29 November 2009

The Four Advents

Catholic tradition says that there are four comings of Christ. All of them are mentioned in the Advent Liturgy. The first is His coming in the flesh. The last is when He comes again in glory. But between them are two more: Christ comes into our hearts, and Christ comes for us at our death. The purpose of this season is to prepare us for all of these "advents".

In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te
in saecula saeculorum.

16 November 2009

Selecting a Patriarch, Serbian Style

Patriarch PAVLE of the Serbian Orthodox church died today. May his memory be eternal. He led his flock through some tough times.

Now comes the process of finding a new Patriarch to serve the Serbian church. Here's how they do it:

~Candidates for patriarch must have five years of eparchy service.

~The names of the three bishops who receive the most votes are put into separate envelopes and placed inside the Holy Gospel.

~The Holy Gospel is then placed at the holy throne in the church.

~A monk, who is appointed by the Assembly, takes out the envelopes from the Holy Gospel and draws one of them.

~The monk then hands it to the chairman of the Election Assembly to read the name of the new head of Serbia's Orthodox Church.

This process was instituted in the 1960s to keep politics out of the Church and is the way Patriarch PAVLE was selected.

What do you think of this "vote to narrow it down then let God decide" approach?