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The Church Is Not a Wish Granting Factory

As an Orthodox Christian I have learned many difficult lessons in my life, the first and foremost being that, in the words of John Green, “The Universe” or God “is not a wish granting factory”. I have struggled my entire life with severe mental illnesses namely: depression, anxiety, and anorexia nervosa. I have spent my […]

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My OCF Story: Jackie Homyk

Stop. Reflect how OCF has impacted you. This was what I was asked to do. So many joys have come to the forefront of my mind while contemplating this. Here are some notes regarding my experiences with OCF: It’s safe to invite my friends. One of my favorite moments from a retreat was when a […]

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Orthodox Music: Byzantine Chant

Learn to chant, so that you may experience the sweetness of the work,  for those who chant are filled with the Holy Spirit. – St. John Chrysostom The history of the Greek Orthodox Church can be described as a history of prayer through song. Following the ancient Greek philosophers, the Fathers of the Church recognized […]

Dn. Teo leads the children of St. Herman's Orthodox School in chanting at a hierarchical liturgy at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, MA

Orthodox Music: On Music and Silence

How can music improve our worship? One of the most wonderful movies about Orthodox prayer is The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, a documentary made by Fr. John McGuckin and Dr. Norris J. Chumley. It depicts the journey of two men who, following an ancient example of a monk, go from the Egyptian desert and […]

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God is Prayer: Keeping a Rule of Prayer

Getting Started Starting a rule of prayer can be quite intimidating–and keeping one quite discouraging. It helps when we understand that a rule of prayer (in Greek, κανόνας προσευχής) does not mean ‘do this or else’ or ‘follow this rule so you don’t get punished’. Κανόνας here means a measurement, more like a ruler than […]