Wednesday, 20 October 2010

AKSION ESTIN - Japanese, Greek, English, Indonesian

Our parish youth choir, St.Romanos Melodos Choir,  is going to chant a beautiful hymn of Theothokos, Axion Estin,  in Japanese.
This hymn will be chanted before the Holy Matrimony of one of our Japanese parishioner.

We received the music score of AXION ESTIN (in Japanese: Tsuneni saiwai ni shite ) from The Holy Theophany Parish in Nagoya by the help of Mrs. Maria Matsushima, presvitera the Holy Theophany parish Nagoya.

Tsune ni saiwai o michi, mattaku isagiyou shite,

神を生みし母や、 爾は実に誉められるべし。
kami o umishi haha ya, nanji wa jitsu ni homeraru beshi.

Herubim no ue ni tootomare, 

光栄 たぐいなくセラフィムにまさり、
kooei taguinaku Serafim ni masari,

みさおを 破らずして、神言葉を生めり、
Misao o yaburazu shite, Kamikotoba o umeri,

Kamino jitsu no haha naru o motte, nanji o agamehomu.

In English:
It is truly meet and right to bless you, O Theotokos,
Ever-blessed and most-pure mother of our God.
More honourable than the Cherubim,
And beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim,
Who without corruption gave birth to God the Word,
True Theotokos: we magnify you

In Greek:

Αξιον εστιν ως  αληθως μακαριζειν Σε την θεοτοκον,
Axion estin os alithos makarizin se tin theotokon,

την αειμακαριστον και παναμωμητον και μητερα του θεου ημον.
tin aimakariston ki panamomiton ki metera tou theou imon.

Την τιμιωτεραν των Χερουβιμ και ενδοξοτεραν α συγκροτος των Σεραφιμ.
Tin timioteran ton heruvim ki endhoxoteran asikritos ton serafim.

Την αδιαφθορως θεον Λογον τεκοθσαν, την οντως θεοτοκον Σε μεγαλυνομεν.
Tin adhiafthoros theon logon tekoussan tin ontos theotokon se megalinomen.

In Indonesian:
“Sungguh patut dan benar memberkatimu ya sang Theotokos,  
yang selalu terberkati dan sangat termurni seta bunda dari Allah kita,
Lebih terhormat dari Kerubim, tak terbanding lebih mulianya dari para Serafim
Dan tanpa cacat cela melahirkan Allah Sang Sabda,
sungguh kau sang Theotokos, engkau kujunjung tinggi.”

Monday, 4 October 2010


From the universe of western Christians cultural prejudices, ethnic pride, excuses, ignorance and sheer laziness, modeled on the ‘too different’ excuse, I have over the years heard the following:

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I was born Roman Catholic/Protestant’.
(No, you weren’t. You were born a pagan, like all of us. You were then conditioned and manipulated by a set of ethnocentric cultural values. Look at the Apostles: most of them were born Jews, only they freely changed to Orthodoxy).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you don’t have a Pope’.
(You don’t need a Pope; Christ is the Head of the Church)

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you don’t have the filioque’.
(Nor does the New Testament. See Jn. 15, 26 or Acts 2,33).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you don’t have purgatory’
(The Gospel never mentions this Latin word that was first mentioned at the end of the twelfth century).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because it’s a sect’.
(For nearly 2,000 years, billions of people have not thought so. Are you so much cleverer than all of them?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you have saints’.
(Sadly, that is your loss. Don’t you want to know the friends of Christ?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because your way of taking communion is so unhygienic’.
(Then why aren’t Orthodox all constantly ill?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you kiss icons’.
(Don’t you kiss members of your family? Don’t you love Christ and those close to him? Are you not members of the family of Christ? Or are you victims of Protestant scientism?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you have to confess’.
(You mean you have no sins? Then give me your photograph and I will stick it on the iconostasis).

I can’t become Orthodox, because Orthodox are sinners and argue among themselves’.
(Yes, we know about ourselves, that we are sinners. We also think our Faith is important – that’s why we argue, because we are not lukewarm and indifferent. And that’s why we go to church and go to confession and communion, repent, read the Lives of the Saints and find healing for our arguments. You mean you do not know about yourself and your own need to repent?).

‘I cannot become Orthodox, because you don’t sing our hymns’.
(Why sing Victorian platitudes, when you can have ancient spiritual depth?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the choir sings badly’.
(Then come and sing yourself and help improve it).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the services are always the same’.
(You mean have never been to more than one Orthodox service in its entirety?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you can’t take part in the services’.
(You mean you have never tried praying?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I will no longer be free to change the Faith and pick from it what I want’.
(You don’t come to the Church to change the Orthodox Faith, you come to the Church to be changed by the Orthodox Faith. Or do you consider that you do not need changing?).

I can’t become Orthodox, because I can pray anywhere, without ritual’.
(And do you? If you can live without ritual, why then do you have a daily routine?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because there’s no difference between it and my present religion’.
(Why hesitate then?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because it won’t help me’.
(Correct. Nothing will help you, if you don’t first make an effort to improve yourself).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you don’t have the same calendar’.
(No, it’s you who don’t have the same calendar).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because it’s not Western, it’s ‘Oriental’.
(Then it’s like Christ. He came for the Middle East. He wasn’t Western and secular either).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I was born English’.
(Nor was Christ. By the way, I didn’t know that ‘English’ was a religion).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because there are foreigners in church’.
(For racists and xenophobes. As I said, Christ was also a ‘foreigner’).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you are so diverse’.
(That’s why we are not boring).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the other people are different from me’.
(Are you anti-social? Yet you are different from them and they accept you).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the clergy wear beards’.
(So did Christ. More victims of their cultural prejudices).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because women can’t wear trousers in church and have to cover their heads. It’s like Islam’.
(Yes, like the Mother of God? Or do you think that She was a Muslim? Or do you mean that you have no sense of modesty?)

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because men can’t wear shorts in church’.
(Nor did the Apostles and the saints and your ancestors, when they went to church. Why this need to distract others from prayer by your immodest way of dress?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the services are too long’.
(You mean you are lazy?).

‘The services start too early and finish too late’.
(See above).

‘I can’t be bothered’.
(See above, but thank you for being honest).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because then I won’t be able to live with my partner any longer’.
(Yes, you will, only you will receive a Divine blessing, your union will become spiritual as well as physical, and your ‘partner’ will become your legitimate spouse, instead of your partner in sin).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you have to fast’.
(You mean you reject Christ’s sacrifice of fasting in the desert and his Gospel instructions about freeing yourself from demons through prayer and fasting?)

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I can’t eat roast beef every Sunday lunch-time’. (You mean you have an all-important passion for meat?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I can’t go to the pub on Saturday nights’.
(You mean you are too weak to stop your drinking bouts?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because the priest says that I should try to give up smoking’.
(You mean your passions are stronger than your faith?).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I don’t believe in God’.
(I understand. But how do you know? When you were surprised, I heard you calling on God’s name. If you start searching now, you will find faith and then be able to become Orthodox. Seek and you will find).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because my family will reject me’.
(I understand you. But are you sure? In any case, Christ will not reject you).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I do not live near an Orthodox church’.
(I understand you. Change your way of life, so that your priorities are based around the Church).

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because I don’t understand anything’.
(If you want to understand something, then begin by praying about it).

Or my favorite:

‘I can’t become Orthodox, because you have to stand and pray’.
(You mean you can’t be bothered. At least this is not an excuse, but honest).Top of For
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