+Seraphim (seraphimsigrist) wrote,

CHURCH

Friends,
This week the Orthodox Church in America, my own jurisdiction within the somewhat
complex Eastern Orthodox scene, elected a new first Bishop, Tikhon , born Marc Mollard.
Here the new Primate addresses the assembly after the election. You may see a range of
pictures of this event which took place at Parma,Ohio on Tuesday, at:
http://oca.org/media/photos/day-2-17th-all-american-council. May I make two comments of
which the first is the simple ,direct and to the point. and the second to the side and
quite different though not contradictory.
(1)
I am grateful for this church, the OCA, for its history and for the heritage it bears of
good men and women, may their memory be for a blessing, and of leaders like Metropolitan
Leonty Turkevich and Archbishop John Shahavskoy, of those I knew, and all those who brought
it through difficult times including even not so simple for us recent years and to those
who have given us a new Metropolitan and a new way into the future. I like this picture with
its sense of an assembly below within,as the images on the walls present, an assembly beyond
this in the world of Truth. I am stirred a little by the feeling of being present at
something good and true as it could be made by those gathered, as I was when as a seminarian
I attended the election of a Metropolitan ,the place was 2nd street in New York and the hall
filled with the song invoking the Holy Spirit... "Oh Heavenly King, the Comforter the Spirit
of Truth who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Come..." With gratitude for all
this... these words.

(2)
The other day someone pointed out the seinfeld episode(I hardly ever watched that show and
did not know it) in which George courting a Latvian woman undertakes conversion to the
"Latvian Orthodox Church". a priest asks him 'what aspect of our faith do you find most
attractive.' George hesitates...'I think its the hats.'

a bit of that in the pictures linked and in this one.

There is a problem here within our history since the perception of the humorist reflects a
reality that forms like this may teeter on the edge of the senseless ,and stultifying etc
Indeed will do so and does do so unless and when touched by, and to the degree touched by,
divine play.

a friend sends me today some notes on Johan Huizinga's book Homo Ludens and his exposition
of 'play', as primary structure of culture:
1. Play is free, is in fact freedom.
2. Play is not "ordinary," or "real" life.
3. Play is distinct from "ordinary" life both as to locality and duration.
4. Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme.
5. Play is connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it.

Liturgy surely expresses play and bridges life as fact and the life of play and of inner
truth, and surely also the whole project of being a Christian expresses this and has a
central world of play...

these thoughts from this picture.
+Seraphim Joseph Sigrist

.
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  • 9 comments

rachel2205

November 16 2012, 16:58:04 UTC 1 year ago

I like those observations on play! Play can surely be a holy thing...

bluegreen17

November 16 2012, 18:33:53 UTC 1 year ago

love the thoughts on play and learning something new about your church.

jones_casey

November 16 2012, 18:57:16 UTC 1 year ago

perhaps george was so enamored of the hats because he can't grow one of the beards.

that is a remarkably artful interior. art i think is like play as described, and i think serves well as a bridge likewise.

seraphimsigrist

November 16 2012, 19:07:33 UTC 1 year ago

I have never been to parma ohio but in fact my first priest in new york
fr vladimir berzonsky, then a young priest, left and went to start a parish
in the cleveland suburb of parma and now he is an elderly man...but I
had no idea what a substantial church he had built there, the assembly
had 600 voting participants and other observors etc so it is a large,
indeed a very large church for us in this country and also very somehow
interesting for a suburban church.

kelglitter

November 16 2012, 19:01:37 UTC 1 year ago

I have at times in recent months found myself so happy I start to skip, or sing, or do the sorta-skip from the Wizard of Oz, or jog, or run, or whistle. These urges are I think to play, and are likely a result of overflowing joy. I wonder if much play is like that.

seraphimsigrist

November 16 2012, 19:09:20 UTC 1 year ago

well 'play' in the sense of sports or for that matter chess can be
compulsive and in ways just as troublesome as 'real life', but the
play of which we are speaking is what you are experiencing and may
this happy time go on!

aaandy

November 18 2012, 05:22:17 UTC 1 year ago

The interiors of that church are lovely (the hats too!). I would love to attend an Orthodox service one day.

Andrew

aradayn

November 18 2012, 06:12:03 UTC 1 year ago

Beautiful!

petervb42

November 19 2012, 01:30:07 UTC 1 year ago

Vladyka,
But I'm still heart-broken over what they did to Metropolitan Jonah.When I heard +Tikhon's opening statement on my computer, my heart sank. It ws so pedestrian- the usual cliches - after +Jonah's eloquence.