The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


14 October 2011

St. Varus

Folks, I have taken the akathist and canon off of this blog.  If you want a copy, please have your priest contact me.  ~Joanna

The Life of the Holy Martyr Varus
and the Seven Christian Teachers Who Were with Him, 
and the Commemoration of the Blessed Cleopatra and Her Son John

St. Varus [Warus] is celebrated Oct. 19/Nov. 1 along with seven monk martyrs in Egypt [307], Blessed Cleopatra [327] and her son, John.

Also on this day the Church remembers:
St John of Kronstadt [1908]
Holy Prophet Joel [800 B.C.]
Hieromartyr Sadoc [Sadoth], bishop of Persia, and 128 martyrs with him [342]
St. Leontius the Philoshopher of St. Sabbas monastery [624]
Translation of relics [1195]of St. John, abbot of Rila in Bulgaria [946]
St. Prochorus, miracle-worker of Pchinja, Serbia [10th c.]
New Monk-martyr Nicholas Dvali of Jerusalem [1314]
St. Gabriel, abbot of St. Elias Skete, Mt.Athos [1901]
New Martyr Priest Alexis [Stavrovsky] of Petrograd [1918]\St. Mnason, bishop of Cyprus [1st c.]
St. Frideswide of Oxford, abbess [ca. 735] 

Private prayer for deceased heterodox (non-Orthodox)
Fr. Seraphim Rose
Appendix II:  The Prayer of Orthodox Christians for Those Who Have Died Outside the Church


On the Burial of the Heterodox

From the "Points of Correspondence" section of The Shepherd,
"IN YOUR LAST SHEPHERD, vol XVII, no 11, I read with interest Nun Pelagia 's article on St Varus. She wrote that 'there is no Orthodox service the priest can serve on behalf of [those] departed this life outside the Church' ... are we to understand to understand this refers to atheists / non-believers, rather than non-Orthodox Christians, for whom there is a service in the Trebnik for their Repose. Please could you clarify this?—A.M., Kwa Zulu, Natal. 

MOTHER PELAGIA was correct. There is in fact no service for the repose of any non-Orthodox, whether Christian or not, in the Book of Needs, but I suspect that in saying the opposite you are referring to one of the versions of the Book of Needs, published some years ago by the Saint Tikhon's Seminary Press in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.  We have found this to be an invaluable little book, although the standard of English is poor and the translations are oftentimes deplorable.

This book has an "Office for the Repose of Non-Orthodox" but if you notice in the index it is prefaced by a sign which indicates that it is one of the "additional Services, Prayers and Blessings taken from various sources."   It does not indicate the source of this service, and it seems to be an abridged form of the funeral service, although the Apostle and Gospel readings are different.  One would have more confidence if the source of this service were given.

A more authoritative source, S.V. Bulgakov's "Nastolnaya Kniga" allows only that, should a non-Orthodox Christian die in circumstances where there was no minister of his own confession but only an Orthodox priest (a circumstance not likely to occur in the West!), the priest may accompany the body to the grave with the chanting of the Trisagion.  He also quotes a comment on the subject by the renowned Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, who said of a certain Lutheran that it was permissible to serve a moleben for him when he was yet alive, asking God's grace that he might join the One Church, but after death it was a different matter.  To the argument that such a service would give comfort to the bereaved, he replied that to do something irregular for the comfort of one, when it would not be without temptation for the many, would not be something blessed.

I think that, particularly in these days, when so many things are published which are not expressions of "the pious mind of the Church," one has to be extremely careful, just because something is in print, even if it appears to be in a Service Book of the Church does not rnean that it expresses the teaching of the Church.
From the "Points of Correspondence" section of The Shepherd, Vol. XIX, No. 3 (November 1998), pp. 13-14.