Tag Archives: Eastern Europe

A SAINT OF ALL CHRISTIANS: St. Nicolas of Myra (Sfantul Nicolae) Saint of the day December 6, 2014 |Troparion to St. Nicolas Правило веры (rule of faith) composed by Nikolay Golovanov


Saint Nicholas of Myra at Ottobeuren Abbey, Ot...

Saint Nicholas of Myra at Ottobeuren Abbey, Ottobeuren, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Nicholas, called “of Bari”, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day. The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

From Wikipedia (OUR FREE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA):

St. Nicholas of Myra

Our father among the saints Nicholas of Myra, Wonder-worker, was the archbishop of Myra in southern Asia Minor in the fourth century and is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in much of the world. While widely honored and venerated, not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, little is known historically of the life of Nicholas. He is known to have been archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the Council of Nicea in 325. In addition to being honored as the patron saint of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers. St. Nicholas is commemorated by the Church on December 6, and also on May 9 (the transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).

Life and tradition

By tradition, Nicholas born in the province of Lycia in the southern part of Asia Minor in the city of Patara to well-to-do parents. The date of his birth is not known. Having inherited his parents’ estate, he became known for his generous gifts to those in need. As a youth, he made pilgrimages to Palestine and Egypt. He was subsequently consecrated Archbishop of Myra as the fourth century began. He was imprisoned during the persecutions of Diocletian and released by Constantine after his ascension to emperor. Nicholas was noted for his defense of Orthodoxy against the Arians. He is reputed to have been present at the Council of Nicea, but his name does not appear among any documents from that era. He died in Myra on December 6 in a year uncertain, but between 342 and 352.

St Nicholas the Wonderworker

Many of the details of his life that we have appeared during medieval times. St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the middle of the ninth century produced a life of Nicholas in which he noted that the life of Nicholas was unknown to most of the Christians of the time, thus indicating his composition was probably based mainly on legend. Methodius noted that Nicholas was raised well by pious and well-to-do parents and related how Nicholas contributed from his inheritance the dowry for three daughters of a citizen of Patara who had lost all his money. His feast was being celebrated by the time of St. Justinian two centuries after his death. After Methodius’ life of Nicholas became available, Nicholas was acclaimed and honored throughout Europe and especially in Italy. When Myra was captured by the Saracens in 1034, many Italian cities planned to “rescue” his relics. In 1087, forces from Bari, Italy, attacked Myra and carried away his relics from the lawful Greek guardians in Myra to Bari where they were enshrined in a new church. His fame increased. The story of his rescue of sailors in the Aegean Sea during his lifetime established him as the patron of mariners. His popularity in Russia rose to the point that almost all churches had some sort of shrine honoring St. Nicholas.

Secular fame

In time his fame in northern Europe as a saintly bishop began changing to that of a giver of gifts to children, usually done on December 6. As immigrants from the Germanic and Nordic lands settled in the United States the image of St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas,” as he is known among the Dutch, slowly changed to that of “Santa Claus” with little tie to the spirituality of Christianity.

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 4)

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Nicholas,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion (Tone 3)

You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest,
For you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ
By giving up your soul for your people,
And saving the innocent from death.
Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God.

Troparion to St. Nicolas Правило веры (rule of faith) comp. by Nikolay Golovanov

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Eastern Christianity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Eastern Christianity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Africa, India, and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity.

The term is generally used in Western Christianity to describe all Christian traditions that did not develop in Western Europe. As such, the term does not describe any single communion or common religious tradition, and in fact some “Eastern” Churches have more in common historically and theologically with “Western” Christianity than with one another. The various “Eastern” Churches do not normally refer to themselves as “Eastern,” with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and its offshoots.

The terms “Eastern” and “Western” in this regard originated with divisions in the Church mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latinate west and the political divide between the weak Western and strong Eastern Roman empires. Because the most powerful Church in the East was what has become known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the term “Orthodox” is often used in a similarly loose fashion as “Eastern”, although strictly speaking most Churches consider themselves part of an Orthodox and Catholic communion.

Families of churches

 

Countries by number of Orthodox Christians in 2010

  More than 100 million
  More than 20 million
  More than 10 million
  More than 5 million
  More than 1 million

Eastern Christians do not share the same religious traditions, but do share many cultural traditions. Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions (Roman, Persian, etc.). It would be many centuries later that Western Christianity fully split from these traditions as its own communion. Today there are four main branches or families of Eastern Christianity, each of which has distinct theology and dogma.

In many Eastern churches, some parish priests administer the sacrament of chrismation to infants after baptism, and priests are allowed to marry before ordination. While all the Eastern Catholic Churches recognize the authority of the Pope, some of them who having originally been part of the Orthodox Church or Oriental Orthodox Church closely follow the traditions of Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy, including the tradition of allowing married men to become priests.

The Eastern churches’ differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, language, and politics, as theology. For the non-Catholic Eastern churches, a definitive date for the commencement of schism cannot usually be given (see East-West Schism). The Church of the East declared independence from the churches of the Roman Empire at its general council in 424, which was before the Council of Ephesus in 431, and so had nothing to do with the theology declared at that Council. Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Since the time of the historian Edward Gibbon, the split between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church has been conveniently dated to 1054,though the reality is more complex. This split is sometimes referred to as the Great Schism, but now more usually referred to as the East-West Schism. This final schism reflected a larger cultural and political division which had developed in Europe and southwest Asia during the Middle Ages and coincided with Western Europe’s re-emergence from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Eastern Orthodox Church

 

Christ Pantocrator, detail of the Deesis mosaic in Hagia SophiaConstantinople (Istanbul) 12th century

The Orthodox Church is a Christian body whose adherents are largely based in the Middle East (particularly Syria and Iraq), Russia, Greece, Eastern Europe and The Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Ossetia etc), with a growing presence in the western world. Orthodox Christians accept the decisions of the First seven Ecumenical Councils.

Orthodox Christianity identifies itself as the original Christian church (see early centers of Christianity) founded by Christ and the Apostles, and traces its lineage back to the early church through the process of Apostolic Succession and unchanged theology and practice. Distinguishing characteristics of the Orthodox Church (shared with some of the Eastern Catholic Churches) include the Divine Liturgy, the Mysteries or Sacraments, and an emphasis on the preservation of Tradition, which it holds to be Apostolic in nature.

The Orthodox Church is organized into self-governing jurisdictions along geographical, national, ethnic, and/or linguistic lines. Orthodoxy is thus made up of 15 or 16 autocephalous bodies. Smaller churches are autonomous and each have a mother church that is autocephalous.

The Orthodox Church includes the following jurisdictions:

All Orthodox are united in doctrinal agreement with each other, though a few are not in communion at present, for non-doctrinal reasons. This is in contrast to the Roman Catholic Church and its various rites. Members of the latter are all in communion with each other, parts of a top-down hierarchy (see primus inter pares).

The majority of Catholics accept both the Filioque clause and, since 1950, the Assumption of Mary. This puts them in sharp contrast with the Orthodox. Yet some Catholics who are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church side with the Orthodox here and reject these teachings, putting them in theological disagreement with the others.

It may also be noted that the Church of Rome was once in communion with the Orthodox Church, but the two were split after the East-West Schism and thus it is no longer in communion with the Orthodox Church.

It is estimated that there are approximately 240 million Orthodox Christians in the world.[1] Today, many adherents shun the term “Eastern” as denying the church’s universal character. They refer to Eastern Orthodoxy simply as the Orthodox Church.

Oriental Orthodox Churches

Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian tradition that keep the faith of the first three Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church: the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325), the First Council of Constantinople (381) and the Council of Ephesus (431), while rejecting the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon (451). Hence, these churches are also called Old Oriental Churches.

Oriental Orthodoxy developed in reaction to Chalcedon on the eastern limit of the Byzantine Empire and in Egypt and Syria and Mesopotamia. In those locations, there are also Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs, but the rivalry between the two has largely vanished in the centuries since the schism.

The following Oriental Orthodox churches are autocephalous and in full communion:

The Oriental Orthodox churches which are autocephalous but not in communion with other Oriental Orthodox churches are :

Read more: HERE    HERE

 

Smetana: Má Vlast: Vltava (Die Moldau) – gesamt: great compositions/performances


Smetana: Má Vlast: Vltava (Die Moldau) – gesamt

this pressed for your right to know: NATO wrestles with new fast-reaction force prompted by Ukraine crisis


excerpts from article:  “…European allies are expected to play the lead role in the “spearhead”. However, because of capability gaps exacerbated by years of spending cuts, the Europeans may have to rely on the United States, NATO’s dominant military power, to help with air transport of heavy equipment and reconnaissance.

Fewer than 100 NATO troops are expected to be based in the Baltic states, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria to organize rapid reinforcement. The “spearhead” force would rotate between different countries each year, with the best equipped European allies – Britain, France and Germany – taking the lead.

Diplomats say other allies need to come forward to avoid having the burden fall too heavily on a few countries.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

via NATO wrestles with new fast-reaction force prompted by Ukraine crisis.

this pressed: Moscow will review its military strategy in face of NATO plan for rapid-reaction force – The Washington Post


Moscow will review its military strategy in face of NATO plan for rapid-reaction force –

The Washington Post.

Comic strip festival showcases Eastern Europe revival (From France24 International)


Comic strip festival showcases Eastern Europe revival (From France24 International)

Comic strip festival showcases Eastern Europe revival (From France24 International) CLick here to find out more about this story)

AFP – The European Comics Festival opened Friday in Bucharest with a spotlight on the medium’s revival in Eastern Europe after decades in the wilderness under communism.

“In every totalitarian regime, comic strips were reserved to children, and only a handful of ‘authorised’ novels were adapted for adults,” said Jean Auquier, director of the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, in Bucharest for the festival.

“But since the fall of the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe, the long tradition that had existed before for the comic strip is being revived,” Auquier told AFP.

Fifteen Eastern European artists are featured at the festival alongside Belgian, Portuguese, Greek and French exhibitors in a trendy industrial building transformed into a contemporary art space in downtown Bucharest.
(
Source: http://www.france24.com/en/20111104-comic-strip-festival-showcases-eastern-europe-revival?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter)