Christ is risen, truly He is risen!

On Monday the 17th of May, St John the Baptist held its ‘monthly enlightenment’ series with Mr Abraham Nader presenting on a key topic, the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church.

Abraham, a youth member of the parish, provided a truly enlightening presentation. The Orthodox Church acknowledges (but is not limited to) seven Holy Mysteries, which include, Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist, Confession, Holy Unction, Marriage & Holy Orders. Abraham discussed in depth the importance of these Mysteries to our salvation, showing their biblical and historical link.

The mysteries are personal. They are the means whereby God’s grace is appropriated to each individual Christian. In Baptism, we are united with Christ. Through Chrismation which is typically performed with baptism, one is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Confession is performed orally in front of an icon of Christ with a confessor father present. It allows a person to repent and know their sins are forgiven. The Eucharist is the centre of Orthodox life and practice, the Mystery of Mysteries. This gift is distributed to all Orthodox Christians who choose to partake in the most intimate union with our Lord through His body and blood. Holy Unction in the Orthodox Church is practised not just for those who are dying, but all who are in a state of sickness. On the afternoon or evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in Orthodox parishes by anointing the body with oil. Marriage is a mystical union between a man and a woman sanctified by God. It is an imitation of Christ and His Church. Holy Orders in Orthodoxy allows for three degrees of ordination: Deacon, Priest and Bishop. It is the assurance of the continuous presence of Christ with His people.

In a broader sense, the whole life of a Christian must be seen as a single mystery or one great mystery. The different aspects are expressed in a great variety of acts, some performed only once in a lifetime (Baptism, Marriage), others perhaps almost daily (Confession, Eucharist).

Thank you, Abraham, for your presentation on the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church and for further deepening our knowledge and understanding of Orthodoxy.