An Early Christmas Present

There’s been a lot of negativity recently in Orthoworld. To the extent that Monomakhos has had to report on it brings me not a little pain.

Honestly, I wish it was all unicorns and rainbows but it’s not. However every now and then comes a true jewel of a story that is not only aesthetically pleasing but illumines the truth of our faith.

Brethren, let me introduce you to a fine young man who has the distinct honor of being the youngest person ever interviewed on Ancient Faith Radio. Luke Arrington, at the tender age of eighteen, has this distinct honor.

A musical prodigy, he has led the men’s choir of our humble parish here in Oklahoma for a little over two years now. The average age of said choir is somewhere in the late-thirties I imagine, which makes his talents (and theirs) even more amazing.

The reason for this interview is that our men’s choir finally took the leap of faith and produced their first-ever CD, O Marvelous Wonder. It runs the gamut of Orthodox hymnography from Byzantine to Znamenny to Georgian to even some of Luke’s own compositions. And every hymn is beyond beautiful.

(Hint: this CD would make an excellent Christmas gift! It’s not too late, especially if you’re on the Old Calendar. If you would like to purchase this CD, please go to You won’t be disappointed!)

Anyway, please take the time to listen to Luke’s interview. Enjoy! .


  1. I listened to some previews and ordered the CD immediately. Amazing!

    Christ our true God is born — glorify Him!

  2. Francis Frost says


    Christ is born ! Glorify Him !

    Glory to God in the highest , and on peace goodwill to men!

    What a Christmas gift!

    Despite the hysterical warnings of “bloodshed in the streets and babushkas dying on the church steps” issued in certain quarters; the “war” over the church in Ukraine is over; not with a bang; but with a whimper.

    Yesterday, the Moscow Patriarchate announced its willingness to resume negotiations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Of course, this announcement was low key, made by Mr. Legoyda rather than by Metropolitan Hilarion. In effect, the MP has conceded defeat.

    At the same time, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has started distancing his church from the MP. In its own announcement, the UOC-MP officially declared that it “considers the Russian Federation an aggressor state and the Crimea an occupied territory” Metropolitan Onuphry further announced that the “UOC-MP does not recognize the annexation of Crimea and condemns everything that has happened in the Donbass.” Metropolitan Onuphry called on the “head of the Russian State to stop its aggression against Ukraine”.

    The statement issued by Archbishop Kliment, secretary of the UOC synod, goes on to state “in the statute by which it is registered in Ukraine and operates, it is written that the UOC is a self-governing church. We do not have a center in the aggressor country, and there is no center in any other foreign country.”

    In effect the UOC-MP has announced its own autocephaly !

    You can now look for Metropolitan Onuphry to start his own negotiations with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the real possibility of a united Orthodox Church in Ukraine. At long last, the cherished dream of Metropolitan Volodymyr Sabodan to reunite the Orthodox people of Ukraine of Metropolitan might be realized.

    You can learn a whole lot more from Russian web-sites than you ever get from the English language net. Perhaps, Fr Alexander Webster PhD might actually try to learn some Russian while he remains at Jordanville.

    A very Merry Christmas to those on the New Calendar !

    A Happy Saint Spiridon’s day to those on the Old Calendar !

    A Happy St. Herman’s day to our people in Alaska (tomorrow) !

    And to His All Holiness Ilya II, Catholicos – Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta – Tbilisi and Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazeti:
    Mravaljavier !!! Many Years, Most Holy Master !!!

    Today, his All Holiness celebrates 41 years on the patriarchal throne. How many trials and hardship he has suffered along with his people, all the while encouraging all to keep the faith!

    Many happy returns of the day to our Holy Father who never lost faith and who has promised us all these years that Georgia will once again be made whole by God’s sovereign will.

    Glory to God !!! Ghmerts Dideba !!!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, you must really like jumping the shark.

      You would do yourself some good by not criticizing Fr Alexander in such a gratuitous manner. He has been given a tremendous responsibility because of his wide experience by bishops who are entrusted with maintaining the Faith. This was not done lightly.

      As for your febrile ravings, we will not see them again until you come to the realization that they are rarely germane to the topic at hand. This particular blog entry is a case in point.

      One final thing: why don’t you go to Russia and see for yourself?

      • George I second there, go and see. I have many Russian friends and visit yearly, if not more. Much to see and reduce over and yes problems but USA? Same too.

  3. Gail Sheppard says

    I think you need to re-read this, Francis: The Moscow Patriarchate didn’t “announced its willingness to resume negotiations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate” because no one is “negotiating” anything. The hope is that the EP will repent. The door is *always* open for dialog in this regard, which is why “a Christian has no right to think about any point of no return. . .” Bishops talk to each other about all sorts of things. If the EP were open to it, they could talk about the direction in Ukraine, too, but so far, he hasn’t been open to discussing anything but his own position on the matter. You have completely mischaracterized this.

    You are (roughly) quoting something Archbishop Klyment said when you attribute the following to Metropolitan Onuphry: “the UOC-MP does not recognize the annexation of Crimea and condemns everything that has happened in the Donbass.”

    The quote, “. . . considers the Russian Federation an aggressor state” is a from an article on a poll that was recently taken, not from the MP.

    Please provide the link where Metropolitan Onuphry called on the “head of the Russian State to stop its aggression against Ukraine” and where it is his intent to “distance his church from the MP.” There is absolutely no evidence I can find that supports this.

    For someone who brags about all the information he gets from Russian websites, you sure get a lot of things mixed up. If your point was that Fr Alexander Webster could learn something from emulating you, I think he’d probably pass. He prefers to have his ducks in a row before he speaks.


      Pat. Kirill’s letter does not sound like Moscow is willing to concede anything but rather is quite preciously close to going full tilt boogie in rejecting Constantinople’s primacy over the current conflict.

      It is too little too late, of course. I’m disappointed at the under-reaction of the Orthodox world to Bartholomew.

      No one is systematically analyzing the situation in regular statements and correspondences as the manifestation in the Phanar of a heresy which we might call “sine paribus”, reminiscent of the “filioque” heresy of ages past. This heresy asserts a special charism, much like that of bishop (but universal) to the very person of the Archbishop of Constantinople. This is simply a form of Roman Catholicism, adapted for the Orthodox, by those educated and allied with the RCC. Bartholomew’s actions on a number of matters, Ukraine included, are dependent on this sine paribus heresy being his guide.

      A blind man could see this a mile away. Thus, there is no unity to be preserved. Uniatism has already entered the Church. And the only question is how sick will the Church allow itself to get before the malignant tumor (the Phanar) is removed.