Transcripts

Ancient Faith Commentaries

Ancient Faith Commentaries

Altar Girls

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Fr. Lawrence Farley examines the question of whether or not the youthful function of liturgical assistance in the altar should be extended to girls as well as boys.

Altar Girls

Most Orthodox churches of my acquaintance in North America are served by “altar boys”—that is, by boys of pre-pubescent or adolescent age, vested in a sticharion robe and helping the priest by holding a candle, fetching the censer, or otherwise assisting him in the performance of the Divine Liturgy and the other Church services. Sometimes this office is fulfilled by grown men, often of advanced age. Sometimes such men have been…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Should It Matter to Christians When Churches Burn?

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The world watched in disbelief as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. But why should it matter? Fr. Andrew Damick has an answer.

Like many people around the world, I watched this week with genuine sadness and even horror as I saw the great cathedral in Paris burning: Notre Dame of Paris was on fire, and the world feared the very worst regarding its fate. Photos, videos, and news articles swarmed social media by the hundreds, with thousands and even millions of views and shares. Footage of the flaming 19th-century spire falling has been watched over and over, and Parisians wept and sang the…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Staying Christian in a Culture of Growing Hate

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Dn. Michael Hyatt is the chair of the Ancient Faith Ministries board and a Deacon at St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Franklin, TN. Most people know him as one of the top leadership mentors in the country and the Founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, an online leadership development company dedicated to helping high achievers win at work and succeed at life. In this commentary (which is actually a sermon given at St. Ignatius), Dn. Michael assesses the impact of social media on people in general and Christians in particular.

Be looking for the return of his Ancient Faith Radio podcast At the Intersection of East and West in September!

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: one God. Amen.

My name is Deacon Michael Hyatt. I’ve served as a deacon here at St. Ignatius now for 31 years, and there’s something that’s been bothering me for the past few years that I want to share with you this morning. It’s what I want to refer to as our growing culture of hate. I’m not talking this morning about the kinds of unacceptable behavior that exist…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Coptic Christian Massacre

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Dan Bein, the most recent Media Student Leader of Orthodox Christian Fellowship and a Coptic Christian, comments on the recent bus shooting of the Coptic Christians in Egypt who refused to renounce their faith at gunpoint.

Friday May 26 started out like any other day. I woke up, made the sign of the cross like I was swatting flies, and checked my phone to see if I had overslept. I scrolled through my social media and washed my face. As I was lazily gathering things together for the St. Tikhon’s pilgrimage weekend, I received a text from my mom that read “There was an attack on a Copt bus going from a Church in المنيا (al-menya) to دير الانبا صمويل المعترف.…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Rolling Back the Darkness

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In light of the tragic and senseless attack at a concert in Manchester, Fr. Gregory Hallam offers this commentary. Fr. Gregory is priest at St. Aidan's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Manchester, UK.

Hello, I’m Father Gregory Hallam from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. I co-author two podcasts on Ancient Faith with my assistant priest Father Emmanuel Kahn: the sermon podcast Voice from the Isles and the catechetical course entitled E-Quip. However, I am not talking to you…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

The Anaphora of St. Basil

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Fr. Philip LeMasters, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion at McMurry University, explains that St. Basil's Anaphora calls us to live out practically what we enact liturgically in response to the needs of the human beings whom we encounter every day.

During the season of Great Lent, when we serve the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Sundays, I’m always struck by how beautifully the anaphora portrays the compassion and mercy of God for us weak and corrupt human beings. At the very heart of our eucharistic celebration, our remembrance and participation in the love of the Father who sent the Son, of the Son who offered himself to deliver us from death, and of the Holy Spirit in whom we personally become…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Orthodoxy and Politics

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Fr. Philip LeMasters, a professor of religion at McMurry University and the host of the AFR podcast Eastern Christian Insights, discusses how Orthodox Christians should approach politics.

Since many folks seem to be a bit puzzled at how to respond to the current presidential campaign, I thought that I would share with you a section of my book, The Forgotten Faith, which speaks to these matters, at least a bit.

The cultures, forms of government, and economic systems in which Eastern Christians find themselves vary widely around the world. It is safe to say, however,…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Paschal Trumpet

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Fr. Lawrence Farley explains that Christ is the jubilee of the whole world and his Resurrection is the trumpet which announces it.

Pascha: the Blast of a Trumpet

From the prophecies of Isaiah 27:13: “It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who are perishing in the land of Assyria and who are scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” The prophet here surveys the world around him and sees how the people of God were languishing in exile, scattered to the four winds and perishing helplessly…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Islamophobia

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In order to understand our Muslim neighbors and make sense of the world today, says Fr. Lawrence Farley, we need to distinguish between Mohammed's practice, the history of Islamic expansion, the practice of Muslims throughout the Islamic empire, liberal Muslims today, and Islamists.

Islamophobia. With an admitted abundance of irony, I find myself phobic about the use of any word that ends in “-phobic,” largely because the word is usually used to shut down sensible and sustained debate and functions as a kind of rhetorical club in the hands of ideological bullies. Take the popular word, “homophobic,” for example. The word is used as a label to denounce and silence anyone arguing that homosexual practice is sinful. Those…

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Ancient Faith Commentaries

Fifty Shades of Grey

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Fr. John Parker, Chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America, encourages us to replace any impulse we might have to either see Fifty Shades of Grey or read the book with charitable acts done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is Fr. John Parker, the chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America. Fifty Shades of Grey, according to the plot summary which I read—I did not read the book, nor will I see the movie—is about a girl named Resurrection, whose best friend is named for one of the most beautiful and intelligent virgin martyrs in Christian history, St. Catherine the Great of Alexandria, and a sick and depraved male—we cannot…

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