Ask Father Vasiliy

Dear Father VasiliyOnce again Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, pastor of Saints Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia, and first runner-up for the seventh year in a row in the All-Australia Paddleboat Regata’s 100 Meter Splash-Dash, has condescended to answer questions from Onion Dome readers. Welcome, Father Vasiliy!

Dear Father Vasiliy,

I sing in the choir at our church. There is a place in the Liturgy where Father says, “Bow your heads unto the Lord,” but we can’t bow our heads because we’re singing and that blocks off your airway. Matushka, that’s our choir director, tells us to not bow and to keep singing. So either I have to disobey Father, or disobey his wife. What am I to do?

Signed, Confused in Cambridge.

Dear Cambridge,

Like your priest, I am married man. I will pass along to you what we both are knowing: do what your Matushka tells you. In heaven, when choir of angels is doing singing and earthly choir members are allowed to stand with laity, you may bow head during this part. Indeed you may do many things that are forbidden to you, which other worshipers may do now, such as shout “Indeed He is risen!” during Paschal Canon, or walk off the leg cramp, or go to restroom.

Signed, Father Vasiliy

Dear Father Vasiliy,

Our Bishop came and visited. I noticed that he was robed at the door in one robe, then in the middle of the church that was removed and he was robed with a different robe. I couldn’t help but think he looked like a pupating insect. Was that sinful of me?

Signed, Entomologist in Edmonton

Dear Edmonton,


Signed, Father Vasiliy.

Copyright © 2017 Alex Riggle. 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 © 2004-2016 Jan Bear. All Rights Reserved.
This report was first filed by Onion Dome rambling reporter Jan Bear in April, 2004


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

Pascal Homily 1 Continue Reading »

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The Paschal Canon (Facebook Style)

Paschal Canon Facebook Style

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