Top Ten Signs You Might Be Russian Orthodox

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Top 10 signs you might be Яussian Orthodox

By ‘Dmitri Letterman’

• On Wednesdays and Fridays you eat Japanese food.

• You’re used to skipping breakfast on Sundays.

• You can automatically subtract 13 days from today’s date.

• On your first encounter with long words, you pronounce them stressing the ‘next to the next to last’ syllable.

• You wonder why the Pope crosses himself backwards when you see him on TV.

• You wear comfortable shoes to church, because you know you’ll be standing a long, long time.

• To you, a ‘topless’ gal is one without a headscarf.

• You get great deals on Christmas trees and Easter candy.

• You spend time figuring out the best way to remove smoke stains from your ceiling.

• When you see a shopping-mall Santa, your first instinct is to hold out your hands to get his blessing.

Orthodox Christians: Until recently, most scholars agreed that Orthodox Christians didn’t really exist. Like werewolves, fairies and Romanians, they were simply a charming Old World fable designed to delight children with outlandish details regarding the rich, luxurious beards and interminable arguments about the proper interpretation of Greek words. Upon further reflection, some scholars now cautiously hazard the guess that there are roughly 250 million Orthodox Christians in the world, with a lineage stretching back to the earliest days of the Church. As for what these strange, chanting, hirsute folk actually believe, though, no one is yet confident enough to hazard a guess.
— Tom Breen


• Before you pray, you say a prayer.

• You don’t flinch when someone throws water at you.

• When you first tell people who ask what religion you are, at first they think you’re Jewish. Oy!

• You’re experienced at removing wax from clothing.

• When you go to the movies, you and your spouse sit on different sides of the theatre (and you both feel uncomfortable sitting down in public).

• The service routinely starts at least 15 minutes late and lasts 2½ hours — and nobody around you complains.

• You know you’re in an Orthodox church when the priest says, ‘Let us complete our prayer to the Lord’, and there’s still half an hour to go.

• When you saw The Deer Hunter for the first time you sang along with the choir during the wedding scene... and knew they were singing Archangelsky’s Praise the Name of the Lord.

• (Slavic) Every woman in church is called Mary, Irene or Helen.

• (Convert) There’s somebody in your church called Barsanuphius and you think nothing of it.

• You find yourself instinctively drawn to jurisdictional chaos. ‘I don’t believe in organized religion; I’m Orthodox!’

• At the end of Holy Week, you have rug burns on your forehead.

• Your Easter isn’t Easter without an all-night party (featuring vodka and 10 dishes of sausage with cheese).

There Is No Pascha Bunny

Right: ‘Kicking Out the Riff-Rabbit’
by Nik Stanosheck

‘Kicking Out the Riff-Rabbit’ by Nik Stanosheck The bunny, the use of eggs that time of year (though there is a Jewish antecedent here as well) and even the name ‘Easter’ (Eostre, a goddess) are all from Germanic pagan fertility/springtime customs. ‘Pascha’ is a better name but of course in English I use ‘Easter’ as it is commonly understood.

It’s still weird to see images of bunnies everywhere, cute as they are, when you know what Pascha really is.

The eggs make some sense as there is some symbolism of the Resurrection and so the Church blesses them on Pascha, with the red-dyed shells standing for the Blood of Christ, and course there are the famous Ukrainian pysanky with the colorful decorated shells!

This Conversation Actually Took Place

Born Orthodox, from ‘the old country’: So I’ve heard you’re converting to Orthodoxy.
Convert: Yes.
Born: Why would you do that? I myself was born Orthodox, and I’ll die Orthodox. I’d never leave my religion.
Convert: And out of curiosity, how often do you go to liturgy?
The born Orthodox shrugged: Never.

Orthodox ‘Survivor’

Robinson Krusovsky was shipwrecked on an empty Pacific island. When after a long time a rescue ship came to pick him up, the rescue party found two churches Robinson had built, complete with domes and three-bar crosses on top. ‘Why two?’ they asked. ‘One is the church I go to,’ Robinson explained. ‘The other is the church I don’t go to!’

Train Tale

Two people meet on a train. After some introductory chat, they discover both are Orthodox and of Russian descent.
Vlad: Old Calendar or New Calendar?
Alex: Old.
Vlad: Very good. Do you have a three-hour Vigil in church every Saturday night and before every holy day, even if the holy day is on a Monday?
Alex: Yes.
Vlad: Excellent. Pews or no pews?
Alex: No.
Vlad: Clean-shaven or bearded priest?
Alex: Bearded.
Vlad: Does he wear his cassock and cross on the street?
Alex: Da.
Vlad: Is your jurisdiction ecumenist or non-ecumenist?
Alex: Non.
Vlad: Do you have an old-man Trinity icon?
Alex: Uh, yes.
Vlad: Aha! Heretic!

The Light-Bulb Joke: наша версия

OK, how many Russian Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Orthodoxy never changes, and, in addition to burning candles like the Roman Catholics, uses oil-burning lamps. ‘Electricity is for those Gregorian calendar-using, liberal ecumenist jurisdictions.’

Is It Really an ‘All-Night Vigil’?

No, it only feels that long.

The Wild World of Bogus Churches (The Joy of Sects)

The One and Only, Genuinely Holy, Really, Really True, Authentically Genuine, Orthodox, Greco-Russian, Apostolic, Catholic Church of the Upper Cumberlands — Baxter Patriarchate, Inc.

The scary thing is there are lots of little churches just like this parody name: a display of the pathologies that come from schism. They’re not really Orthodox, of course, but like to say they are. What’s even scarier is when real Orthodox sometimes resemble them.

Which Is The Tradition?

In the village of Omsk all was not well in the local Pokrov Parish. Every year, during Lent, at ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes’, half of the congregation would make a metany at the waist, and half would make a full prostration. The little metanists would start whispering sharply, ‘No! No! From the waist!’ To which the great metanists would hiss back even louder, ‘Wrong! Full prostration! Who are you following, the Devil?!’ And fistfights would break out and the service could not even be completed.

Finally the war-weary parishioners decided to ask their priest, Fr Veniamin. ‘Batiushka, what is the tradition? In Lent, at “Blessed art Thou”, do we make a little metany, or a great metany?’ Knowing the rancour attached to the dispute, poor Fr Veniamin trembled, grew pale, then fainted dead away and fell backwards.

So next they went to the Skete of the Forerunner, and asked Fr Onouphry: ‘Batiushka, we want to know, we have a terrible argument at Omsk--what is the tradition? Because half the people say to make small metanies at “Blessed art Thou” now, and half say great metanies. And we start fighting, terrible, terrible. So, tell us, what is the Tradition?’ Seeing the ferocity in their faces, poor Hieromonk Anatoly simply fainted dead away.

Then someone shouted, ‘Let’s go to Elder Ioann and ask him!‘ It was a marvellous idea. Surely the elder’s answer would bring peace, for he was respected by all, a native of Omsk, and his hoary 94 years guaranteed a knowledge of what the old tradition had been.

So a large crowd gathered at the elder’s dacha on the outskirts of town. Some 15 men from both sides entered the dacha, and found frail Elder Ioann lying on his bed. As he struggled to draw himself up and offer tea, they cut him off: ‘Elder Ioann, you have to help us! What is the Tradition? Every year in Lent, at “Blessed art Thou, O Lord”, half of the people at Pokrov make little metanies, and half the people great metanies, and we start to argue, and the service doesn't even finish because of the fistfight!’ Then Elder Ioann said firmly, in his voice shaking with age, and with tears streaming down his joyful face, ‘That... is... the Tradition!’

Are You a Geek Orthodox?

by Steve Lammert

I have come to the conclusion that there really *is* more that unites us than separates us. In fact, I have decided that most of us are really part of the same jurisdiction, after all: The Geek Orthodox. So, ask yourself: Are you Geek Orthodox?

If you have searched the Web for the rules for calculating the date of Pascha, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you have written a Perl script which calculates the date of Pascha, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have noted the major fast/feast days in your Palm Pilot, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you have downloaded the entire Trebnik into your Palm, and made the .CSV file available to other priests via anonymous FTP, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have the telephone numbers of your priest and parish in your cell phone’s memory, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If your priest has ever sent a text message to your pager via e-mail, then you are both Geek Orthodox.

If you read an Orthodox Discussion List from your laptop, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If the laptop runs Linux, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you're using AOL with a Microsoft operating system, you're probably not Geek Orthodox (yet). If you have used the Web to find a parish when travelling, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you maintain a Web site for your parish or jurisdiction, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have met a priest through an Orthodox Discussion List, and later visited his parish, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you have met a priest through a List, and later sought spiritual counseling from him via e-mail, then you are Geek Orthodox. If he answered you, and began a long correspondence, then you’re both Geek Orthodox.

If you can recall more user ids than names of List subscribers, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you have ever prayed for a subscriber by user id instead of name, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have ever started an argument on the List, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you have ever tried to settle an argument in your parish by distributing printouts from the List, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have ever gotten carried away with an argument on the List, and kept on pursuing it long after everyone else is tired of it, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you have set up your Mail User Agent to permanently kill-file a particular subscriber of the aforementioned type, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have ever mistaken the List for the Church, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you have ever reminded someone else that the List is not the Church, then you are Geek Orthodox.

If you have ever thought that the List might dissuade more people from Orthodoxy than it attracts, then you might be Geek Orthodox.

If you became Orthodox even after subscribing to the List for several years, then you are Geek Orthodox.

Победители четвертого места от Eurovision 1979 г.!