“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year - Old Habits

Happy New Year.

We begin the new year with the same strange behavior to which we have grown accustomed. Even though we have here in Salt Lake City three full-time priests, the two proistamenoi chose to take vacation resulting in Holy Trinity being closed on the feast of St. Basil. Why did both proistamenoi choose to take vacation now instead of earlier in the year? How does a parish council, who supposedly represents the people, allow such a thing to happen? How can we spend more than one-third of our budget on their salaries and not receive their services?

Also of concern is the closure again of Holy Trinity on Epiphany. Our metropolitan has provided Protocol 09-18 with the policy of the metropolis for the celebration of services for this feast which says in part: "to promote uniformity throughout the Metropolis of Denver, please prepare your schedules according to the following guidelines." www.denver.goarch.org/protocols/2009-Protocols/protocol-09-18.pdf. Does closing Holy Trinity promote uniformity as requested?

It might be a new year but some things never change.


Barbara Colessides said...

Years ago, in "another lifetime", I worked for two churches in Tulsa, OK. Just before moving to Houston, I worked for Trinity Episcopal Church. A visiting priest from Houston offered me a job at St. Martin's in Houston - the largest Episcopalian Church in the city. Thanking him, I nevertheless declined, explaining it was next to impossible to get holidays off to visit family and friends, or just to be with my kids during their holiday vacation. The reasoning was, appropriately, that holidays were the MOST IMPORTANT days of the liturgical year. The same held true earlier when I worked for the far more liberal, non-liturgical Unitarians - I still couldn't easily get Christmas or Easter off.
So, the Protestants "get it", and stay open and keep crews on during important holidays, yet we, more conservative, correct-faith Orthodox cannot keep a church open on the feast day of St. Basil or Theophany. Wow.

zeta tsagaris said...

It seems that our three priests and our parish council do consider Theophany an important holiday since "the Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias offices will be closed on January 6 in observance of the Feast of Theophany," just not important enough to have services at the Cathedral that day!