days in some of the feasts, meaning Orthodox Churches which still observe the Old Church Calendar have some of the feasts like Nativity 13 days later.

Two years ago, I've celebrated Christmas with the Russian Orthodox Church on the 3rd day of Nativity (9th of January). This year by God's great mercy I had the chance to celebrate Рождество Христово with the Serbs.

Thus  this, year I celebrate Nativity (Рождество Христово – as we say in Bulgarian following the Old Church Calendar today on 6-th against 7-th January Eve.

In Nijmegen, there will be no midnight (полунощница) Holy Liturgy, but instead on Sunday Morning, there was a Holy Liturgy in which we celebrated the feast of Nativity of the Lord Lord Jesus Christ and at the end of Church service we greeted each other with the joyful salute Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

It was a joyful service leaded by the hieromonk priest father Dushan, who is in charge of Nijmegen's, Amsterdam and Breda Westen Europe Serbian eparchy .

The Serbian Church here in Holland are blessed to have for veneration holy relics of saints:

  • st. Zosima (Tumane)
  • saint Nektarios of Aegina
  • venerable Dena (ikoki)
  • saint Tsar Urosh
  • saint Paraskeva (the Bulgarian / of the Balkans)
  • saint Nikolaj Srbskij (Velimirovich)

Serbs are very good people and everytime I go to Serbian Church, I'm warmly accepted as true brother in Christ, this time it was no different.

It was a triple  feast for me as I both celebrated the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, received the Holy Sacraments and venerated the Holy relics of this Great Saints.

In Serbian Church have, the same pious tradition like in our Bulgarian Orthodox to great each other with the Nativity (Rojdenski) Church Greeting – Христос се Роди – Воистину се Роди / Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

In Serbian Christmas is called Bozec / Badni Dan (Yule-log tree day), very similar to the Bulgarian Бъдна Вечер / Badna Vecher  (Yule-log tree night).

As I'm a bit keen on learning Serbian, I've found a video in youtube re-telling the story around the miracles surrounding the birth of the King of Kings the Lord Jesus Christ:

Верски календар – Божић / Religious calendar – Christmas- The story of Christ birth as told in Serbian Language

Here is the Serbian Church Troparion for the day Rojdestvo tvoe:


 

Рождество Твое,Христе Боже наш…(хор Матфея) – Српски / Rojdestvo Tvoem Srpski

In Serbia Christmas is known as Bozic, often written in latin as Serbs tend to write nowadays mainly in Latin, Cyrillic however is still in wide use mainly in Serbian Church. Mentioning cyrillic I should say, Serbian is in maybe 60 / 70% similar or same in words as Bulgarian language as we are brother nations, and plus the Holy Liturgy service is in Church Slavonic so I understood about 80 to 90% of all the service with no problem. Also speaking with Serbians is very easy, if I speak a simplified version of Bulgarian and they speak simple Serbian – our languages are almost identical. A Situation with Serbian and Bulgarian is very much like here Holland with German language.

There were few things in the Church, which was new for me. A native Serbian Church tradition is they bring haystacks in the Church as a remembrance for Christ being born among the hay in the manger.

seno serbian church hay haystack, bundle of hay picture

Also one other local tradition which is not in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and not in Russian Orthodox Church is bringing the yule-log tree trunk in the Church.
In Bulgaria we also put Christmas, new year tree but not the cut trunk of it.

yule log tree budnik bydnik serbian church local tradition

It was very joyful, the whole Church was full of people from ex-Yugoslavia – Serbia, Bosnia & Hertzegovina and Macedonia. The biggest joy was the plenty of children and new-borns from age around 1 year to age 7 – 10 years. There were also plenty of teenagers and people in their 20 – 30s, something I've rarely seen in Bulgaria. The fact that the Church service was all attended by Emigrants and the fact serbians help each other so much while living abroad is something that makes me rejoice, the only thing I don't understand and (pray it change) is why we Bulgarians are united like this?

At the end of the Church service, there was something I liked very much too. The little kids in the Church were invited to come to the piles of hay on the ground sitting behind the icons, and told there are candies hidden in the hay 🙂 The kids started seeking through the straws finding chocolates in different forms joying. The idea of this entertainment "game" was great, as it makes children feel at home in the Church and by doing so Serbs teach their children to love the Holy Church and by this are little by little raising the next generation of devoted Serbian Orthodox Christians. I never saw in Bulgarian Orthodox Church, any activity in our Church like this, so I think maybe if our Church organizes something like this on Christmas it will be very good for both Bulgarian Orthodox parents and kids.

To make the Church joy complete, at the end of the Church service, all the layman were invited for a cup of coffee, tea and quick fasting meal. 6-th against 7-th of January is the last day of the Nativity fasting in the Church and since the fasting is over early on 7-th morning after the night vigil and morning holy liturgy all food in the little  kitchen of the Byzantine Building ( Chapel ) was fasting

People from Church has prepared a very taste food, many of which in type was very similar to the food we eat in Bulgaria during fasting and Nativity.

Other thing impressed me in Church, was the attitude of the woman, most of them were very concerned about man, and they leave nothing in the kitchen to be done by man, they served food etc. Somehow it seemed to me that Serbian ladies acted like true ladies, taking care for all the kitchen work, serving doing their best to make the man feel comfortable, something that is still evident in less developed economy nations like India, Pakistan etc. This kind of woman attitude is very hard to be seen nowadays in almost all around the world, including Bulgaria, so salutes for the good Serb woman 🙂

Just like us Bulgarians, Serbs also have Rakia as a traditional alcoholic beverage. This time they had a Serbian tea (as they call it) a mixture of hot tea and good quality rakia 🙂 – I rarely drink alcohol these days but this "Serbian tea" I liked very much. Among the food, there was the traditional wrapped rice in cabbage leaves, peppers filled with rise, own baked loaf (pitka), some very delicious meal combining something like boiled potatoes with mushrooms and some vegetables inside looking a bit like the Bulgarian Banica.

It is like a Church tradition, here in the West Orthodox Churches, to eat together after the end of Holy Liturgy. In the Holy Trinity Church in Dobrich, sometimes we do this as well but  not every time like here in West. Eating together with the brothers and sisters from the Church makes the Church experience complete and is a symbolic continuation of communion after the true communion receiving the Holy Blood and Holy Flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Eucharist.
 

Nativity of Christ (Christmas) in Orthodox Church 24-th against 25-th December and 6-th against 7-th January – Spreading good news of Christ birth twice

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Ancient icon of Nativity of Christ Mount Sinai 7-th 9-th-century Rojdestvo Hristovo pravoslavna ikona - celebrating feast twice double spreading the good news of Christ's birth

In Serbian and Russia and Jerusalem as well as Orthodox Church January 6th against 7th  eve is Nativity (The day in which we Orthodox Christians, celebrate The Incarnation (Birth) of Christ).

In the Orthodox Church, there are some Orthodox Churches who celebrate Nativity on 24th against 25-th December (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania etc.) and some who celebrate Nativity on 6-th against 7-th January (Russia, Jerusalem, Syria, Serbia, Ethiopia, Egypt  etc.) . The reason for this is some  autocephalous (nation wide) Orthodox Churches use the so called New dates Church calendar, and others are still using the Old Calendar. Nomatter that all Orthodox Churches are in eucharistic (sacramental) communion and celebrate Easter on one and same date. The feast of birth of Christ was known to be originally celebrated on 24-th against 25-th of December (but this was according to the previous dates calendar used in the world which was based on the moon phases). After whole the world accepted and use even till now the so called Gregorian Church calendar, which is said to be more mathematically precise some of the national Orthodox Churches, with the usual consent between all nation Orthodox Church Patriarchates decided to move the 24-th against 25-th December to be celebrated on 24 to 25-th eve to be more accurate with the world dates calendar used by all throughout the world. This same 24-th against 25-th of December according to the old world dates calendar which was used in most Christian countries before the Gregorian calendar become the de-facto standard for world calendar coincides with  6-th against 7-th December.

There was quite a talk going around between people who were for and against the 24-th and 25-th calendar, as in all Orthodox Churches until the 1950/60 Nativity of Christ was celebrated on 6-th against 7-th January. Now there are two camps of people in the one Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church, those for the new calendar and those against it.

Nativity of Christ Rojdesetvo hristovo Christmas 24-th against 25-th December and 6-th against 7th-January both correct and unifying the One Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church
Actually in practice following Christmas on both date is not incorrect, and it should be mentioned in very ancient times of the Church, Nativity of Christ was celebrated every-day as Church services were continuing 10 to 12 hours each day!!!! Thus in ancient Church, there was not a special day for a birthday of Christ, but it was known in the Church Christ for sure Christ was born in December, many saints (if not mistaken) including st. John of Chrysostom said 24-th eve is the correct date on which the most pure Mother of God Virgin Mary gave birth to our savior and Messiah (Christ).
 
No-matter about the date, even as situation now is where some Churches celebrate Christmas on 24th eve and some on 6th against 7th this should not be perceived as separation of the Church, but as point of unification and increasing of possibility of people to hear about the birth of the savior of us the sinful humanity. As the good news of Nativity is preached and heard by unbelievers and believers twice the year instead of just one, making the world remember twice about the moment in which we received the news for hope of redemption and salvation from the corruption of death that ruled over us before Christ's incarnation and salvation mission on earth.

 

24 / 25th of Decemter Nativity of Christ celebrated in the Orthodox Church – Beautiful Christmas songs in Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek and Croation language

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012


 

Рождество Твое (Български) (Rojdestvo Tvoe Troparion Bulgarian)

Твоето рождество, Христе Боже наш, озари света със светлината на познанието. Защото в него онези, които служеха на звездите, от звездата се научиха да се покланят на Тебе, Слънцето на правдата, и да познават Тебе, Изтока от висините. Господи, слава на Тебе!

Рождество Твоè, Христè Боже наш, возсия мùрови свет Ñ€àзума: в нем бо звездам служàщии звездòÑŽ учахуся Тебè клàнятися Солнцу правди, и Тебè вèдети с висотù Востòка: Господи, слава Тебè.

Девицата днес ражда Свръхестествения,
и земята поднася на Непристъпния пещера;
Ангелите с пастирите славословят,
а мъдреците със звездата пътешестват –
понеже
заради нас се роди Младенец – Предвечният Бог.
(Св. Роман Сладкопевец)

 

Икос

 

Витлеем отвори рая, елате да видим, намерихме храна на тайно място: елате да вземем истинска райска храна в пещерата. Там се яви корен ненапоен, който покарва отпущение (на греховете). Там се намери неизкопан кладенец, от който някога Давид пожела да пие. Там Девицата като роди детенце, утоли жаждата на Адам и Давид. Нека сега към пещерата да идем, там където се роди Младенец – Предвечния Бог.

Рождество Христово! Nativity of Christ! Тропар / Troparion

In Bulgaria, many old people call Christmas / RojdestvoKoleda. It was quite interesting to learn in Belarus, the word for Christmas is also Koleda. In Bulgaria and as well as I heard from my Belarusian girlfriend (Svetlana), there is the Christmas tradition of Koledari. Koledari are a group of people going from home to home (primary in Villages) knocking on people's doors and singing Christmas blessings songs wishing the family God bless the house and enrich the possession of the house. I still remember, when young we used to be going from house to house wearing some to "Koleduvame". it is a very pious tradition, which unfortunately due to the globalization and people's migration to live in cities is in a serious decay in Bulgaria. However in many mostly middle and large sized villages, the tradition lives on.


 

Коледари 24.12.2011 – Koledari 24.12.2011

The Koledari, songs are a mixture of songs containing Christ's birth news lyrics and traditional song themes. They contain plenty of funny words especially if one understands Bulgarian.


 

 

Hristos Se Naste (tropar) – La Vifleem colo-n jos (colind)

The Romanian Christ's Birth Troparion has deeply touched me, I listened it multiple times and I believe is one of the most beautiful songs, one can hear in a lifetime as short as it is. It may something to do with the fact, my grandfather-grandfathers used to be living near the Bulgarian border de-facto in territory of nowadays Romania.


 

 

Christmas Croatian Orthodox Church Troparion (Christ's Birth church song)


 

Christmas Troparion (English and Greek)


 

Jesus Christ is born – γέννηση – Nativity of Christ Church song Greek

Of course as Greece used to be a cradle of Orthodoxy, the deepness and spirituality the song as sung in the language of ancient Byzantine (ex-Eastern Roman) is felt.

Intel and IBM future tech world vision about the world, do we really want this?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

the-hellish-future-as-envisioned-by-leading-it-companies-IBM-and-intel-and-the-slavery-of-Internet-of-Things

I'm quite a visionary person as such I'm always interested to prognosis on what the world might look like few years from now. Below are two videos showing IBM and Intel's vision on what might future bring us. I don't know about you but I'm strong in my conviction that I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN SUCH WORLD. I'm pretty sure that many other people share my opinion that such a world is not fun and is far from what really we're supposed to live. The sad thing is the corporations are already powerful enough to impose their vision and make the vision reality.

It is my understanding that the main problem we have to solve is not how we can embed better or newer technology to change our life (for good?) but rather how we can get out of the trap of living in a fake world like the one displayed in the video. Obviously the vision of this two giant companies is not far from what we're forewarned in the holy bible in Revelation. In revelation we read that there will be a unified system, where everything and everyone on this earth will be market and whoever does not have the mark "of the beast" he will not be able to buy or sell within the system. This prophecy closely matches the vision of future marketing offered as a possible outcome by IBM. I don't think IBM have red in Revelation to get their idea on their infernal system shown within their vision of supermarket video

The logical conclusion might dirive therefore is there is a higher force who leads IBM (and possible most if not all of corporations) on creating the fake tech-nocrat culture society which is building right in front our eyes.
The destruction of real communities and the worsening conditions within the Orthodox Church are another symptom that the End Times as prophecised centuries before are closer than we think.

It is my firm believe that people who does understand about this problem should start uniting and say no to technology innovation that leads us in this technological trap ,,,,,

I'm sure even people who does not have a believe in Jesus Christ and are not Christian from other religions are also seeing that the direction this world has taken up is dark.
We should be very dumb and blind not to see that technology is boxing us and leading us to a modern day techno slavery …..

Intel | Future Technology | Vision

IBM's vision on how future market might look like

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 ! Воистину 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 Възкресе ! Воистину 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 in the manners of Russians which say it three times during the paschal period.

Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе !
Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе !
Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе !

Improve default picture viewing on Slackware Linux with XFCE as Desktop environment

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Default XFce picture viewer on Slackware Linux is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Though GIMP is great for picture editting, it is rather strange why Patrick Volkerding compiled XFCE to use GIMP as a default picture viewer? The downsides of GIMP being default picture viewing program for Slackware's XFCE are the same like Xubuntu's XFCE risterroro, you can't switch easily pictures back and forward with some keyboard keys (left, right arrow keys, backspace or space etc.). Besides that another disadvantage of using GIMP are;
a) picture opening time in GIMP loading is significantly higher if compared to a simple picture viewer program like Gnome's default, eye of the gnomeeog.

b) GIMP is more CPU intensive and puts high load on each picture opening

A default Slackware install comes with two good picture viewing programs substitute for GIMP:
 

  • Gwenview

    Gwenview on Slackware Linux picture screenshot XFCE

  •  
  • Geeqie
  • Geeqie Slackware Linux Screenshot XFCE

    Both of the programs support picture changing, so if you open a picture you can switch to the other ones in the same directory as the first opened one.
    I personally liked more Gwenview because it has more intutive picture switching controls. With it you can switch with keyboard keys space and backspace

    To change GIMP's default PNG, JPEG opening I had with mouse right button over a pic and in properties change, Open With: program.

    XFCE4 Slackware Linux picture file properties window

    If you're curious about the picture on on all screenshots, this is Church – Saint George (situated in the city center of Dobrich, Bulgaria).
    St. Georgi / St. George Church is built in 1842 and is the oldest Orthodox Church in Dobrich.
    In the Crimean War (1853-1856) the church was burned down and was restored to its present form in 1864.

    gpicview is another cool picture viewing program, I like. Unfortunately on Slackware, there is no prebuild package and the only option is either to convert it with alien from deb package or to download source and compile as usual with ./configure && make && make install .
    Downloading and compiling from source went just fine on Slackware Linux 13.37gpicview has more modern looking interface, than gwenview and geeqie. and is great for people who want to be in pace with desktop fashion 🙂