What is Divine Liturgy, Panagia, Pectoral Cross, Priest, Holy Relics, Sign of the Cross and Theotokos?

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

What is Divine Liturgy, Panagia, Pectoral Cross,

Priest, Holy Relics, Sign of the Cross and Theotokos?

What is Divine Liturgy?

Divine Liturgy – Liturgy means “The work of the people.” The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.
The Divine Liturgy is divided into 3 distinct parts:

-Liturgy of Preparation (proskomedia) – This is the first one-third of the liturgy, where the bread and wine offered by the people are prepared for the Eucharistic service by the celebrant, and his deacon. It represents in a small way the Old Testament, in that is a preparation of the world for the coming of Christ.

-Liturgy of the Word – Containing the Great Litany, Antiphons, and the Epistle and Gospel lesson, this ends with the Bishop proclaiming and expounding upon the teachings of Christ, prayers for the departed, and catechumens. It presents the era of the New Testament, and the hearing of the Gospel of our Lord.

-Liturgy of the Faithful – This is the Eucharistic liturgy, containing the Anaphora, the Words of Institution and Epiclesis, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, Thanksgiving and the Dismissal. This offers us a foretaste of the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal union of Christ with His people.

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What does Panagia mean?

Panagia – The Icon of the Incarnation – Christ and the Virgin Mary -worn by a Bishop in place of a Pectoral Cross, representing his faith in the Incarnation of Christ, which he must proclaim and defend, hence the reason he wears its image. Panagia means “All-holy.”

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What is the Pectoral Cross?

Pectoral Cross – Worn by Priests, it symbolizes the reality that the priest is the representative of Christ Crucified to the people and to the world, and as Christ’s ambassador, he is to bring them the Gospel of the Kingdom.

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What is a Priest?

Priest – The Second of the Major Holy Orders, priests/presbyters are the representative of the Bishop in the Parish. He receives, through Ordination, the power consecrate the Holy Eucharist, to preach and explain the teachings of the Holy Gospel, Baptize, Chrismate, celebrate Weddings, to give Holy Unction to the sick, to hear confessions and grant absolution in the name of the Lord.

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What are Holy Relics?

Holy Relics – Holy Relics are portions of the bone or vesture of a saint. Following the example of the early Church (Acts 19:11), and the power revealed through holy relics in the Old Testament (2 Kgs 13:21), the Church always places the relics of martyrs in the Altar, and often in the antimension, typifying Rev. 6:9.

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What is the Sign of the Cross?

Sign of the Cross – made by the earliest Christians, and today by their inheritors Orthodox Christians (also by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and even Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther), the sign of the Cross is the enduring symbol of faith in Christ our Savior, and the blessing of the Christian. It is made, consecrating the mind (touch the forehead), heart (breast), soul (right shoulder) and strength (left shoulder) to God, the Holy Trinity. It is an ancient and profound confession of faith in Christ, going back at least until the second century, as recorded by Tertullian and other Church fathers.

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What does Theotokos mean?

Theotokos – Greek for “Birth-giver of God,” or “Bearer of God.” A title of theological and historical significance, the Orthodox Church refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Theotokos, thus safeguarding the truth of the doctrine of the Incarnation. There are many holy Marys who were virgins, but there is only one Theotokos.

Source:

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org

http://www.roseburgorthodoxchurch.org/glossary-of-orthodox-terms.html

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

Saint Ambrose of Milan (+397):

“Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin, when contrary to the law of nature the sea looked at Him and fled, and the waters of the Jordan returned to their source (Ps. 113:3). Is it past belief that a virgin gave birth when we read that a rock issued water (Ex. 17:6), and the waves of the sea were made solid as a wall (Ex. 14:22)? Is it past belief that a Man came from a virgin when a rock bubbled forth a flowing stream (Ex. 20:11), iron floated on water (4 Kings 6:6), a Man walked upon the waters (Mt. 14:26)? If the waters bore a Man, could not a virgin give birth to a man? What Man? Him of Whom we read: ‘…the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day; and they shall offer sacrifices, and shall vow vows to the Lord, and pay them’ (Is. 19:20).

In the Old Testament a Hebrew virgin (Miriam) led an army through the sea (Ex. 15:21); in the New testament a king’s daughter (the Virgin Mary) was chosen to be the heavenly entrance to salvation.”

+ St. Ambrose, Synodal Letter 44, Letters, 1-91 (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series)

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us? Let us explain in more detail the Church hymn which explains the meaning of this feast’s joy. Through the birth of the Ever-Virgin, through Her only-begotten Son and God, cursed and outcast mankind makes peace with God Who is immeasurably offended by man’s sins, for Christ became the mediator of this peace (cf. Rom. 5:10-11). Man is freed from the curse and eternal death, made worthy of the blessing of the Heavenly Father; he is united and co-mingled with the Divine nature; he is raised to his first inheritance by this co-mingling, according to the Church hymn. Mankind, once an outcast, has been made worthy of sonship to the Heavenly Father, received the promise of the glorious resurrection and eternal life in the heavens together with the angels.

This has all been and is being wrought by the Son of God incarnate from the Most Pure Virgin from the Holy Spirit, and by the intercession of His Most Pure Mother. How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man!

+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/09/18/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-joy-does-the-nativity-of-the-mother-of-god-bring-us/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES