The 2016 Old Testament Challenge

If you, like many who read this website, are discerning a vocation to the priesthood or the diaconate, I'd like to invite you to participate in the 2017 Preachers Institute Old Testament Challenge. It starts on Sept. 15th. There is still time to join up and get started! There are many good reasons to want to read the entire Orthodox canon of the Old Testament, but to actually do it requires a certain commitment.  Yes, every book of t Read more…


True, Priestly Image: Bishop, Priest, Deacon

by St. Symeon of Thessalonica Priests are servants of the Creator of all things, who are to serve in the restoration of those, who were alienated by their own free choice and fell into being evil. Priests are ministers of the greatest and most divine work, through which earthly and heavenly beings are reunited, enmity is dissolved, God makes peace with human beings, every deceit ceases, the dominion of the demons is extinguished, and Read more…


What a Clergyman Should and Should Not Be

Presentation by His Grace Bishop Christoforos of Andida. It is truly an exceptional honour but also a great responsibility for all of us that we have been chosen by God to be clergymen. The Lord Himself affirms: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). The Greek word for a clergyman is klhrikoς, which means the person who was chosen by lot (klhrwqhke) to serve God and men. In the early Church, “they chose Steph Read more…


Do Clothes Make the Man? Keeping the Cassock

by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (The cassock) has a history connected with sacrifices, struggles, tears and blood. … To clergy the cassock reminds them that they are spiritual physicians and not just social workers. The life of the cleric is sacrificial, an ongoing offering that requires the coming out of one’s self to offer himself to others. This is connected with the struggles, the sacrifices, the patience in slanders and t Read more…


Refresher for the Orthodox Pastor

by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) 1. Having accepted the grace of ordination, bear in mind of what a gift and of what mercy the Lord has found you worthy – and what responsibility you now bear. A priest is an apostle to his flock. "I do not belong to myself, but to others," said the great Russian pastor Fr. (now St.) John of Kronstadt. 2. Scripture says, "The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law Read more…


Advice for New Deacons

One of the many blessings I enjoy in my present assignment (St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI)  is that I have three deacons serving with me.  It's the sign of the health of our parish that we have grown three diaconal vocations within our parish over the last few years (note that one moved and serves elsewhere while one of our serving deacons moved here from elsewhere).  Our deacons are more than lit Read more…


Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity

Some Theological and Canonical Considerations by Professor Contantine Scouteris School of Theology of the University of Athens 1. The records of the early Christian tradition leave no doubt that Christian priesthood is not a "function" necessary for the institutional being of the Church. Nor is it an autonomous, isolated and self sufficient office belonging to the ordained individual. It is rather a ministry related and belonging Read more…