Orthodox Practice Baptism - St. by fjzhangxiaoquan


									Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010

  St Joseph of Petersburg

                    Orthodox Church
             Archpriest Joseph Sunderland, Rector
                  Fr. Paul Brown, Deacon

    Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010

                                        Table of Contents

CREATION: DAY THREE ...................................................................................................... 4

THE HOLY FATHERS ON CREATION AND RESURRECTION .................................... 6

PASCHA AND CREATION ..................................................................................................... 7

ORTHODOX PRACTICE: BAPTISM .................................................................................. 10

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMEMORATIONS ........................................................... 11

SIX DAYS OF CREATION ...................................................................................................... 12
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010
            Paschal Epistle to the God-loving Flock
                  By Bishop Stefan of the North American Diocese

Christ is Risen!                                 thank Him for His loving-kindness,
                                                 abundant mercies and love for mankind.
 “Whoever is pious and God-loving, let him       We must glorify Him, the vanquisher of
delight in this good and bright festival”!       death and hell, and be faithful children of
With these words begins the paschal              His holy Church. This is precisely the
proclamation of Saint John Chrysostom. It        required criterion. Those who “came at the
is majestic and insurmountable in its            eleventh hour” are also called to the
content!       By    God's                                         paschal feast of faith, but
providence       the  holy                                         not those whose lamp has
hierarch reveals to us the                                         gone out. The lazy person
entire magnitude of the                                            is called, but not the one
redemptive feat of the Son                                         who is indifferent toward
of          God,        His                                        his own salvation. The
inexpressible goodness,                                            one who did not fast is
His love, as well as His                                           called, but not the one
condescension toward our                                           who has forsaken God,
frailties: “both         ye                                        a heretic, an evil-minded
intemperate and ye lazy,                                           cunning one, a servant of
honor this day. Those who                                          the darkness of this
fasted and those who did                                           present age! Our brethren
not fast, rejoice in this                                          of yesterday did not
day.”                                                              recognize the deviousness
But should we react                                                of     ecumenical      evil
carelessly and with a smug                                         cunningness,            but
smile to these and similar words?                according to their own free choice agreed
Absolutely not! We must realize, in the          to the joining of the wise virgins with the
most serious manner, to what an                  unwise, the merger of the faithful with the
indescribable degree God has loved us –          unfaithful.
that by the price of His blood He redeemed        Our hearts filled with sorrow because of
us from the curse of the Law and by His          the betrayal which occurred, but this
own death He trampled down death! He,            sorrow should not disturb or frighten us.
Who personally experienced all of our            The Truth of Christ is not defined by the
human frailties, is ready to forgive us all of   quantity of followers, nor is our paschal joy
our human weaknesses. But on our part,           dependent on the singing of professional
we must fully realize His goodness and           choirs, the magnificence of divine service
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                                  4

rituals, the luxuriousness of vestments and       he dwelleth with you, and shall be in
flowers. Paschal joy is a gift from God,          you.” (John 14:17).
abundantly bestowed, regardless of all
earthly things. Our joy in the risen Christ       May this grace-filled paschal joy abide
Saviour is a peaceful, grace-filled, mystical     in all of you! Amen!
joy. The world which lies in evil cannot
know this joy. The world cannot receive           +Bishop Stefan of Trenton and North
the Spirit of God “because it seeth him not,      America
neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for         Pascha, 2010

                          Creation: Day Three
                                By St. Ambrose of Mila
This world is an example                                          example of this we
of the workings of God,                                           have buildings or
because, while we observe                                         woven         material
the work, the Worker is                                           which, even when
brought before us. The arts                                       the craftsman is
may be considered in                                              silent, still exhibits
various aspects. There are                                        his skill, so that
those which are practical.                                        testimony           is
These relate to         the                                       presented of the
movement of body or the                                           craftsman‟s      own
sound of the voice. When                                          work. In a similar
the movement or sound has                                         way, this work is a
passed away, there is                                             distinctive mark of
nothing that survives or                                          divine        majesty
remains for the spectators                                        from which the
or the hearers. Other arts                                        wisdom of God is
are theoretical.      These                                       made manifest. On
display the vigor of the                                          beholding        this,
mind. There are other arts                                        raising the eyes of
of such a nature that, even                                       his mind and the
when the processes of operation cease,          same time to things invisible, the
the handiwork remains visible. As an            Psalmist says; “How great are they
 Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                             5

works, O Lord; Thou has made all things        the ground. In addition, the ear of wheat
in wisdom.” (Psalm 103:24) (Part One           has wonderfully formed rows both
Chapter 5 p. 16)                               pleasing in appearance and made for the
                                               protection of the plant, resulting from
    “Let the earth,” He said, “bring forth
                                               their naturally interwoven texture which
 the green herb after its kind.” (Gen 1:11)
                                               is the creation of divine Providence.
 And forthwith the earth in labor brought
                                               Moreover, in order to serve as a support
 forth new plants; girding herself with
                                               for and offset the weight of a more
 garments of verdure, she luxuriated in
                                               abundant number of ears, the stalk itself
 fecundity, and decked in diverse
                                               is enclosed in what may be termed
 seedlings, she claimed them as her own
                                               sheaths, so that by its reinforced strength
 fitting adornments. We marvel at the
                                               it can sustain manifold grains of wheat
 speed of that productivity. How many
                                               and that it may not be bent towards the
 more wonders appear, if you examine
                                               earth because of its inability to bear its
 each plant, noticing how the seed when
                                               burden. Then, over the ear is erected a
 laid in the earth decays and, if it did not
                                               rampart in the form of a beard, so that a
 die would bear no fruit; but when it
                                               line of defense by be extended to protect
 decays by that very act of death, arises to
                                               the ear from injury from attacks of little
 bear fruit in greater abundance. (John
                                               birds, by which means a what grain is
 12:24)) The pliable sod receives, then, a
                                               kept intact from devastation of their
 grain of wheat; (Virgil, Georgies 1.44)
                                               claws. (Cicero, De senectute 15:51, for
 the scattered seed is controlled by the use
                                               language and thought)
 of hoe and mother earth cherishes it in
 firm embraces of her breast. When that        What shall I say of kindness of God in
 grain decays, there comes the pleasing        proving things useful for the human race?
 aspect of the green burgeoning shoot,         The earth returned with interest what it
 which immediately reveals its kind form       had received, even with compound
 its similarity to its own seed, so that you   interest! Men often deceive and often
 may discover the nature of the plant even     defraud the money-lender of his just due.
 in the very beginning of its growth, and      But the earth remains faithful to promises
 its fruit, too, is made evident to you.       and if at time it does not pay back, if,
 Gradually, it grows so as eventually to       perchance, severe cold or extraordinary
 attain full maturity and height. At the       dry weather or tremendous rain storms
 point when the jointed stalk emerges,         bring disaster the losses of a single year
 sheaths for the grain to come are being       are counterbalanced by the year which
 prepared. Within these the grain is being     follows. And so, when the harvest belies
 formed. So that cold may not cause injury     the hopes of the farmer, in no way does
 to the plant in its tender beginnings, or     the earth forsake him. Again, when she
 the heat of the sun burn it, or the cruel     smiles on him, fertile Mother Earth pours
 violence of the wind and rain beat it to
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                               6

forth her offspring, so that she never         other artist could so depict such charm in
incurs a loss to her creditors.                each and every object?
When the land is, in fact, completely          “Consider the lilies of the field,” what
stocked, how can we, if we are to rely on      brilliance in their petals, how they appear
our tongue, satisfactorily describe the        to arise in packed rows all the way to the
pleasant sights and scents and joys of the     top so as to form a goblet! Note how
countryman? But we have the testimony          within it gleams like gold, and
of the Scripture, wherein we note that the     furthermore, how around its edge as a
delights of the countryside are compared       defense against any injury a kind of
to the blessing and grace of the saints, for   rampart is constructed! If any one were to
Isaac a holy man, says: The smell of my        pluck this flower and take each petal
son is the smell of a plentiful field. (Gen    apart, what craftsman‟s hand is so expert
27:27)                                         as to be able to restore the form of the
                                               lily? Who is such an effective imitator of
How can I describe the violets with their
                                               nature as to presume to reconstruct this
shades of purple and lilies of brilliant
                                               flower, to which the lord has so borne
white, and roses with shades of red?
                                               testimony as to say; “Not even Solomon
How describe the landscape painted with
                                               in all his glory was so arrayed like one of
flowers, sometimes of a golden hue or of
                                               these?” (Matt 6: 28-29) A king so rich
varied colors of or bright yellow, among
                                               and wise was deemed inferior to the
which you cannot decide whether their
                                               beauty of this. (Part Three, Chapter 8 P.
beauty of their fragrant scent gives more
delight. (Virgil, Gerogies 2.132) Our eyes
revel in this pleasant spectacle as that       St. Ambrose of Milan, The Hexaemeron
fragrance which fills us with sweetness is     (Six Days of Creation): Part One p.13.
spread far and wide. Whence the Lord           Complete text online at:
has justly said: “And with me is the           http://www.docstoc.com/docs/19376286/Hex
beauty of the field. (Psalm 49:11) What        aemeron-of-Saint-Ambrose-of-Milan

     The Holy Fathers on Creation and Resurrection
                                                things that is evil, not the things
St. Maximus the Confessor
                                                themselves. "
Nothing created by God is evil. It is not
food that is evil but gluttony, not the        php?topic=1722.30
begetting of children but unchastity, not
material things but avarice, nott esteem
but self-esteem. It is only the misuse of
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                               7

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk                          Remember, O my soul, the terrible and
                                               frightful wonder: that your Creator for
We were created for eternal life by our
                                               your sake became Man, and deigned to
Creator, we are called to it by the word
                                               suffer for the sake of your salvation. His
of God, and we are renewed by holy
                                               angels tremble, the Cherubim are
Baptism. And Christ the Son of God
                                               terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all
came into the world for this, that He
                                               the heavenly powers ceaselessly give
should call us and take us there, and He
                                               praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain
is the one thing needful. For this reason
                                               in laziness. At least from this time forth
your very first endeavor and care should
                                               arise and do not put off, my beloved soul,
be to receive it. Without it everything is
                                               holy repentence, contrition of heart and
as nothing, though you have the whole
                                               penance for your sins.
world under you.
St. Paisius Velichkovsky                       s/indexsayings2.htm

                           Pascha and Creation
                           By Matushka Maureen Sunderland
The fall of Adam brought death to
man, but Christ became man and
died as a sacrifice for all men.
Then, He rose from the dead
showing us how we too will rise.
As     the    Paschal       troparion
proclaims: Christ is risen from the
dead, trampling on death by death,
and upon those in the tombs
bestowing life.        All creation
rejoices at Christ‟s rising from the
dead. The sun itself dances in the
sky and we watch it with no harm
to our eyes. If we listen to the
birds on Pascha morning, we can hear the     Righteousness, Who causes life to dawn
cacophonous variety of voices singing to     on all. (Paschal Canon Ode 5)
God. For Christ‟s resurrection renews
creation.       Christ, the Sun of
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                               8

In the beginning was the Word, and the         tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in
Word was with God, and the Word was            itself, after his kind: and God saw that it
God. The same was in the beginning with        was good (Gen 1:11-13). Look at the
God. All things were made by him; and          flowers and trees in the spring. How can
without him was not any thing made that        this great wonder of God‟s creation not
was made. (John 1:3) Christ is the Word,       inspire us? Bright pink and white blooms
the Creator of the world. Therefore, it is     appear in Oregon as early as February to
most fitting that the Creator be the           brighten our gloomy gray days. Now, we
renewer of creation. We can look at            have bright yellow daffodils, and many
God‟s creation, even after the Fall of         other bulbs of purple and pink; in the
Adam and see some of its original              woods are delicate white trilliums placed
splendor.                                      there by God himself for our pleasure. In
                                               the fields farmers plant the seeds that will
And God saw the light, that it was good        turn to food in the coming months. Yes,
(Gen 1:3). Without the sun, life could not     we have to toil for our food after the Fall,
exist one earth. We know that sun              but what wondrous food we have, such
provides warmth to survive and its energy      flavor and variety as to gladden men‟s
gives sustains all life. Yet more than this,   hearts. How can we not be thankful to
we experience the wonder of God‟s great        God for his great mercy to us despite our
gift of light. Think of small moments          many sins?
when the light God gave to this earth can      The Resurrection should remind us that
be appreciated: A bright streak of light       all creation comes from God, and we
piercing through piles of ominous clouds.      should take joy in God‟s creation.
the first sunny day after weeks of gloom       Throughout the year we can recapture a
and rain, dappled light dancing on the         little paschal joy if we take time to
ground under a leafy tree, sparkling           appreciate the wonder of creation. We
diamonds on a stream as it swirls under        can remember that our very existence
the sun, sitting outside an a chilly spring    came from God and Christ Himself died
afternoon and letting the last rays of sun     to give us eternal life and renew all
warm your face, Watching the sun dance         creation.
on Pascha morning.          We experience
paradise on Pascha and every time we
appreciate what good is in creation,
thanks to God‟s great mercy.
And the earth brought forth grass, and
herb yielding seed after his kind, and the
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010
        By one death and resurrection
            the world was saved
              Excerpt from On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil the Great
When mankind was estranged from him by          our previous life has been brought to an
disobedience, God our Savior made a plan        end. When runners reach the turning point
for raising us from our fall and restoring us   on a race course, they have to pause briefly
to friendship with himself. According to        before they can go back in the opposite
this plan Christ came in                                           direction. So also when
the flesh, he showed us                                            we wish to reverse the
the gospel way of life, he                                         direction of our lives
suffered, died on the                                              there must be a pause, or
cross, was buried and                                              a death, to mark the end
rose from the dead. He                                             of one life and the
did this so that we could                                          beginning of another.
be saved by imitation of                                          Our descent into hell
him and recover our                                               takes place when we
original status as sons of                                        imitate the burial of
God by adoption.                                                  Christ by our baptism.
To attain holiness, then,                                         The bodies of the
we must not only pattern                                          baptized are in a sense
our lives on Christ‟s by                                          buried in the water as a
being gentle, humble and                                          symbol       of      their
patient, we must also                                             renunciation of the sins
imitate him in his death.
                                                                  of their unregenerate
Taking Christ for his                                             nature. As the Apostle
model, Paul said that he wanted to become       says: The circumcision you have undergone
like him in his death in the hope that he too   is not an operation performed by human
would be raised from death to life.             hands, but the complete stripping away of
We imitate Christ‟s death by being buried       your unregenerate nature. This is the
with him in baptism. If we ask what this        circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is
kind of burial means and what benefit we        accomplished by our burial with him in
may hope to derive from it, it means first of   baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from
all making a complete break with our            the pollution of worldly thoughts and
former way of life, and our Lord himself        inclinations: You will wash me, says the
said that this cannot be done unless a man      psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow.
is born again. In other words, we have to       We receive this saving baptism only once
begin a new life, and we cannot do so until     because there was only one death and one
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010                                                                       10

resurrection for the salvation of the world,       http://www.catholicradiodramas.com/Saints_W
and baptism is its symbol.                         orks_B/Basil%20By%20one%20death.htm

                 Orthodox Practice: Baptism
Orthodox Christians are baptized as the entry       In the second part, the baptismal service, the
into the Church and to receive forgiveness of       priest blesses the water. He uses the sign of
sins. The Lord tells us this is necessary for       Cross to drive away demons. The person is
our salvation (Mark 16: 16. 1 Pet 3: 20-21).        baptized, which means immersed into the
We baptize babies so that they may fully            water three times in the name of the Father,
partake of the life of the Church and               and the Son and the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus
communion in the holy mysteries. Adults             Christ commanded His Apostles to baptize
and older children who decide to become             (Matt 28: 19, Acts 2:38, 19:3-5). By this
Orthodox must be baptized in order to               baptism the person dies to sin and is reborn
renounce their old life and put on a new life       spiritually (Acts 2:38, Rom 6: 1-11, Tit 3:5).
in Christ.                                          After this, the newly illumined is clothed in a
                                                    white robe symbolizing the purity with which
The baptismal service as commonly practiced         he has been washed of all his sins.
in the Holy Orthodox Church today has three
parts: the making of the catechumen, Baptism        The service of Chrismation immediately
and Chrismation.                                    follows Baptism. This is the anointing with
                                                    holy chrism which bestows the gifts of the
In the first part of the baptismal service – the    Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we are
making of a catechumen – three exorcisms of         adopted as children of God and become full
demons are done. This is done because the           members of the Church, the Body of Christ
demons do not want a soul to be saved, and          (Acts 2: 41.47. 1 Cor 12: 13. Gal 3: 26-28).
they fight mightily to prevent it. The priest
prays for the demons to be banished. The            The Orthodox practice of Baptism is
person to be baptized or his Godparent (if an       essentially unchanged from the time of
infant) spits on the ground, symbolically           Christ. This is one of the great mysteries of
spitting on the demons. Then, the person to         the Church in which we join with Christ, as
be baptized or the godparent must renounce          the hymn which we sing in the Pascal Liturgy
Satin, confess Christ, and profess faith in the     proclaims, as many as have been baptized
teachings of the Church revealed by God as          into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia!
expressed in the Nicene Creed.
Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010

             Announcements and Commemorations
Congratulations: We are pleased to announce three new members to our community. Infant
Matthew Cruz was baptized on Lazareth Saturday. Thomas Joughin and his son Thomas were
baptized on Holy Saturday. May God Grant them many years.
Building Fund: We now have three mortgages on our church and need monthly support.
Thanks to your generosity thus far, we are able to have the beautiful temple we now have. .If
you haven‟t renewed your pledge, please do so. You might consider raising your pledge
amount this year, as our expenses are much greater. We still have projects we need to finish at
our new church, so all donations to the building fund are greatly appreciated.
Please Pray for: Suffering servants Archpriest Joseph, Deacon Paul, Deacon Nicolai,
Matushka Antonina, Aline.
   Vol. 8 No. 23. Spring 2010
                          Six Days of Creation
                              Excerpt, by St. Ambrose of Milan
The sons of Israel left Egypt in the season of spring and passed through the sea, being
baptized in the cloud and in the sea, as the Apostle said. (1 Cor. 10:1) At that time each year
the Pascha of Jesus Christ is celebrated, that is to say, the passing over from vices to
virtues, from the desires of the flesh to grace and sobriety of mind, from the unleavened
bread of malice and wickedness to truth and sincerity. Accordingly, the regenerated are thus
addressed: “This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it is for you the first in the
months of the year.”
The person who is baptized leaved behind and abandons in a spiritual sense that prince of
the world, Pharaoh, when he says; „I renounce the, devil, both thy works and thy power,‟
Now longer will he serve him, either by the earthly passions of his body or by the errors of a
corrupt mind. On this occasion every evil deed of his sinks to the bottom like lead.
Protected as he is by good works on his right and his left, he endeavors to cross over the
waters of this life with step untainted.
St. Ambrose of Milan, The Hexaemeron (Six Days of Creation): Part One p.13. Complete
text                                                                          online

St. Joseph of Petersburg Orthodox Church
P.O. Box 1011
Oregon City, OR 97045-0063

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