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Orthodox Christian Missions

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New Service Books in Zulu and English

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At a gathering of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria we presented Archbishop Damaskinos with a copy of a new service book in English and Zulu, and copies were offered to all the clergy present.

The book has the Third and the Sixth Hours and the Reader’s Service, based on the Typika used in monasteries on days when the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated. In its present form it is designed for use in mission congregations for Sunday services when there is no priest, and it may be led by a deacon or reader. Some parishes use it if, for any reason, there is no priest available.

The Readers Service (ObednitsaTypika) consists mainly of the parts of the Divine Liturgy that are not reserved to the priest or deacon.

It took rather a long time to get printed in its present form.

In 1997 the African Orthodox Episcopal Church wrote to His Eminence Metropolitan Paul Lyngris, the then Archbishop, asking to be received into the Orthodox Church. The Archbishop asked me to teach them to prepare them for their reception into the Church, and gave his blessing for their clergy to be taught to use the Readers Service, which we then had partly translated into North Sotho. Later His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim gave his blessing for it to be translated into Zulu, and we printed a few copies for use at courses and conferences, but we did not have money to print a large number.

Three years ago Father Daniel Sysoev, a priest who was doing missionary work among Muslims in Moscow, was shot dead, and a group of Serbian Orthodox Christians, inspired by his example, formed a missionary society in his memory. They wrote to Father Pantelejmon, a Serbian priest in Johannesburg, asking if they could help us to print liturgical books in local languages. Father Pantelejmon asked me if we had anything ready for publication, and I remembered the Zulu translation of the Reader’s Book. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos 500 copies were printed by the missionary society in Belgrade, in memory of Fr Daniel Sysoev.

Source: Khanya

Written by Stephen

January 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Monasticism in South Africa — A Fragile Plant

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Br Justin, Tim Sparks, Fr Seraphim

A short reflection by Dn. Steve Hayes, from his Khanya blog.

Orthodox monasticism in Southern Africa is a fragile plant.

For the last few years there have been one or two people trying to live the monastic life, in one or other of the three “monasteries” in Gauteng (can you call it a monastery when there are no monks?)

Father Nazarius and Father Elias established the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Gerardville in 2000. Then Fr Nazarius died in 2008, and there were no monks there for a couple of years. Deacon Nectarius lived at Hennops Pride for a while, and then at St Nectarius, and then went overseas for a kidney stone operation and hasn’t returned. Fr Seraphim, as far as we know, was the first monk to be tonsured in South Africa, by Patriarch Theodoros, in 2006, but then he was ordained and sent to work in a parish as a parish priest.

At the beginning of this year, however, Fr Seraphim returned to the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, and has been joined by Brother Justin, who, though not quite a novice, seems as though he may become one. They have been doing maintenance work on the buildings, which had deteriorated quite a lot, and are trying to make the place more habitable. There are a couple of others living on the property, who are not monastics, but form part of the wider community.

Earlier in the week I took Tim Sparks of Durban to go and spend a few days with them. Though they are not really geared to receive vistitors, certainly not in large numbers, it is possible now for people who are interested in the monastic life to go and spend some time with them, for prayer, work and study.

Written by Stephen

July 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

South Africa: Two Farewells

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Fr. Dn. Steve Hayes of South Africa recently posted on his blog, Khanya, about a funeral and the departure and arrival of two Russian priests to serve the Russian-speaking population of South Africa. A portion is below, and the rest with pictures can be read here.

On Saturday 23 January we had the funeral of Theodora (Rosina) Thamaga, the widow of Father Simon, who died in 2004. Father Simon was Archbishop of the African Orthodox Episcopal Church, an African independent church which asked to join the Orthodox Church in 1997.

After his funeral in 2004, several neighbours who attended his funeral wanted to know more about the Orthodox Church, and so a new mission congregation was started in Tembisa, where Mrs Thamaga lived, and she together with a local school teacher, became leaders of the new congregation. We visited them to help with services every second week from 2005 to 2008, when Father Johannes Rakumako was asked to take charge of the congregation.

For me, the funeral began at 5:00 am, when I left home to drive 20 kilometres to Mamelodi to fetch four of our church members there to take them to Tembisa. We arrived at Tembisa just before 7:00 am, and Father Johannes Rakumako was already there. A tent had been erected in the yard outside the house, and there were about 50 people who had been there for the all night vigil, when the body was received from the undertakers the evening before.

Written by Stephen

January 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Africa, South Africa