What is the Apolytikion?

The principal troparion (hymn) of the day, chanted at the end of Vespers (hence its name, which means “dismissal hymn”), and celebrating the particular feast or saint being commemorated. It is also known as the “troparion of the feast” or the “troparion of the day”. On Great Feasts it is sung three times at the […]

Orthodox Theology and Science

There are clear and distinct boundaries between Theology and Science. Theology, as the Greek origin of the word suggests, is concerned with God – what God is and how one can attain communion with Him – whereas Science is concerned with the created world and is interested mainly in the use of the world. In […]

Secularism in Church, Theology and Pastoral Care

  In the thoughts that follow I would like to look at a crucial subject that needs to be faced. It is the great issue of secularism in church, theology and pastoral care. Secularism is the loss of the true life of the Church, the alienation of Church members from the genuine Church spirit. Secularism […]

Letters of Saint John Chrysostom to Olympias

Letters to Olympias. 1. To my lady. The most reverend and divinely favored deaconess Olympias, I John, Bishop, send greeting in the Lord. 1. Come now let me relieve the wound of thy despondency, and disperse the thoughts which gather this cloud of care around thee. For what is it which upsets thy mind, and […]

Saint Olympias, the Deaconess

Olympias was born in Constantinople of very distinguished parents. Her father, Anysius Secundus, was a senator and her mother was the daughter of the famous nobleman Eulavius who is mentioned in the hagiography of St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker. When Olympias reached maturity, she was betrothed to a nobleman who died before the marriage took place. […]

Saint Christina of Tyre

The Martyr Christina lived during the third century. She was born into a rich family, and her father was Governor of Tyre. By the age of 11 the girl was exceptionally beautiful, and many men asked for her hand in marriage. Christina’s father, however, wanted his daughter to become a pagan priestess. He placed her […]

The Mystery and the Process of Death

1. Question: Tell us something about death, something that comes spontaneously to you, something you consider extremely important. Answer: What comes spontaneously to mind is that death is a terrible mystery, as we chant in the Funeral Service, which is a poem by St. John Damascene. This is related to the fact that the soul […]