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Rules for Dating Our Orthodox Son

My Big Fat Greek Wedding1. Just because we have “wine and oil” printed on our calendars does not mean we allow underage drinking. But help yourself to the olive oil.
2. We’d love it if you came to church, but saying that you “really dig the Medieval Times theme” probably isn’t going to help.
3. Similarly, you may notice that most of the women in our parish cover their heads in church. It’s up to you whether you want to do this, but please don’t complain, “The other damsels’ scarves are prettier than mine.”
4. If you want to have a date that goes past curfew, it had better be Pascha. And, you’ll have 200 shouting chaperones.
5. We’re working on getting our son to resist various seasonal temptations – for example, pride during sports season, anger during finals week, bacon cheeseburgers during Lent, gluttony during Pascha, and teeny bikinis during summer. Thank you in advance for your support.
6. If he tells you the Life of St. Mary of Egypt, but ends the story before the boat gets to Jerusalem, please slap him hard and send him home alone.
7. If, after dating for some time, you feel very strongly about our son, you should say, “I agape you,” and he can say, “I agape you, too.” At your age, not much more is appropriate yet.
8. If he gives you dried fruit for seven weeks instead of chocolate, please do not be offended. That’s just Lent.
9. We should watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding together, but think of it as a documentary rather than a rom-com. Everything but that part with the girl getting the engagement ring while wearing her bathrobe.
10. If you two decide to “stay through breakfast,” you’d better be talking about church coffee hour.
11. You’ve got a really lovely voice and the choir needs a strong soprano. Would you like to join?
12. Are you sure? We could really use you.

This report was filed by Recovering Reporter Thomas Eric Ruthford.
Copyright © 2014 Thomas Eric Ruthford. All Rights Reserved.

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Parishioner Brings Home Paschal Greeting in New Language

2013-0504.beer-festival-hobbitsPlum Creek, Michigan, USA — Marsha (St. Joanna the Myrrhbearer) Winthrop brought back the Paschal greeting in a new language, which she learned on a spring vacation in Idaho.

She told fellow worshipers that she attended Holy Week and Pascha services at All Saints of Middle Earth Church in Mystic Lake, Idaho, a town of about 4,000, whose residents live in four ethnic neighborhoods.

“The priest of All Saints, Father Fred (Frodo the Ringbearer) Higgins, was a nice little guy with a deep bass voice and really big feet,” she said of the church where she spent Holy Week during her vacation in a largely Mormon section of Idaho. “He told me that their grandparents were immigrants, but I wasn’t clear where they were from, somewhere in Europe I think, because he kept referring to their new home as the Western Havens. I got the impression they were escaping from a war or something. Maybe World War II.”

She said she found the Paschal banquet entertaining, with a lot of food and many varieties of beer. She especially liked the fireworks, she said, which reminded her of a display she saw at Disneyland.

Although she was unfamiliar with the ethnic groups in Mystic Lake, she said that their affectionate rivalry reminded her of her home parish, St. Anthony of the Desert here, which is a blend of Russian, Greek, Lebanese and Romanian, with some American converts mixed in. The different groups there were almost as distinctive as the ones in her home parish, with two tending to be short and more heavy-set and another tending to be thinner and more fair-skinned. One ethnic group seemed more like the people she saw in Boise, she said.

The townspeople work mostly in mining and forestry, and one couple are philology professors at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

At the banquet, she asked for the text of the Paschal greeting, which was this: “Si Cuielen na i hiro o coi!” and the response is “Ele, Si Cuielan!”

The priest of her home parish, Father Herman (of Alaska) Whiteside, expressed surprise at the new greeting. “I’ve never heard of Sindarin,” he said, “but it’s easier to pronounce than Tlingit.”

Thanks to Barbara Eng.


Copyright © 2004-2014 Jan Bear. All Rights Reserved.
This report was first filed by Onion Dome rambling reporter Jan Bear in April, 2004

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Parishioners Exhausted after Nine-hour Agape Vespers Service

Reading the GospelFLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Parishioners here at the multi-ethnic Church of All Saints of North America Originally from Somewhere Else were exhausted on Pascha afternoon after a 9-hour Agape Vespers service. In keeping with an ancient and widely-observed Orthodox tradition, All Saints of Somewhere Else celebrates Agape Vespers by having the gospel passage, John 20:19-25, read in as many languages as possible. At Somewhere Else, many, many languages were possible.
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The Paschal Canon (Facebook Style)

Paschal Canon Facebook Style

Copyright © 2012-2014 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.

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Saint Invites Early, Late, and Unbelievably Tardy to Feast

2013-0504.You-Are-InvitedA statement released from Heaven this week invites a number of unexpected guests to the Banquet. Speaking on behalf of the Host, spokesman St. John Chrysostom lists the following guests:

  • The 14-year-old who thought he would die of fasting;
  • the catechumen who has been checking the fine print on everything in the grocery store;
  • the recently chrismated mother of three who has been giving her kids cheese sandwiches because they hate peanut butter;
  • the retired golf enthusiast who discovered it was Lent on the Monday after the Sunday of the Cross;
  • the business traveler who just got home two weeks before Pascha
  • the Prodigal suddenly drawn by the memories of Holy Week.

The Banquet will be served in a variety of venues around the world. Check local listings for times and locations.


Copyright © 2004–2014 Jan Bear. All Rights Reserved.
This report was first filed by Onion Dome rambling reporter Jan Bear in April, 2004.

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