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About this website

O Great Mystery is a website devoted to contemplating and celebrating the great mysteries of the Orthodox Christian faith.

Background

This website was first developed on behalf of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, formerly a parish of the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC). The EOC began as a communion of protestant evangelical churches searching for continuity with the historic Christian church. The majority of churches were received into the Antiochian Archdiocese under his eminence, Metropolitan Philip, in 1987. (See Becoming Orthodox, by Archpriest Peter Gilquist, for more information.) Some were not ready at that time to take the step of joining the canonical Orthodox Church. EOC Bishop Kenneth Samuel [Jensen] of Indianapolis was one of those who took this path.

This was by no means a repudiation of Orthodoxy. Holy Trinity continued exploring Orthodox theology and worship. Holy Trinity developed an understanding of herself as an intentional, orthodox, eucharistic community. A relationship formed between Holy Trinity, her mission parishes, and the Communities of New Skete. New Skete is a monastic foundation in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). This relationship led naturally to Holy Trinity and her mission parishes adopting the rites developed by the Monks of New Skete.

Before the website was ready to go public, EOC Bp. Samuel retired. Holy Trinity and her daughter parishes continued exploring the possibility of communion with the worldwide Orthodox Church, a process initiated by his grace in part as a result of the relationship with New Skete. We felt if "we pray what we believe and we believe what we pray" and we're praying the same prayers as the Orthodox Church, we should be truly be part of the Orthodox Church. Most of the mission parishes were received into the Diocese of the South, OCA under his eminence Dmitri [Royster]. Holy Trinity and the one remaining parish were received as missions in the Diocese of the Midwest under his eminence Job [Osacky]. Thanks be to God!

During the transition, it was decided that this website could no longer be supported by any of the parishes. The website development team recognized the value of the site and decided to continue work as a volunteer project. Though the members of the development team are all chrismated Orthodox Christians, O Great Mystery is a personal website with no official connection to any Orthodox Church. It is our prayer that this ascesis will be profitable to you as it has been for us.

Due to unfortunate timing and circumstances, this site was offline for a number of years and thought to be lost. Thankfully, we were able to recover most of it and began restoring and updating it during Pascha 2013.

Hymns and Resources

Many hymns and other texts on this site are provided courtesy of the Monks of New Skete. Please note that although we feature works by the Monks of New Skete, we are not directly related in any way to New Skete monastery. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their liturgical work, prayers, and gentle guiding of the EOC churches towards the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The main hymns featured on this site are taken from the following book:

Troparia and Kondakia
A systematic collection of various hymns used in Orthodox services: the troparia, kondakia, theotokia, Jerusalem troparia (ypakoai) and exapostilaria for Great Lent, the Paschal season, the eight resurrectional tones, and for each day of the Orthodox calendar of saints, including the twelve great feasts and the days of the week. Translated from the original Greek or Church Slavonic into clear, literary-quality modern American English with the smooth rhythm conducive to an intelligible musical rendition. Signs indicate rank of each feast. Extensive introduction. Index. Gold-stamped light brown imitation leather hard cover, sewn binding with red edges and 3 assorted colored ribbon markers. Printed on the highest quality cream vellum paper with large, easy-to-read black text and red titles.
ISBN 0-9607924-7-3
1984, 450 pp.

If you are interested in purchasing this or any of their other fine liturgical texts, you can contact them at:

Liturgy & Art
Monks of New Skete
PO Box 128
Cambridge NY 12816

Email: monks@newskete.com
Phone: (518) 677-3928
FAX: (518) 677-2373
Web: http://www.newskete.com/