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New Orthodox Television Show Breaks Ratings Records

2015-0628.Icon CornerAnaxios TV, originators of such original shows as “Thirty Minutes with Father Seraphim” and “What Are You Doing Watching Television When You Could Be Praying?”, this past week announced a mid-season replacement for the flagging “Helpful Household Hints from the Phanar”: a new reality-based show teasingly titled, “Monastic Eye for the Married Guy.” The show’s pilot aired this past Tuesday.

Each week five sombre monks invade the home of an Orthodox married couple and give advice for how they could make their home and their lives more completely Orthodox. From dressing up the icon corner (“I can see empty wall space!” chides Brother Anastasios), ridding one’s home of sinful secular publications (“Reader’s Digest? What could you be thinking?” tsk-tsks Brother Xenios), to caring for the family dog (“Flea shampoo: it’s not just for monks anymore,” suggests Brother Boris), the monks do a complete make-over on the home and its occupants (“White is so not your colour,” says Brother Philip; “Maybe something in a sombre head-to-toe black would be better?” adds Brother Zacharios).

Ratings for the new show have shot through the proverbial roof, smashing all previous ratings for an Orthodox television show. Network executives are pleased and suggest they may create other shows featuring the five charismatic monks. One possibility is a detective drama, to be called simply, “Monks.”

Copyright © 2003-2015 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.

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Online “Orthodox” Church Draws Fire

2015-0517.Orthodox Cell PhoneBLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – Father Thomas (“No Doubt About It”) Tomkins, rector of the newly-minted Saint Pugnacios Online Obnoxodox Church, waves off criticism of his new parish. “They persecuted Paul. They persecuted Polycarp. They persecuted Ralph Hargrove –”

“Wait, who?” interrupted our intrepid editor, to no avail.

“But they can’t stop the movement of the Spirit.”

“So whose omoriphon are you under?” asked our intrepid editor.

“You’re one of those ethnics, aren’t you?” asked Father Thomas.

“I’m a convert, but who’s your bishop?” asked OIE.

“Beautiful plumage, the Norwegian Blue,” said Tomkins, inexplicably.

Seeing that line of questioning was proving unfruitful, your editor decided to take a different tack.

“Who is this Saint Pugnacios? I’ve never heard of him.”

“But surely you’ve met his followers,” said Tomkins. “They’re everywhere online. The Obnoxodox, as the good if cranky saint’s followers refer to themselves, are a common sight on Twitter, Facebook, and many mailing lists, including lists from universities I am too humble to name.”

“But don’t they already have parishes?”

“Some do. But some show no signs of ever having darkened a parish door. And for them, especially those who would rather argue than rub elbows with lesser beings whose Orthodox cred is surely suspect, there is St. Pug’s.”

“Is outrage!” said Fr. Vasiliy Vasileivich, longtime admirer of St. Pugnacios and rector of Saints Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Church of Sydney, Australia. “Orthodox Church is living body of Christ, not disembodied body of writers of online screeds.”

“So are you a friend of the Obnoxodox?” asked Tomkins.

“No, I am not so,” answered Father Vasiliy. “In fact they are hating me, and have been writing grams of nasty for over one decade to this so-to-call-him Reader Alexiy here for writing about me.”

“Don’t you think they might have a point?” asked Tomkins.

“On top of their pointy heads, yes,” answered Father V.

“Look, I see it’s time for our Thursday night Vespers service,” said Tomkins. “I’m afraid I’ll have to say goodbye.”

“Thursday what?” said Father Vasiliy. “How can it be Vespers service without church or icons or candles or—”

“We have jpegs of all those things in our worship app,” came the reply.

“Obnoxodox?” said Father Vasiliy. “Is more like to Pretendodox.”

“That’s pretty good, Father,” said our intrepid editor. “Buy you a coffee?”

“Real coffee or virtual coffee?” asked Father.

“Real. Virtual coffee is most unsatisfying.”

“As is virtual Orthodoxy,” said Father V.

“Truer words have never been spoken,” said our intrepid editor.

Copyright © 2015 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.


Ask Father Vasiliy

Of course I'm making the "pipping" sound!Once again we are honoured to have Fr. Vasiliy Vasileivich, official COROC* spokesman and parish priest, to answer our readers’ questions.

Dear Father Vasiliy,

I have noticed when waiting in line to venerate icons at my church, that some people make a little kissing “pip” noise when they kiss the icon, and some people do not. Is it necessary to make this noise?


Puckered in Paducah

Dear Paducah,

What is this “necessary?” In Orthodoxy we do not worry about what is least we can get away with. This is Papo-Protestant Western thought pattern. In Orthodoxy we think, “What is beautiful? What gives glory to God? What makes heathens come to ethnic festival and spend money?” These are questions we ask in Orthodoxy.

Think about things we do in Orthodox service. We light candles — Can we still have service if we run out of candles? Of course! But this does not mean that we get rid of candles! Candles are not “necessary,” but they are part of fullness of Orthodox worship. If suddenly it was no more incense to be had in entire world, would we stop being Orthodox? No, of course not! Incense is not “necessary” but we do not for this reason get rid of incense. We use beautiful incense and give thanks to God!

Now you ask about making kissing “pip” noise. Is this “necessary,” you ask?

What kind of question is this? Pipping noise or not pipping noise, this is not what is important in Orthodoxy. You rather should to ask self, “Am I loving neighbor as myself? Am I fasting properly on fast days and before Liturgy? Am I helping Festival Committee get ready to milk heathens for money at annual festival?” These are questions you should to ask.

So in answer to question: Yes. Woe to him who does not make pipping noise! People who do not make pipping noise will be judged at tollbooth #271 in afterlife. You have been warned.


Father Vasiliy Vasileivich

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Christ Is Risen!

Indeed He is risen!

Happy Pascha from your friends at the Onion Dome!


The Paschal Homily of our Father Among the Saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

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