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  • Merry (Orthodox) Christmas!

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Merry (Orthodox) Christmas!

    This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 5 months ago.

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    • #244703 Reply

      Da Boss

      Քրիստոս ծնավ և հայտնեցավ: Մեզ և Ձեզ մեծ ավետիս:
      [See the full post at: Merry (Orthodox) Christmas!]

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    • #244731 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, except for those few “Eastern” Orthodox churches that are on the Gregorian calendar and so “benefit” from all the mainstream Christmas hassle…

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    • #244792 Reply


      I’ve always been fascinated by the Orthodox church. When Rome fell to the Goths, the eastern part of the Roman Empire continued for about 1000 more years with its capital located at Constantinople (now known as Istanbul). But we never hear much if anything about that, even though after the fall of Rome the eastern folks considered themselves to be the Roman Empire (and in fact they were).

      Like the Roman empire itself, the church split into two groups — Roman Catholic was associated with Rome, and Orthodox was associated with Constantinople. For some reason, like the eastern Roman Empire, we never hear much about the Orthodox church; the Roman Catholic church gets all of the press. But just like the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox are still around.

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    • #244873 Reply


      There are at least 2 of the mainstream Orthodox Churches following the Gregorian (Western, mainstream civilian) Calendar.
      They are the Greek Christian Orthodox Church and the Romanian Christian Orthodox Church.
      They celebrate Christmas at the same time with most other Christians, but the date of the Easter is calculated differently.
      I think there are political reasons why the other (mainly Slavic – Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian etc) Orthodox Churches follow the Julian (from Julius Caesar) calendar for Christmas and they are related to the fact that the Gregorian calendar was established under the authority of Pope Gregory XIII and those churches do not admit and recognise the (Catholic) Pope authority due to the rivalry between the two mainstream directions in the Christian faith.
      I have only a historic interest in those issues, not being a religious person.
      I will add few more facts, in addition to what was already presented above by @mrjimphelps.
      The reasons that most of the Western world does not hear much about the Eastern European Empire are the same like those related to the 2 calendars. The Protestant Christian religions, although they were in conflict with the Catholic religion during most of the history, are actually modern branches of the Catholic religion and not related so much to the Orthodox religion, except for the belief in Jesus Christ and few other fundamentals of the Christian belief.
      The Orthodox Christians do not have a central authority like the Catholic Pope being self-ruled in each country, but there is a symbolic authority in some matters, which is the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. This Patriarch is the direct successor of the Eastern Roman Empire Patriarch.
      The official split between Cathoilic and Orthodox happened in 1054.
      There is a recent development which recognises to some extent the Catholic Pope by the Orthodox Christians (but not all), not as the authority over Orthodox Church, but as the “Protos”. This is seen as one step to a potential future reconciliation between most of Christians, although contested by many.

      If I had some of the facts wrong, please feel free to comment and make additions as suitable.

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    • #244902 Reply


      Interesting to realize something I did not know: that many people are not aware of or know little about the Eastern Roman Empire. Could it be because Roman-themed movies and TV shows are all about the Western Empire? Is there no mention of it in High School’s History classes?

      As to “fasting for 40 days” (of Lent): this is observed in various ways by observant Christians of all major denominations, and it does not mean starving for six weeks, but rather not eating certain types of food, not going to parties, attending Mass often and, generally, leading a soberer and more pious and self-denying life than at other times of the year.

    • #245029 Reply


      It is interesting how sometimes documentaries present certain cataclysmic events which happened around Year 500 AD and which supposedly brought upon the Dark Ages when there was no written history for few hundred years and generally there is not much that was known about that period.
      There is talk about a catastrophic eruption of the Krakatoa Volcano which brought dust in the atmosphere for few years and as consequence the lack of enough solar light, the plague which killed a large part of the European population, legends about King Arthur and so on.
      In fact those events have been documented by the Eastern Roman Empire historians of that time where the civilisation still existed for the next almost 1000 years. At some stage they even reconquered almost all of the previous territory of the Western Roman Empire for a short historic time.
      This is probably the most mainstream description of those events from around Year 500.
      The popular science documentaries generally omit to mention the written documents in relation to those events.
      Here is another one from the same period, also properly documented and understood by researchers:

    • #309331 Reply


      I find it fascinating that Rome sat on seven hills; and New Rome, that is, Constantinople, also sat on seven hills! I wonder if that was why they built the Constantinople wall where they built it?

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