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May - June 2021

THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH

As found in The Faith of the Saints, an Orthodox Catechism by St. Nicholai Velimirovich, the 20th century Serbian hierarch who taught at St. Tikhon's Russian Orthodox Seminary in Pennsylvania and reposed there in 1956. These commandments are given for our benefit and sanctification. If you scratch just a little beneath their surface you encounter the life St. Paul teaches his new converts to live in his epistles. Note that the list begins with church attendance. As that great Greek philosopher Anonymous once said: "A whole lot of life is simply showing up." - Editor

Every Christian ought:

1) To go to church for public worship every Sunday, and on great holy days, besides praying privately every day.

2) To keep the fast periods and fast days as prescribed;

3) To respect the priests as spiritual fathers;

4) To confess sins with repentance before a priest;

5) To avoid association with unbelievers and to read no atheistic, vulgar books; (nowadays this would include careful screening of TV, DVDs, CDs, and Internet social media - Ed.)

6) To pray for the living and for the dead;

7) To keep special fasts and prayers when they are ordered by the Church authorities in times of emergency such as war, pestilence, hunger, drought, etc.;

8) To support the maintenance of the church, Church servants and Church institutions; (i.e., through tithing and almsgiving)

9) To educate children by the Faith of our Fathers, and to admonish sinners to return to the Faith;

10) To help in every respect the Orthodox Church's mission in this world.


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