Maui Orthodox Christian Mission
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Who We Are
The Maui Orthodox Christian Mission is a Pan-Orthodox Christian mission parish on the island of Maui under the Greek Orthodox Metropolis Of San Francisco. The mission parish is a small community following a traditional expression of Christian faith and worship as practiced over millennia by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Spirit-filled, Friendly, Inclusive, Historic, Young families, Lots of kids
Faith and Work, Choir, Missions
Psalms a capella, Traditional Hymns, Praise and Worship
What are services like?
THE DIVINE LITURGY is considered the most significant ancient Christian service, not so much for its phrasing and words as for its meaning. In fact, the Divine Liturgy was in practice right after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples of Christ on the 50th day after His Resurrection, as the sacred writer of the Acts of the Apostles records (Acts 2:46 ff). The Divine Liturgy in its swaddlings at the beginning of the Christian era consisted of free hymns and prayers for the officiating of a certain framework of faith. It was officiated long before the beginning of the writings of the New Testament. The Divine Liturgy as such was the center of the inspiration of the first Christians in their communion with God and with one another. The Apostle Paul refers to the meaning of the Divine Liturgy (1 Cor. 11: 23-30) quoting the words of the Lord, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." And the Apostle admonishes, saying, "For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come" (v. 25, 26). He also stresses the point that he who draws near the cup "unworthily" will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord (v. 27), and orders a thorough examination before receiving Holy Communion because otherwise the Holy Communion will be "damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (v. 29). It leaves not the slightest doubt that the Apostle Paul stated in his writings that the strongest belief of the primitive Church was that of the awesome change of the Species, which initiated new members into the sacred Mysterion of the Christian religion, that is, the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. THE MOST ANCIENT DESCRIPTION of the order and time of the Holy Eucharist (Divine Liturgy) is preserved in the 1st Apology by Justin the Martyr, Ch. 67, written in 138 A.D. (Migne 6, 429-432). The space in this short description does not allow the text to be printed here in its entirety. In brief, he refers to the day, which he calls the day of the sun (the Lord's Day, the day of Kyrios, that is Kyriake, Sunday, the first day of the week, in memory of the Resurrection of the Lord.) On this day the Christians gathered together to participate in the Divine Liturgy. As to the order of the diagram of the Liturgy, Justin refers to: the reading of the Scriptures, the exhortation by the Notable, Proestos, the offering of prayers, the offering of bread, wine and water the long thanksgiving, eucharistic, prayer of sanctification by the Notable, the partaking of Holy Communion, and the collection for charity. It is the same order that St. Chrysostom follows in his Liturgy used today. Justin the Martyr gives us only a diagram and not the actual prayers and words. At that time, although the meaning and significance of the Divine Liturgy had been determined as to the change of the Species into the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, the prayers were recited freely by the Notable. "We pray," writes Tertullian, "without a prompter, sine monitore, praying by heart" (Apol. C, 30 Migne PL 1,504). "It was allowed to the prophets (the Notables) in whatever way they would like to give thanks (to God)." Only the Dedache of the Apostle, (a writing contemporary to Justin; cpt. 9-10) cites two Eucharistic prayers and a prayer after the Holy Communion. In these prayers Jesus Christ is called "the Vineyard of David," and it is stated that "the Lord is near ... let the Grace come and the world may disappear." THE DIAGRAM OF THE DIVINE LITURGY The Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom consists of readings from the Scriptures and of solemn hymns and prayers. Its spoken words are chanted by the priest and sung by the "people", who are now replaced by the cantor or the choir. Besides the spoken words, the main part of the Liturgy is read inaudibly by the priest, a custom which now prevails. It is a matter of fact that most of the "exaltations" of the priest are the ends of the prayers inaudibly read, and have not a complete meaning apart from the prayers. It is to be remembered that the Divine Liturgy is offered to enact the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist, from the Greek verb, Eucharistein, and the noun, Eucharistia, has not only the meaning of thanksgiving but, more so, that of sacrifice. Whenever Holy Communion is offered, the partaking by all the faithful is intended. As a prelude there are petitions, Bible readings, exhortations and the confession. They open the awesome drama in which all the faithful participate. This participation includes singing, reading, listening, some gestures and the par taking of Holy Communion. The following is a diagram of the Divine Liturgy: Beginning: The Liturgy starts with a blessing of the Kingdom of God, which includes the Sacred Body of Christ on earth; His Church. Petitions: They are small prayers which the priest offers especially for the peace of the world, with the people responding, Kyrie eleison; Lord, have mercy. Antiphons: These are readings from the Old Testament, especially from Psalms 102 and 145, with refrains of Christian meanings and specifically references to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Entry with the Gospel: This entry represents the ancient practice when the priest took the Gospel by the light of torches from the crypt, an underground safeguard to protect the Gospel from destruction by the pagans, bringing it up to the Church. The priest lifts up the Gospel and exclaims: "Wisdom," which means Christ, and calls the people to worship and bow down to Christ. Trisagion: A short prayer praising the Holiness of God. Readings from the New Testament: (1) A part of the Book of Acts or the Epistles of the Apostles read by the reader. (2) Another section from the Gospels read by the priest. (The specific sections read are determined by the Church and are the same every year.) Sermon: It is incorporated as an exhortation from the priest to the people on the Good News of salvation. (The part of the service for the Catechumens is now omitted). Cherubic Hymn and Entry with the Holy Gifts: This is a procession with the yet unsanctified Species taken from the table of Preparation and brought to the Altar during which the Cherubic hymn is sung: "Let us put away all worldly care so that we may receive the King of all." (An addition made in the 9th century) Ectenia of the Oblation: They are small prayers completing "our supplications to the Lord". To these supplications the people respond, "Grant this, O Lord". The Prayer of Oblation is now inaudibly read by the Priest saying: "Enable us to offer to Thee gifts and spiritual sacrifices for our sins." A Short Creed: This is a proclamation of the Holy Trinity in connection with brotherhood. It is chanted now before the Nicaean Creed. Creed: This is the concise and accurate confession of the Christian faith in 12 articles formulated by 1st, 2nd Ecumenical Synod at Nicaea in 325 A.D. (The Nicaean Creed is recited during every Liturgy, an addition made in the 9th century; prior to that time it was recited only during the Liturgy at Easter). Prayer of Sanctification: It includes dialogues of excerpts from the long prayer of sanctification which is now read inaudibly by the priest and which, in fact, is the very heart of the significance of the Divine Liturgy. The dialogues start with the offering of the Oblation (the Species, Bread and Wine), continues with blessings and the actual words of the Lord, "this is my body ... this is my blood," and climax in the sanctification of the Species. Now the Bread and Wine are lifted by the priest, who exclaims, "Thine own of Thine own we offer to Thee, O Lord." At this time, generally the people kneel, and the choir sings: "We praise thee... we give thanks to thee, O Lord". In continuation, the priest commemorates the Saints and especially the Virgin Mary, as well as the faithful ones. Petitions: These are small prayers referring to the spiritual welfare of the city, the nation, the Church and the individual. Lord's Prayer: It is recited by the people; the priest follows it with the exaltation. Breaking the Lamb: At this point the priest elevates the Lamb (the consecrated Bread) saying: "The Holy things for those who are holy," and breaks it in commemoration of the actual Eucharist. Also at this time the priest pours warm water, zeon, into the Chalice, a reminiscence of the very primitive Church (see, Justin the Martyr). Prayers before Holy Communion and Partaking of the Holy Gifts by the Priest: Now the doors of the Altar are generally closed and the priest partakes of the Holy Gifts separately and then combines both Elements into the Chalice; a later practice of the Church. Holy Communion: Both the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Christ, combined in the Chalice, are given to the prepared faithful when the priest calls them to "draw near with reverence." In ancient times the Holy Gifts were given to the faithful separately, first the Body and then the Cup, from which the faithful drank in turn, as is the continued practice for the clergymen today. Thanksgiving Prayers: These are prayers of gratitude to Almighty God for the privilege which is given to the faithful to commune with Him. Dismissal Hymn: The priest calls the people to depart with a prayer by which he asks the Lord to "save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance." In conclusion he blesses the people, saying, "May the blessing of the Lord come upon you." The people seal the Liturgy by responding, "Amen." Blessed bread, antithoron, which means "instead of the Gift," is given to all at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
What is the community like?
What unites the Orthodox is theology. All members of the Church profess the same beliefs regardless of race or nationality. Members of the Church are fully united in faith and the Sacred Mysteries with all Orthodox congregations. Maui is quite a unique location for a new mission as it is at the nexus of vibrant Eastern Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in both America and Asia. So our church community has members from different jurisdictions and visitors from around the world.
What if I'm not a Christian?
Joining the Orthodox Church The Orthodox Church welcomes believers from all backgrounds and traditions. The process for joining for the Orthodox Church requires a great deal of preparation and involvement in the life of the Church. Christians from Roman Catholic or Protestant churches who desire to join the Orthodox Church are required to: worship at the Sunday Liturgy faithfully for at least six months; learn the Orthodox faith by attending a series of classes on the Orthodox faith and by personal study; meet individually with a priest; prepare for and come to the Sacrament of Confession; identify a sponsor who will support them at the time of their reception and afterwards. Following these, they are received into the Church through the Sacrament of Chrismation (the anointing of holy myrrh). This service is usually conducted in public on major holy days of the year, above all at Holy Pascha (Easter). Believers who do not have a baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity, along with seekers from other religious traditions or no tradition, are received into the Church through the same process that leads to Baptism instead of Chrismation.