In religion, a relic consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other religions. Relic derives from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains", a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to "leave behind, or abandon". A reliquary is a shrine. In ancient Greece, a city or sanctuary might claim to possess, without displaying, the remains of a venerated hero as a part of a hero cult. Other venerable objects associated with the hero were more to be on display in sanctuaries, such as spears, shields, or other weaponry; the sanctuary of the Leucippides at Sparta claimed to display the egg of Leda. The bones were not regarded as holding a particular power derived from the hero, with some exceptions, such as the divine shoulder of Pelops held at Olympia. Miracles and healing were not attributed to them; the bones of Orestes and Theseus were supposed to have been stolen or removed from their original resting place and reburied.
On the advice of the Delphic Oracle, the Spartans searched for the bones of Orestes and brought them home, without which they had been told they could not expect victory in their war against the neighboring Tegeans. Plutarch says that the Athenians were instructed by the oracle to locate and steal the relics of Theseus from the Dolopians; the body of the legendary Eurystheus was supposed to protect Athens from enemy attack, in Thebes, that of the prophet Amphiaraus, whose cult was oracular and healing. Plutarch narrates transferrals similar to that of Theseus for the bodies of the historical Demetrius I of Macedon and Phocion the Good The bones or ashes of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, of Perdiccas I at Macedon, were treated with the deepest veneration; as with the relics of Theseus, the bones are sometimes described in literary sources as gigantic, an indication of the hero's "larger than life" status. On the basis of their reported size, it has been conjectured that such bones were those of prehistoric creatures, the startling discovery of which may have prompted the sanctifying of the site.
The head of the poet-prophet Orpheus was supposed to have been transported to Lesbos, where it was enshrined and visited as an oracle. The 2nd-century geographer Pausanias reported that the bones of Orpheus were kept in a stone vase displayed on a pillar near Dion, his place of death and a major religious center; these too were regarded as having oracular power, which might be accessed through dreaming in a ritual of incubation. The accidental exposure of the bones brought a disaster upon the town of Libretha, whence the people of Dion had transferred the relics to their own keeping. According to the Chronicon Paschale, the bones of the Persian Zoroaster were venerated, but the tradition of Zoroastrianism and its scriptures offer no support of this. In Hinduism, relics are less common than in other religions since the physical remains of most saints are cremated; the veneration of corporal relics may have originated with the śramaṇa movement or the appearance of Buddhism, burial practices became more common after the Muslim invasions.
However one prominent example is the preserved body of the 11th century religious philosopher and proponent of Qualified Non-Dualism Swami Ramanuja in a separate shrine inside Sri Rangam Temple. In Buddhism, relics of the Buddha and various sages are venerated. After the Buddha's death, his remains were divided into eight portions. Afterward, these relics were enshrined in stupas; some relics believed to be original remains of the body of the Buddha still survive, including the much-revered Sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha in Sri Lanka. A stupa is a building created for the relics. Many Buddhist temples have stupas and the placement of relics in a stupa became the initial structure around which the whole temple would be based. Today, many stupas hold the ashes or ringsel of prominent/respected Buddhists who were cremated. In rare cases the whole body is conserved, for example in the case of Dudjom Rinpoche, after his death his physical body was moved a year from France and placed in a stupa in one of his main monasteries near Boudhanath, Nepal in 1988.
Pilgrims may view his body through a glass window in the stupa. The Buddha's relics are considered to show people that enlightenment is possible, to remind them that the Buddha was a real person, to promote good virtue. One of the earliest sources that purports to show the efficacy of relics is found in 2 Kings 13:20–21: 20 Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man they saw a band of raiders. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man stood up on his feet. Cited is the veneration of Polycarp's relics recorded in the Martyrdom of Polycarp. With regard to relics that are objects, an cited passage is Acts 19:11–12, which says that Paul's handkerchiefs were imbued by God with healing power. In the gospel accounts of Jesus healing the bleeding woman and again at Gospel of Mark 6:56, those who touched Jesus's garment were healed; the practice of venerating relics seems to have been taken for granted by writers like Augustine, St. Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, St. Chrysostom, St. Gregory Nazian
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis. The term referred to the bishop of the chief city of a historical Roman province, whose authority in relation to the other bishops of the province was recognized by the First Council of Nicaea; the bishop of the provincial capital, the metropolitan, enjoyed certain rights over other bishops in the province called suffragan bishops. The term is applied in a similar sense to the bishop of the chief episcopal see of an ecclesiastical province; the head of such a metropolitan see has the rank of archbishop and is therefore called the metropolitan archbishop of the ecclesiastical province. Metropolitan bishops preside over synods of the bishops of their ecclesiastical province, are granted special privileges by canon law and tradition. In some churches, such as the Church of Greece, a metropolis is a rank granted to all episcopal sees, their bishops are all called the title of archbishop being reserved for the primate.
See also: Catholic Church hierarchy and Diocesan bishop In the Latin Church, an ecclesiastical province, composed of several neighbouring dioceses, is headed by a metropolitan, the archbishop of the diocese designated by the Pope. The other bishops are known as suffragan bishops; the metropolitan's powers over dioceses other than his own are limited to supervising observance of faith and ecclesiastical discipline and notifying the Supreme Pontiff of any abuses. The metropolitan has the liturgical privilege of celebrating sacred functions throughout the province, as if he were a bishop in his own diocese, provided only that, if he celebrates in a cathedral church, the diocesan bishop has been informed beforehand; the metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium, a symbol of the power that, in communion with the Church of Rome, he possesses over his ecclesiastical province. This holds if he had the pallium in another metropolitan see, it is the responsibility of the metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan bishops, to call a provincial council, decide where to convene it, determine the agenda.
It is his prerogative to preside over the provincial council. No provincial council can be called. All Latin Rite metropolitans are archbishops. Titular archbishops are never metropolitans; as of April 2006, 508 archdioceses were headed by metropolitan archbishops, 27 archbishops lead an extant archdiocese, but were not metropolitans, there were 89 titular archbishops. See Catholic Church hierarchy for the distinctions. In those Eastern Catholic Churches that are headed by a patriarch, metropolitans in charge of ecclesiastical provinces hold a position similar to that of metropolitans in the Latin Church. Among the differences is that Eastern Catholic metropolitans within the territory of the patriarchate are to be ordained and enthroned by the patriarch, who may ordain and enthrone metropolitans of sees outside that territory that are part of his Church. A metropolitan has the right to ordain and enthrone the bishops of his province; the metropolitan is to be commemorated in the liturgies celebrated within his province.
A major archbishop is defined as the metropolitan of a certain see who heads an autonomous Eastern Church not of patriarchal rank. The canon law of such a Church differs only from that regarding a patriarchal Church. Within major archiepiscopal churches, there may be ecclesiastical provinces headed by metropolitan bishops. There are autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches consisting of a single province and headed by a metropolitan. Metropolitans of this kind are to obtain the pallium from the Pope as a sign of his metropolitan authority and of his Church's full communion with the Pope, only after his investment with it can he convoke the Council of Hierarchs and ordain the bishops of his autonomous Church. In his autonomous Church it is for him to ordain and enthrone bishops and his name is to be mentioned after that of the Pope in the liturgy. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the title of metropolitan is used variously, in terms of rank and jurisdiction. In terms of rank, in some Eastern Orthodox Churches metropolitans are ranked above archbishops in precedence, while in others that order is reversed.
Primates of autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches below patriarchal rank are designated as archbishops. In the Greek Orthodox Churches, archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence; the reverse is true for some Slavic Orthodox Churches and for Romanian Orthodox Church, where metropolitans rank above archbishops and the title can be used for important regional or historical sees. In terms of jurisdiction, there are two basic types of metropolitans in Eastern Orthodox Church: real metropolitans, with actual jurisdiction over their ecclesiastical provinces, honorary metropolitans who
Christianity has used symbolism from its beginnings. Each saint has a reason why they led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic motif associated with their life, termed an attribute or emblem, in order to identify them; the study of these forms part of iconography in art history. They were used so that the illiterate could recognize a scene, to give each of the Saints something of a personality in art, they are carried in the hand by the Saint. Attributes vary with either time or geography between Eastern Christianity and the West. Orthodox images more contained inscriptions with the names of saints, so the Eastern repertoire of attributes is smaller than the Western. Many of the most prominent saints, like Saint Peter and Saint John the Evangelist can be recognised by a distinctive facial type – as can Christ. In the case of saints their actual historical appearance can be used.
Some attributes are general, such as the palm frond carried by martyrs. The use of a symbol in a work of art depicting a Saint reminds people, being shown and of their story; the following is a list of some of these attributes. Mary is portrayed wearing blue, her attributes include a blue mantle, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, woman with child, woman trampling serpent, crescent moon, woman clothed with the sun, heart pierced by sword, Madonna lily and rosary beads. Delaney, John P.. Dictionary of Saints. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-13594-7. Lanzi, Fernando. Saints and their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in Art and in Popular Images. Translated by O'Connell, Matthew J. ISBN 9780814629703. Post, W. Ellwood. Saints and Symbols. SPCK Publishing. ISBN 9780281028948. Walsh, Michael. A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Liturgical Press. ISBN 978-0-8146-3186-7. Whittemore, Carroll E.. Symbols of the Church. Abingdon Press. ISBN 0687183014. Calendar of saints Christian symbolism Christianization of saints and feasts Doctor of the Church Iconography List of canonizations, for a list of Catholic canonizations by date Martyrology Patron saint Weather saints "Christian Iconography".
Augusta State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-18. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown "Hagiographies and icons for many Orthodox saints". Orthodox Church in America. "Catholic Forum Patron Saints Index". Archived from the original on 2005-05-31. "Saints' Badges or Shields". "On the Canonizations of John Paul II". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28
The Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo, Moscow, is the vicarial church of the Moscow Patriarchs. The surviving building was designed and built by Yevgraph Tyurin in 1837–1845; the original church in the village of Yelokhovo near Moscow was built in 1722-31 for Tsarevna Praskovia Ivanovna. It was there that Alexander Pushkin was baptised in 1799. In 1790 a refectory with a four-tier belfry was built; the present structure was erected in 1837-1845 to a Neoclassical design by Yevgraph Tyurin. The architecture is typical for the late Empire style, with some elements of European eclectics; the riotous opulence of the interior decoration is due to a restoration undertaken in 1912. Upon closing the Kremlin Cathedrals, the destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Dorogomilovo Cathedral, the chair of Russian Orthodox Church was moved to Yelokhovo, the largest open church in Moscow; the enthronements of Patriarchs Sergius I, Alexius I, Alexius II took place there. The church has been well-maintained in the Soviet era, is known to have a 1970 air conditioning system using deep subterranean water from a 250 meter deep artesian aquifer.
The Christmas and Easter night services, which featured President Boris Yeltsin and Patriarch Alexius II, were aired on national television until the consecration of the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2000. The main altar is devoted to the Baptism of Jesus; the cathedral has two side-chapels: the left one of Saint Nicholas and the right one of the Annunciation. The most popular shrines of the cathedral are those that house the relics of St. Alexius of Moscow and the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. May 1944 - Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow. Media related to Church of the Epiphany in Yelokhovo at Wikimedia Commons An amateur site devoted to the cathedral Map and photographs: www.pravoslavie.ru Epiphany Cathedrals in Moscow www.pravoslavie.ru
In religion, a blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, or divine will. The modern English language term bless derives from the 1225 term blessen, which developed from the Old English blǣdsian; the term appears in other forms, such as blēdsian, blētsian from around 725 and blesian from around 1000, all meaning to make sacred or holy by a sacrificial custom in the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, originating in Germanic paganism. Due to this, the term is related to the term blōd. References to this indigenous practice, Blót, exist in related Icelandic sources; the modern meaning of the term may have been influenced in translations of the Bible into Old English during the process of Christianization to translate the Latin term benedīcere meaning to "speak well of", resulting in meanings such as to "praise" or "extol" or to speak of or to wish well.'To be blessed' means to be favored by God, the source of all blessing. Blessings, are directly associated with, are believed to come from, God.
Thus, to express a blessing is like bestowing a wish on someone that they experience the favor of God, to acknowledge God as the source of all blessing. A biblical damnation, in its most formal sense, is a negative blessing. In the Bible and negative blessings are related. One of the first incidences of blessing in the Bible is in Genesis, 12:1-2 where Abram is ordered by the God to leave his country and is told: "I will bless you, I will make your name great." The Priestly Blessing is set forth at Numbers 6:24-26: May Adonai bless you, guard you. In Rabbinic Judaism, a blessing is recited at a specified moment during a prayer, ceremony or other activity before and after partaking of food; the function of blessings is to acknowledge God as the source of all blessing. A berakhah of rabbinic origin starts with the words, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe..." Rabbinic Judaism teaches that food is a gift of the one great Provider and that to partake of food legitimately one should express gratitude to God by reciting the appropriate blessing of rabbinic origin prior, while torah mandates an informal blessing afterwards.
Jewish law does not reserve recitation of blessings to only a specific class of Jews. Blessings and curses of Christ appear in the New Testament, as recounted in the Beatitudes of Luke 6:20-22. Within Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and similar traditions, formal blessings of the church are performed by bishops and deacons. Particular formulas may be associated with papal blessings. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran churches blessings are bestowed by bishops and priests in a liturgical context, raising their right hand and making the sign of the cross with it over persons or objects to be blessed, they give blessings to begin divine services and at the dismissal at the end. In the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical blessings are performed over people, objects, or are given at specific points during divine services. A priest or bishop blesses with his hand, but may use a blessing cross, candles, an icon, the Chalice or Gospel Book to bestow blessings, always making the Sign of the Cross therewith.
When blessing with the hand, a priest uses his right hand, holding his fingers so that they form the Greek letters IC XC, the monogram of Jesus Christ. A bishop does the same, except he uses both hands, or may hold the crozier in his left hand, using both to make the Sign of the Cross. A bishop may bless with special candlesticks known as the dikirion and trikirion; when blessing an object, the rubrics instruct Orthodox bishops and priests to make use of such substances as incense and holy water. Formal ecclesiastical permission to undertake an action is referred to as a "blessing"; the blessing may be bestowed by one's own spiritual father. When an Orthodox layperson bestows a blessing, he or she will hold the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand together, make the sign of the cross over the person or object they are blessing. In the Methodist tradition, the minister blesses the congregation during the concluding part of the service of worship, known as the benediction. With regard to house blessings, the Methodist The Book of Worship for Church and Home contains "An Office for the Blessing of a Dwelling".
In the Roman Catholic Church a priest or bishop blesses the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. According to the guidelines given by the Vatican's Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments that govern the procedures for liturgical ceremonies, if a Roman Catholic layperson or any non-ordained religious leads a Sunday service, such as Eucharistic adoration, the Rosary, or celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, he or she does not perform rites or sacraments reserved to the clergy and does not solemnly bless the people as a bishop, priest, or de
A sermon is an oration or lecture by a preacher. Sermons address a scriptural, religious, or moral topic expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon include exposition and practical application; the act of delivering a sermon is known as preaching. In Christian churches, a sermon is delivered in a place of worship, either from an elevated architectural feature, known as a pulpit or an ambo, or from behind a lectern; the word sermon comes from a Middle English word, derived from Old French, which in turn originates from the Latin word sermō meaning "discourse". A sermonette is a short sermon; the Bible contains many speeches without interlocution, which some take to be sermons: Moses in Deuteronomy 1-33. In modern language, the word sermon is used in secular terms, pejoratively, to describe a lengthy or tedious speech delivered with great passion, by any person, to an uninterested audience. In Christianity, a sermon is identified as an address or discourse delivered to an assembly of Christians containing theological or moral instruction.
The sermon by Christian orators was based on the tradition of public lectures by classical orators. Although it is called a homily, the original distinction between a sermon and a homily was that a sermon was delivered by a clergyman while a homily was read from a printed copy by a layman. In the 20th century the distinction has become one of the sermon being to be longer, have more structure, contain more theological content. Homilies are considered to be a type of sermon narrative or biographical, see sermon types below; the word "sermon" is used to describe many famous moments in Christian history. The most famous example is the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus of Nazareth; this address was given around 30 AD, is recounted in the Gospel of Matthew as being delivered on a mount on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum. It is contained in some of the other gospel narratives. During the history of Christianity, several figures became known for their addresses that became regarded as sermons.
Examples in the early church include Peter, Stephen and John Chrysostom. These addresses were used to spread Christianity across Europe and Asia Minor, as such are not sermons in the modern sense, but evangelistic messages; the sermon has been an important part of Christian services since Early Christianity, remains prominent in both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Lay preachers sometimes figure in these traditions of worship, for example the Methodist local preachers, but in general preaching has been a function of the clergy; the Dominican Order is known as the Order of Preachers. The Franciscans are another important preaching order. In 1448 the church authorities seated at Angers prohibited open-air preaching in France. In most denominations, modern preaching is kept below forty minutes, but historic preachers of all denominations could at times speak for several hours, use techniques of rhetoric and theatre that are today somewhat out of fashion in mainline churches. During the Middle Ages, sermons inspired the beginnings of new religious institutes.
Pope Urban II began the First Crusade in November 1095 at the Council of Clermont, when he exhorted French knights to retake the Holy Land. The academic study of sermons, the analysis and classification of their preparation and delivery, is called homiletics. A controversial issue that aroused strong feelings in Early Modern Britain was whether sermons should be read from a prepared text, or extemporized from some notes. Many sermons have been written down and published. Many clergymen recycled large chunks of published sermons in their own preaching; such sermons include John Wesley's 53 Standard Sermons, John Chrysostom's Homily on the Resurrection and Gregory Nazianzus' homily "On the Theophany, or Birthday of Christ". The 80 sermons in German of the Dominican Johannes Tauler were read for centuries after his death. Martin Luther published his sermons on the Sunday lessons for the edification of readers; this tradition was continued by Chemnitz and Arndt and others into the following centuries—for example CH Spurgeon's stenographed sermons, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.
The widow of John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury received £2,500 for the manuscripts of his sermons, a larg