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:
which the first is the simple ,direct and to the point. and the second to the side and
quite different though not contradictory.
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.
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,
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