Church of Greece
The Church of Greece, part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. However, most of its dioceses are de facto administered as part of the Church of Greece for practical reasons, the primate of the Church of Greece is the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. Mainstream Orthodox clergys salaries and pensions are paid for by the State at rates comparable to those of teachers, the Church had previously compensated the State by a tax of 35% on ordinary revenues of the Church, but Law 3220/2004 in 2004 abolished this tax. By virtue of its status as the religion, the canon law of the Church is recognized by the Greek government in matters pertaining to church administration. This is governed by the Constitution of the Church of Greece, Religious marriages and baptisms are legally equivalent to their civil counterparts and the relevant certificates are issued by officiating clergy. All Greek Orthodox students in primary and secondary schools in Greece attend religious instruction, liaisons between church and state are handled by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs.
Supreme authority is vested in the synod of all the bishops who have metropolitan status under the de jure presidency of the Archbishop of Athens. This synod deals with general church questions, the Standing Synod is under the same presidency, and consists of the Primate and 12 bishops, each serving for one term on a rotating basis and deals with details of administration. They are called the New Lands as they part of the modern Greek state only after the Balkan Wars. A bishop elected to one of the Sees of the New Lands has to be confirmed by the Patriarch of Constantinople before assuming his duties and these dioceses are administered by the Church of Greece in stewardship and their bishops retain their right of appeal to the Patriarch. As in other Eastern Orthodox Churches, male graduates of seminaries run by the church, may be ordained as deacons and they are allowed to marry before their ordination as deacons, but not afterwards. The vast majority of clergy in Greece are married. Alternatively, they may enter monasteries and/or take monastic vows, monastics who are ordained as priests, and possess a university degree in theology, are eligible as candidates for the episcopate.
Women may take vows and become nuns, but they are not ordained. Monasteries are either affiliated to their diocese, or directly to one of the Orthodox Patriarchates. Those who refused to adopt this change are known as Old Calendarists and they themselves have suffered several schisms, and not all Old Calendarists comprise one Church. They refer to themselves as Genuine Orthodox Christians, and the largest group associating itself with the Old Calendarists is the Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos II Kioussis. This Synod has obtained government recognition as a valid Orthodox Church, Greece was an early center of Christianity
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity, in the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, and in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. Within the five sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th holder of the title, in his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. The see of Byzantium, whose foundation was ascribed to Andrew the Apostle, was originally a common bishopric. It gained importance when Emperor Constantine elevated Byzantium to a second capital alongside Rome, the sees ecclesiastical status as the second of five Patriarchates were developed by the Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople in 381 and Chalcedon in 451.
The Turkish government recognizes him as the leader of the Greek minority in Turkey. The Patriarch was subject to the authority of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, according to Turkish law, he is subject to the authority of the state of Turkey and is required to be a citizen of Turkey to be Patriarch. The Patriarch of Constantinople has been dubbed the Ecumenical Patriarch since the 6th century, the monastic communities of Mount Athos are stauropegic and are directly under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch, who is the only bishop with jurisdiction thereover. The Ecumenical Patriarch has a role among Orthodox bishops, though it is not without its controversy. He is primus inter pares, as he is senior among all Orthodox bishops and this primacy, expressed in canonical literature as presbeia, grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to preside at pan-Orthodox synods. Additionally, the literature of the Orthodox Church grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to hear appeals in cases of dispute between bishops.
Historically, the Ecumenical Patriarch has heard such appeals and sometimes was invited to intervene in other disputes and difficulties. Even as early as the 4th century, Constantinople was instrumental in the deposition of multiple bishops outside its traditional jurisdiction. This still occurs today, as when in 2006 the patriarchate was invited to assist in declaring the archbishop of the Church of Cyprus incompetent due to his having Alzheimers disease. Additionally, in 2005, the Ecumenical Patriarchate convoked a synod to express the Orthodox worlds confirmation of the deposition of Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem. That is, his role is one of promoting and sustaining Church unity. Such a title is acceptable if it refers to this unique role, the five patriarchs of the ancient Pentarchy are to be given seniority of honour, but have no actual power over other bishops other than the power of the synod they are chairing
Orthodox Church in America
The Orthodox Church in America is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in North America. The OCA consists of more than 700 parishes, communities and institutions in the United States, in 2011, it had an estimated 84,900 members in the United States. The OCA began when eight Russian Orthodox monks established a mission in Alaska, part of Russian America and this became a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. These immigrants, regardless of nationality or ethnic background, were united under a single North American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, after the Bolshevik Revolution, Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow directed all Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia to govern themselves autonomously. Orthodox churches in America became a self-governing Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America in 1924 under the leadership of Metropolitan Platon, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America was granted autocephaly by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970, and renamed the Orthodox Church in America.
Its hierarchs are part of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North, according to the April 1970 Tomos of Autocephaly granted by the Russian Orthodox Church, the official name of the Church is The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America. The more comprehensive March 1970 Agreement of Tomos of Autocephaly, the former uses remain the most common both within and outside the jurisdiction. The first Native Americans to become Orthodox were the Aleuts living in contact with Siberian fur traders in the mid 18th century and they had been baptized mostly by their Orthodox trading partners or during occasional visits by priests serving aboard exploring vessels of the Russian navy. Russian colony in Alaska was established in 1784 by merchant Grigory Shelikhov, shelikhovs attempt to colonize Kodiak Island was met with resistance by the native population. He returned to Russia and installed Alexandr Baranov as director of the colony, the volunteers, led by Archimandrite Joasaph, departed Saint Petersburg on December 21,1793, and arrived at Kodiak Island on September 24,1794.
When they arrived they were shocked by the treatment of the Kodiak natives at the hands of the Russian settlers. They sent reports to Shelikhov detailing the abuse of the local population, in response, the Holy Synod created an auxiliary episcopal see in Alaska in 1796, and elected Fr. Joasaph and a party returned to Russia in 1798 for his consecration. During their return voyage to the colony in May 1799, their ship sank, in 1800, Baranov placed the remaining monks under house arrest, and forbade them to have any further contact with the local population. Despite the lack of leadership, the Orthodox mission in Alaska continued to grow, in 1811, the Holy Synod officially closed the episcopal see. It was not until 1823 that the Holy Synod sent instructions for a new priest to travel to Alaska, John Veniaminov of Irkutsk volunteered for the journey, and left Russia in May 1823. He and his family arrived at Unalaska Island on July 29,1824, Bishop Innocent was elevated to archbishop in 1850. In 1868, the first Orthodox church in the continental United States was established in San Francisco, numerous parishes were established across the country throughout the rest of the 19th century
Deacon is a ministry in Christian Churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. In many traditions the diaconate, the term for an office, is a clerical office. The word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning servant, waiting-man, minister, or messenger. One commonly promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it literally means through the dust, female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to the emperor Trajan dated c. The title deaconess is not found in the Bible, however, a woman, Phoebe, is mentioned at Romans 16, 1–2 as a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Nothing more specific is said about her duties or authority, the exact relationship between male and female deacons varies. A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, and of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3, prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Thomas Becket and Reginald Pole.
On June 8, A. D.536 a serving Roman deacon was raised to Pope and his father, Pope Agapetus, had died and the office had been vacant for over a month. The title is used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland. The diaconate is one of the orders in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox. The other major orders are those of bishop and presbyter, the diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course toward ordination to priesthood. In Catholic and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties and they have a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church, deacons have a profound presence in the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church, Pope St. Today, deacons are granted permission to preach, beginning around the fifth century, there was a gradual decline in the permanent diaconate in the Latin church. It has however remained a part of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those continuing their formation, there is no sacramental or canonical difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons. The permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church varies from diocese to diocese as it is determined by the local ordinary, although they are assigned to work in a parish by the diocesan bishop, once assigned, deacons are under the supervision of the parish pastor. Unlike most clerics, permanent deacons who have a profession have no right to receive a salary for their ministry
Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica, an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have changed the history of architecture. It remained the worlds largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years and it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The church contained a collection of relics and featured, among other things. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, by that point, the church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made an impression on the new Ottoman rulers. Islamic features—such as the mihrab and four minarets—were added and it remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years.
It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey, Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, from its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed, both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, a tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.
Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium and it was claimed to be one of the worlds most outstanding monuments at the time. The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, during the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down. Nothing remains of the first church today, a second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415
Albanian Orthodox Church
The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922 through its Congress of 1922, the church has, seen a revival since religious freedom was restored in 1991, with more than 250 churches rebuilt or restored, and more than 100 clergy being ordained. It has 909 parishes spread all around Albania, and around 500,000 to 550,000 faithful, the number is claimed to be as high as 700,000 by some Orthodox sources – and higher when considering the Albanian diaspora. Saint Paul wrote that he preached in the Roman province of Illyricum, However it was with Constantine the Great, who issued the Edict of Milan and legalized Christianity, that the Christian religion became official in the lands of modern Albania. When Albania came under Ottoman influence in the 15th century the Orthodox people of Albania were members of the Archbishopric of Ohrid which was recognized by the Ottoman Empire. Following the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, a conversion of Albanians to Islam started.
By mid-19th century, because of the Tanzimat reforms started in 1839, which imposed mandatory military service on non-Muslims, under Ottoman rule, the remaining Eastern Orthodox population of Albania south of the Drin river was integrated into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In March 1908, Noli thus led the first time in Albanian the Orthodox liturgy for the Albanian-American community, Noli had prepared his own translation of the liturgy into Albanian, and used it during a tour several major cities of Europe in 1911. Soon after Albanian independence in 1912, traveled to Albania where he would be ordained a bishop, the Church declared its autocephaly in Berat on September 17,1922, at its first Orthodox Congress. At the end of the congress the First Statute of the Church was approved, the Church had a Second Statute that amended the First Statute in a second congress gathered in Korçë on June 29,1929. Also on September 6,1929, the first Regulation of General Administration of the Church was approved, on November 26,1950, the Parliament of Albania approved the Third Statute that abrogated the 1929 Statute.
Such new statute required Albanian citizenship for the primate of the church in its article 4, with the exception of the amendments made in 1993, this statute is still in force for the Church. On January 21,1993, the 1950 statute was amended and 1996 it was approved by the President of the Republic Sali Berisha, in particular article 4 of the 1950 statute that required Albanian citizenship for primate of the church was no longer required. On November 3 and 4,2006, at the new Monastery of St. Vlash in Durrës, there was a special Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, at this Assembly the New Constitution of the Church was analyzed and accept unanimously. On November 6,2006, the Holy Synod approved this Constitution, the agreement was ratified by the Albanian Parliament, and became law nr.10057,01.22.2009 of the Albanian State. The Primate of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania is the Archbishop of Tirana, the current Archbishop of Tirana is Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.
In 1952 Archbishop Kristofor was discovered dead, most believed he had been killed, in 1967 Hoxha closed down all churches and mosques in the country, and declared Albania the worlds first atheist country. All expression of religion, public or private, was outlawed, hundreds of priests and imams were killed or imprisoned
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches, in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox patriarchates. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus and it exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the Peoples Republic of China. The ROC branches in Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine since the 1990s enjoy various degrees of self-government, in Ukraine, ROC has tensions with schismatic groups supported by the current government, while it enjoys the position of numerically dominant religious organisation. The ROC should not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, headquartered in New York, New York, the two Churches reconciled on May 17,2007, the ROCOR is now a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to one of the legends, Andrew reached the location of Kiev. The spot where he erected a cross is now marked by St.
Andrews Cathedral. By the end of the first millennium AD, eastern Slavic lands started to come under the influence of the Eastern Roman Empire. There is evidence that the first Christian bishop was sent to Novgorod from Constantinople either by Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, by the mid-10th century, there was already a Christian community among Kievan nobility, under the leadership of Byzantine Greek priests, although paganism remained the dominant religion. Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus′ to convert to Christianity and her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus officially a Christian state. The Kievan church was a metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Ecumenical patriarch appointed the metropolitan, who usually was a Greek. The Metropolitans residence was located in Kiev itself, the capital of the medieval Rus state. Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival, despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were generally tolerant and even granted tax exemption to the Church.
Such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Tatar oppression, the Trinity monastery founded by Sergius of Radonezh became the setting for the flourishing of spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others. The followers of Sergius founded four hundred monasteries, thus extending the geographical extent of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. However, the Moscow Prince Vasili II rejected the act of the Council of Florence brought to Moscow by Isidore in March 1441, Isidore was in the same year removed from his position as an apostate and expelled from Moscow. The Russian metropolitanate remained effectively vacant for the few years due largely to the dominance of Uniates in Constantinople then. In December 1448, Jonas, a Russian bishop, was installed by the Council of Russian bishops in Moscow as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia without the consent from Constantinople. Subsequently, there developed a theory in Moscow that saw Moscow as the Third Rome, the successor to Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, from that time, the importance of the church there grew, along with the influence of its bishop. With the development of the structure of the Church, the bishop of Constantinople came to be styled as exarch. Constantinople was recognized as the patriarchate at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, after Antioch, Alexandria. The patriarch was usually appointed by Antioch, in turn, the affairs of the Constantinopolitan church were overseen not just by the patriarch, but by synods held including visiting bishops. This pan-Orthodox synod came to be referred to as the ενδημουσα συνοδος, the resident synod not only governed the business of the patriarchate but examined questions pertinent to the whole Church as well as the eastern half of the old empire. As the Roman Empire stabilized and grew, so did the influence of the patriarchate at its capital, the council resulted in a schism with the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
The cathedral church of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia, was the center of life in the eastern Christian world. In history and in literature, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been granted certain prerogatives which other autocephalous Orthodox churches do not have. Not all of these prerogatives are today universally acknowledged, though all do have precedents in history and canonical references. The emperor Leo III issued a decree in 726 against images, and ordered the destruction of an image of Christ over one of the doors of the Chalke, an act which was fiercely resisted by the citizens. Following the death of his son Leo IV in 780, the empress Irene restored the veneration of images through the agency of the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. The iconoclast controversy returned in the early 9th century, only to be resolved once more in 843 during the regency of Empress Theodora and these controversies contributed to the deterioration of relations between the Western and the Eastern Churches. Most of the causes of the Great Schism, are far less grandiose than the famous Filioque.
The relations between the papacy and the Byzantine court were good in the leading up to 1054. The emperor Constantine IX and the Pope Leo IX were allied through the mediation of the Lombard catepan of Italy, who had spent years in Constantinople, originally as a political prisoner. Patriarch Michael I ordered a letter to be written to the bishop of Trani in which he attacked the Judaistic practices of the West, the letter was to be sent by John to all the bishops of the West, including the Pope. Although he was hot-headed, Michael was convinced to cool the debate, however and the pope made no concessions and the former was sent with legatine powers to the imperial capital to solve the questions raised once and for all
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Orthodox Church in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches and ranked seventh in order of precedence. Since 1925, the Churchs Primate bears the title of Patriarch, currently it is the only self-governing Church within Orthodoxy to have a Romance language for its principal and native tongue. The majority of Romanias population, as well as some 720,000 Moldovans, the Romanian Orthodox Church is the second-largest in size behind the Russian Orthodox Church. Members of the Romanian Orthodox Church sometimes refer to Orthodox Christian doctrine as Dreapta credință, in 1859, the political union of the Romanian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia resulted in the formation of the modern state of Romania. The 1866 Constitution of Romania declared the Orthodox Church to be independent of any hierarchy. Restricted access to ecclesiastical and relevant state archives makes an accurate assessment of the Romanian Orthodox Churchs attitude towards the Communist regime a difficult proposition.
The Romanian Communist Party, which assumed power at the end of 1947. Three archbishops died suddenly after expressing opposition to government policies, a May 1947 decree imposed a mandatory retirement age for clergy, thus providing authorities with a convenient way to pension off old-guard holdouts. The 4 August 1948 Law on Cults institutionalised state control over episcopal elections, the evangelical wing of the Romanian Orthodox Church, known as the Army of the Lord, was suppressed by communist authorities in 1948. As a result of measures passed in 1947-48, the took over the 2,300 elementary schools and 24 high schools operated by the Orthodox Church. The Romanian Orthodox Church, a national body that had made significant contributions to Romanian culture from the 14th century on. As a result of this second co-optation, this time as an ally, by 1975, its diocesan clergy was numbering about 12,000, and the church was already publishing by eight high-quality theological reviews, including Ortodoxia and Studii Teologice.
As of 1989, two metropolitan bishops even sat in the Great National Assembly, the members of the churchs hierarchy and clergy remained mostly silent as some two dozen historic Bucharest churches were demolished in the 1980s, and as plans for systematization were announced. In an attempt to adapt to the newly created circumstances, the Orthodox Church proposed a new ecclesiology designed to justify its subservience to the state in supposedly theological terms. This so-called Social Apostolate doctrine, developed by Patriarch Justinian, asserted that the church owed allegiance to the secular government and this notion inflamed conservatives, who were consequently purged by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Ceaușescus predecessor and a friend of Justinians. The Social Apostolate called on clerics to become active in the Peoples Republic, thus laying the foundation for the submission to. Based on this alleged grounding in tradition, Vasilescu concluded that Christians owed submission to their rulers as if it were the will of God.
Widespread dissent from religious groups in Romania did not appear until revolution was sweeping across Eastern Europe in 1989 and it was not until the day before Ceaușescus execution on December 24,1989 that the Patriarch condemned him as a new child-murdering Herod
In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator is, used in context, a translation of one of many names of God in Judaism. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, in the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul. Aside from that one occurrence, John of Patmos is the only New Testament author to use the word Pantokrator, the most common translation of Pantocrator is Almighty or All-powerful. In this understanding, Pantokrator is a word formed from the Greek words πᾶς, pas, i. e. all and κράτος, kratos, i. e. strength, might. This is often understood in terms of power, i. e. ability to do anything. Another, more literal translation is Ruler of All or, less literally, in this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for all and the verb meaning To accomplish something or to sustain something. This translation speaks more to Gods actual power, i. e, the Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception, is less common by that name in Western Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants.
In the West the equivalent image in art is known as Christ in Majesty, Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity. The icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most widely used images of Orthodox Christianity. Some scholars consider the Pantocrator a Christian adaptation of images of Zeus, the development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace. The image of Christ Pantocrator was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church, in the half-length image, Christ holds the New Testament in his left hand and makes the gesture of teaching or of blessing with his right. The gessoed panel, finely painted using a wax medium on a panel, had been coarsely overpainted around the face. It was only when the overpainting was cleaned in 1962 that the ancient image was revealed to be a high quality icon. The left hand holds a book with a richly decorated cover featuring the Cross. An icon where Christ has a book is called Christ the Teacher.
Christ is bearded, his brown hair centrally parted, and his head is surrounded by a halo, the icon is usually shown against a gold background comparable to the gilded grounds of mosaic depictions of the Christian emperors. Often, the name of Christ is written on each side of the halo, as IC, christs fingers are depicted in a pose that represents the letters IC, X and C, thereby making the Christogram ICXC
Ascension of Jesus
The Ascension of Jesus is the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God. Heavenly ascents were fairly common in the time of Jesus, signifying divine approval or the deification of an exceptional man. The Ascension of Jesus is an important theme in Christian art, the world of the Ascension is a three-part universe with the heavens above, a flat earth centered on Jerusalem in the middle, and the underworld below. Heaven was separated from the earth by the firmament, the visible sky, humans looking up from earth saw the floor of heaven, made of clear blue lapis-lazuli, as was Gods throne. There is a consensus among scholars that the brief Ascension account in the Gospel of Mark is a addition to the original version of that gospel. Luke-Acts, a work from the same anonymous author, provides the only detailed account of the Ascension. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. and to Mary Magdalene after his Resurrection, Do not hold me, for I not yet ascended to my father.
Various epistles refer to an Ascension, like Luke-Acts and John, to equate it with the post-resurrection exultation of Jesus to the right hand of God. Although it signifies an equal participation in glory and majesty, it is taken to be a certain place about which the Lord, speaking in the Gospel, says. The apostle Peter says, Heaven must receive Christ until the time of restoring all things, despite this, the Ascension itself has become an embarrassment. As expressed in a statement by theologian Rudolf Bultmann in his essay The New Testament and Mythology. No one who is old enough to think for himself supposes that God lives in a local heaven, and if this is so, the story of Christs. Ascension into heaven is done with, the Feast of the Ascension is one of the ecumenical feasts of the Christian liturgical year, along with the Passion and Pentecost. The Ascension has been a frequent subject in Christian art, by the 6th century the iconography of the Ascension had been established and by the 9th century Ascension scenes were being depicted on domes of churches.
The Rabbula Gospels include some of the earliest images of the Ascension, many ascension scenes have two parts, an upper part and a lower part. The ascending Christ may be carrying a banner or make a sign of benediction with his right hand. The blessing gesture by Christ with his hand is directed towards the earthly group below him. In the left hand, he may be holding a Gospel or a scroll, the Eastern Orthodox portrayal of the Ascension is a major metaphor for the mystical nature of the Church
An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. Churches with an episcopal polity are governed by bishops, practicing their authorities in the dioceses and conferences or synods, bishops are considered to derive their authority from an unbroken, personal apostolic succession from the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Bishops with such authority are said to represent the historical episcopate or historic episcopate, Churches with this type of government usually believe that the Church requires episcopal government as described in the New Testament. In some systems, bishops may be subject to higher-ranking bishops and they meet in councils or synods. These gatherings, subject to presidency by higher ranking bishops, usually make important decisions, for much of the written history of institutional Christianity, episcopal government was the only known form of church organization. The definition of the word episcopal has variation among Christian traditions, there are subtle differences in governmental principles among episcopal churches at the present time.
To some extent the separation of episcopal churches can be traced to these differences in ecclesiology, for some, episcopal churches are churches that use a hierarchy of bishops that regard themselves as being in an unbroken, personal apostolic succession. Episcopal is used to distinguish between the various organizational structures of denominations. For instance, the word presbyterian is used to describe a church governed by a hierarchy of assemblies of elected elders, episcopal is used to describe a church governed by bishops. Self-governed local congregations, governed neither by elders nor bishops, are referred to as Congregational. More specifically, the title Episcopal is applied to several churches historically based within Anglicanism including those still in communion with the Church of England, many Methodist churches retain the form and function of episcopal polity, although in a modified form, called connexionalism. All orthodox Christians were in churches with a government, that is, one Church under local bishops.
Writing between ca.85 and 110, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Patriarch of Antioch, was the earliest of the Church fathers to define the importance of episcopal government. Assuming Ignatius view was the Apostolic teaching and practice, the line of succession was unbroken and passed through the four ancient Patriarchal sees, Jerusalem, some organizations, though aloof from the political wranglings of imperial Christianity, nevertheless practiced episcopal polity. The single Roman Empire was divided between two autonomous administrative centers and Constantinopolitan, West and East, Latin speaking and Greek speaking. This remained the status quo through the fourth century, a deep chasm developed between the East and West, becoming critical around 350, known as the Aryan, or Nicene controversy. The Eastern Christian Churches were thought by Constantine to believe against the Trinity, Bishop of Poitiers, believed that the Eastern Church should be given the opportunity to, at least, be educated on the subject.
Constantine, in his wisdom, and upset by disagreement, banished Hilary to the East and this truth became known in the West, though some differences lingered