Eastern Orthodox: Beginnings Are Central In New Year

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: It’s an Ecclesiastical New Year for Eastern Orthodox Christians today, and the annual cycle of feasts and fasts begins once again. Yet although feast days are, in essence, the same each year, Orthodox Christians spend today reflecting on how they will approach the coming year. Devotees believe that the New Year should be met with repentance and deep reflection, and that deep reflection will result in a better understanding of the Kingdom of God. (The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America offers a reflection for today.)

Environmental preservation has become a central issue in many areas today, and Eastern Orthodoxy is no exception. Today has been designated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Day for the Protection of our Natural Environment, and devotees ponder the wonders of God’s creation today—and, naturally, environmental protection action follows closely behind.

Eastern Orthodoxy has also been in the news lately with connection to the ground zero mosque controversy. Reports state that a Greek Orthodox church was destroyed, along with the World Trade Center, on Sept. 11—and has yet to be rebuilt. Church supporters say they are angered that officials would discuss a mosque when another place of worship has been “ignored,” but officials say that previous deals with the church have been rejected. (Read the full article here.)

(By ReadTheSpirit columnist Stephanie Fenton)

(NOTE: To see more short articles about upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries, click the “RTS Magazines” tab at the top of this page and select “Religious Holidays.”)

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