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Fr. Gillquist - Faith and Worship: Falling down before God

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  • Mathew Samuel, Austin, Texas
    Fr. Peter Gilqiust is an archpriest of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America and Chairman, Department of Missions and Evangelism, Antiochian
    Message 1 of 256 , Mar 6, 2004
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      Fr. Peter Gilqiust is an archpriest of the Antiochian Orthodox
      Church of North America and Chairman, Department of Missions and
      Evangelism, Antiochian Archdiocese. I got the oppurtunity to listen
      to him in a Lenten Retreat in the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox
      Church in Austin, TX on March 6th 2004. Following are some notes I
      made, sharing them here, hoping it will be useful. The notes may contain errors
      as I am writing from my memory.
      ================================================

      Session 3: Faith and Worship: Falling down before God
      =====================================================

      Isaiah 6:

      Our worship is but a joining in, a participation in ,
      the Heavenly worship. It is not a new thing, but a
      "participation" in the worship going on in Heaven.
      Here we see the angels praise God saying" Holy, Holy
      Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of
      His glory" We "join in" on this same chant with the
      angels during our worship.

      It involves all the five senses. This is required for
      complete all round participation.

      Isaiah "saw" the "Lord sitting on the throne" . With
      the crucifixion of Christ, the veil in the Temple was
      torn into two - and the alter was revealed to all!. We
      "see" the glory of God, the throne of God during
      worship at the alter.

      Isaiah "heard" the praises. We hear the praises as we
      sing with the others and the angels and archangels! We
      get to represent the angels in worship.

      "The house was filled with smoke"! Incense was a part
      of worship in the Old Testament times, incense is seen
      in the revelations of worship in the New Testament.
      Look at the prophetic words of Malachi while
      condemning the practices of the contemporary
      priesthood - "For from the rising of the sun, to its
      setting, my name is great among the nations, and in
      every place, incense is offered to my name, and a pure
      offering, for my name is great among the nations, says
      the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 1:11) Incense is always
      offered where God is worshipped. When God commanded
      Israel to build the tabernacle and the Temple, he gave
      specific orders to base the pattern on the pattern in
      heaven. That is how the Holy of the Holies, the
      tabernacle, the alter was built. The Church of the New
      Covenant took these from the Temple of the Old
      Covenant. So we have the pattern of the Holy of the
      Holies, the alter and everything, including the
      incense as part of the pattern in heaven. The sense of
      smell is the most enduring of the senses. We still
      remember the "smell"
      of our childhood home and life!

      Isaiah immediately realised how sinful he was. Seeing
      the glory of God, coming to praise God, we realise, by
      contrast, our nakedness, we realise our unworthiness,
      and our need for repentance!

      The burning coal "touched" his lips. The Eucharist is
      the burning coal that cleanses away our sins. Atleast
      symbolically, Isaiah "tasted" the Holy Eucharist
      there.

      Then, Isaiah responded. When God asked "Whom shall I
      send" he replied, "Here I am Lord, send me!"
      We need to respond to God after having Eucharist, we
      depart from the Sanctuary to witness the Lord in the
      World. That is our responsibility.

      In baptism and Chrismation, we are given the Holy
      Spirit, we do the spiritual renewal during the
      Eucharist. Having the body and blood of Christ in us,
      strengthened by Him, we go back into the world.

      Regards,
      Mathew Samuel,
      Austin,TX
    • Thomas P
      Many of us think that there is no need for ordaining 7 bishops. This thinking is based on our present adimistrative model and our concept of how a bishop
      Message 256 of 256 , Apr 28, 2004
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        Many of us think that there is no need for ordaining 7 bishops. This
        thinking is based on our present adimistrative model and our concept
        of how a bishop should exist or maintained (which includes
        facilities).

        I think we can have many more bishops, say 12 for each diocese, with
        a bishop in each major city as part of the Diocese. They are just
        bishops working with the Metropolitan (or Archbishop) head of the
        Diocese. The Archbishop should have very good experience, thorough
        theological background and monastic experiece. The bishops can be
        ordinary celibate people with good educational background and
        monastic experience.

        The Diocese of America can have a Metropolitan and bishops for each
        city. For every 12 priests we can have a bishop subject to the
        metropolitan of the diocese. The Catholicose of the East is the
        Universal head of all St. Thomas Christians and their mission
        worldwide. He represents the unity of the Apostolic Church, while
        Metropolitans and bishops work in each Dioceses.

        These are the advantages:

        - improve Orthodox mission.
        - more care for each parish and needs of people, which includes the
        needs of poor within the Church.
        - uproot protestant influence in most areas.
        - encourage monasticism.
        - to discover youth with spiritual ambitions and direct them towards
        various ministry.

        If about 24 candiates showed interest in becoming bishops, church can
        honor their ambition and ordain them bishops confidently. It is up to
        them to prove their abilities after they are ordained and God will
        strengthen them if they aim to help the Orthodox Church.

        1 Timothy 3: 1 "The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office
        of bishop, he desires a noble task."

        Since it is a sure saying, all candidates meeting the basic canonical
        criteria can be ordained.

        -Thomas
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