Sunday, October 23, 2011

Axios! Many years! (to the Antiochian Catholic Church in America)

Today, October 23, is the Feast Day of St. James, the "brother" of the Lord and first bishop of Jerusalem. A very early liturgy, the one used by all of the West Syriac Tradition, including the ACCA, is attributed to him. It clearly forms the basis for the Liturgies of the Byzantine Rite and Armenian Rite, and is echoed in certain anaphorae, or Eucharistic Prayers, of the Coptic Church.

It is also the 20th anniversary of the autocephaly, or independence, of the Antiochian Catholic Church in America.

Axios! Many years!

The following are Prayers-Hymns from the Byzantine Rite, used at the Liturgy (Eucharist) in honor of St. James:

Troparion Tone 4
Thou hast received the Gospel as a disciple,/ thou art invincible as a martyr,/ and bold as the Lord's brother,/ thou dost intercede as a hierarch./ O righteous James, pray to Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion Tone 4
God the Word, only-begotten of the Father,/ came to us in the last days./ He has made thee first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem/ and a steward of spiritual mysteries./ we honour thee, O Apostle James.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Quick Note...

....inspired by Paul Evdokimov's book The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty and Andreas Mar Cassian's homily on Sunday at the annual Convocation liturgy. The Gospel reading was Luke 17:20-37, which includes the statement, "The Kingdom of God is within [or "among"] you".

In his homily, Mar Cassian noted that "antichrist" means not only "against Christ" but also, "in place of Christ".

Here is the note:

The language of Orthodox Christianity is not that of substitution and re-presentation. It is, rather, the language of participation and communion. The former is opaque, solipsistic, iconoclastic, and nominalistic. The latter is transparent and iconic. The latter is the language of interpenetration and perichoresis. It is the language of Trinitarianism and therefore, of human community and sobernost, the language of counciliarity.

Thus, as priest, I am not "another Christ". If I am, I am in fact "antiChrist". However, my priesthood, by participation, is that of Christ Himself.