SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 6
Academic periodical of St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 6. 2013. 160 p.
Sacraments of Pre-baptismal Repentance (Confession) and Baptism: Attempt at Introduction Thereof in Mystagogical Cycle of Contemporary Catechesis
As part of the mystagogical cycle of catechesis when the meaning of the sacrament of enlightenment is being explained in accordance with the patristic tradition it is desirable to point out that pre-baptismal repentance (confession) is seen as a sacramental pre-requisite of entering the Christian church in a proper way. The sacramental expression of this entrance is the unity of the sacraments of baptism, chrismation, and the first communion at the Eucharist. Pre-baptismal repentance as a rule constitutes a process of some duration involving a conversion of a person, i. e. a return from life in accordance with the logic of this world to his/her Heavenly Father. A renewal of life and a willingness to follow the example of Christ become the basis for ‘baptism into Christ’ and open to the newly baptized the gracious way of further sanctification and transformation of his/her life in the Church and in the world.
Keywords: mystagogy, pre-baptismal repentance/confession, baptism, enlightenment.
Aims and Conditions of Catechumenate in the Patristic Tradition and their Possible Application in Modern Church Practice
The article presents main principles of the patristic tradition of catechumenate and their possible application in modern Church practice. Catechetical learning is designed to facilitate full inclusion into the church modus vivendi, into the life of the new people of God. It necessarily means core change of priorities and acquisition of skills of living in this otherness. That is why Catechumenate must be estimated not as a historical temporal practice, but as a universal means of Church reception of its new members. In the modern conditions of existence of church communities all encompassing nature of purpose and aims of catechetical instruction determines that the preference is given to the long-term and elaborately structured catechumenate practice.
Keywords: catechesis, catechumenate, stages, listening, enlightening, examination of faith, training catechists.
Missionary Ministry of the Laity
The article provides theological grounding for the role of the laity in the mission of the Orthodox Church. The main forms and principles of the laymen participation in missionary ministry are also analysed. The article identifies problems of their preparation for the mission and its different levels such as personal testimony, ministry of revived missionary parishes, missionary activity of Orthodox communities and brotherhoods, spiritual movements, missionary societies and other organizations. Principles of the present-day Orthodox mission, its basic challenges and forms are also examined in the article.
Keywords: Church, Orthodox mission, laity, community, brotherhood, missionary society.
Student Works at SFI’s Department of Missiology, Catechetics and Homiletics
Main Principles of the Mission of Altai Missionaries of the Second Half of the XIX – Early XX Century
The author outlines main principles of the mission, suggested by the outstanding Russian Orthodox missionary of the XIX century Archimandrite Makary (Glukharev) (1792–1847). Practically applying these principles he developed, complemented and elaborated them. Analysis of various source materials (letters, missionary and travel notes, accounts, etc.) made it possible to demonstrate continuity, evolution and implementation of the principles in the ministry of Altai missionaries-disciples of Venerable Makary.
Keywords: mission, Altai, Makary (Glukharev), principles of the mission, missionary brigades (“druzhina”).
The Characteristics of the Missionary Work of the Archbishop of Kazan and Sviiazh Vladimir (Petrov)
This article uses the writings of the missionary and religious enlightener Archbishop of Kazan and Sviiazh Vladimir (Petrov) (1828–1897) to provide an overview of his missionary activities. In the process it examines the related practical questions he was concerned with, including the preparation and organization of the mission; the theoretical ideal of the missionary and the missionary lifestyle; the fundamental characteristics of the missionarized population.
Keywords: Altai mission, history of the missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Vladimir (Petrov), translation of the liturgy, foreigners peoples, missionary, Synodal period.
Paradigm of Precatechesis of People with Anomalies and Peculiarities in Mental and Physical Health (Severely Ill, Mentally Handicapped, or Goners): Practice of the Early Church and Present-Day Experience
The article examines the paradigm of precatechesis and main characteristics of the precatechesis process in cases of severely ill or dying people and precatechumens with anomalies in mental health. Enchurching of such people requires church experience and pastoral delicacy of a catechist. Reference to the tradition of the early Church, particularly to liturgical canonic artifacts, testimonies of writers apologists and teachers of the Church, compared to present-day Christian Catholic (universal) practice may become utterly useful during precatechisis in special cases.
Keywords: catechesis, catechumenate, «special» catechumens, illness, mental and physical ailments, healing, precatechesis.
Problems of a Homilist Preparation for Preaching
The article examines process of a homilist preparation for preaching as for the ministry of word. The process comprises several stages: formation of the personality of the future preacher, calling for the ministry, acquisition of special knowledge. Problems of preparation directly for the delivery of a sermon are touched upon separately. Of additional interest is analysis of two autonomous types of sermon: written and oral (improvisation) and peculiarities of preparation for each of them. The author comes to the conclusion that recommendations for preparation for preaching in different ages of Christian history to a large extent coincide. It indicates that this particular ministry is rooted in the tradition of the original Church, i. e. in the ministry of Christ and His disciples.
Keywords: sermon, homilist, didactics, prophet, improvisation.
Image of Christianity in Perception of Contemporary Russians (in Connection to Aims of Christian Mission in Russia)
The article describes main features of the image of Christianity in perception of contemporary Russians in comparison to the authentic (early and patristic) Christianity. Main difficulties and problems concerning the mission connected to the existing stereotype of Christianity perception are indicated. The author expresses some suggestions on how to resist negative influence of this image on introduction to the genuine Christianity.
Keywords: image of Christianity, faith, God, Christ, mission, church, perception of Russians, Christianity, paganism, superstition, national identity.