Facing East A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of


  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Facing East A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy
  • Frederica Mathewes-Green
  • English
  • 13 February 2016
  • 9780060850005

10 thoughts on “Facing East A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy

  1. says:

    Read this about a year before I converted to Orthodox Christianity Frederica is basically a former hippie who with her husband converted to Episcopalianism; her husband became an Episcopal priest and they eventually converted to Orthodoxy after they became disenchanted with the direction of the Episcopal Church The Mathewes Greens were part of an interesting phenomenon which began in the mid to late 1980s where Protestant ministers their families and sometimes their entire congregations converted to Orthodoxy usually going to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese until then a relatively small jurisdiction consisting mainly of Syrian Orthodox Christians and converts The presence of so many former Protestant evangelicals has injected interesting new life into American Orthodoxy which has traditionally been characterized by ethnic jurisdictions in an uneasy peace with one another but which is now blossoming into a truly pan Orthodox movement with new arrivals from Orthodox countries converts and cradle Orthodox all co existing in parishes across the countryThis book is basically the story of a small Antiochian Orthodox mission parish of converts finding its way but it's also the story of Frederica a Protestant convert finding her way to and through Orthodoxy I found the book uite useful in figuring out what to expect as I journeyed from being a very lapsed Roman Catholic to a newly chrismated Orthodox Christian and indeed we experienced many of the same things like figuring out fasting rules the true joy of Pascha and becoming part of a parish communitySome find Frederica's writing style to be overly folksy or chummy; others find it girl talky I didn't think it was that bad; if anything it showed me that Orthodox Christians aren't mysterious folks who stand for 2 hour church services swathed in incense they're just people like me


  2. says:

    I read this book seeking explanations about Orthodox beliefs music fasting rules iconography and views on other Christian traditions However this book is a continuous flow of Frederica's disjointed thoughts and feelings rather than a commentary on what real Orthodox do and why they do it I wanted substance but Frederica only offers shallow personal vignettes that were surprisingly flippant Overall this is a disappointing book written by someone who regards herself much too highly


  3. says:

    Yes this is an NPR commentator’s memoir of the “personal journey” sort but there’s nothing typical in Frederica’s approach– no awkward exhibitionism no sense that life is being filtered and processed turned into a cultural commodity In fact the book reads like a wagon train tale of a couple packing up their children and their future and driving off into an untamed frontier And that frontier just happens to be– to American eyes at least– the most mysterious and most radically traditional form of Christianity This is a rare sort of book; it's so charming and inviting that you end up wishing you had a neighbor like Frederica


  4. says:

    This book contains one of my favorite uotes of all times I can't recall the exact setup of the uote so forgive me but I sure can relate to the sentimentBut oh how sweet is anger When I'm angry I'm not in the wrong Somebody else is in the wrong and for once I have peace A delicious peace that gnaws over the wrong like a lion with a ragged bone It is delicious and compelling enough that it urges me to accumulate other wrongs and hold them greedily close I love to be wronged; only then for that brief moment can I be sure I'm right It is intoxicating in its sweetness this brief joy in being right It is good to be a victim because victims are sinless This is one of those books that I wanted to love and had a hard time keeping my eyes open at parts It seems like 9 times out of 10 when I don't enjoy a book as much as I expected to I tend to focus on what I did wrong in the reading process too fast distracted needed to loan to someone on a deadline read when i was tired etc That being said I think that this book does do a good job of highlighting the author's experience as she and her husband became part of the Orthodox community I especially liked when she talked about things she struggled with and against


  5. says:

    i've read this several times and the fact that the author de mystified much of Orthodoxy for me helped in my conversion perhaps this is why many people i've encountered aren't that fond of the book its folksy manner but it allowed me to see that Orthodoxy wasn't just something for Greeks and Russians etc but for anyone searching for the Original Church even us Southerners


  6. says:

    I think I have read too many of Frederica's books in too short a time because it is getting blurry what she wrote where I read somewhere a comparison of Frederica Mathewes Green with Kathleen Norris who started writing about her Christian faith and her times of retreat in a monastery in Minnesota I think that the comparison falls flat Norris is a better writer and is not so formulaicThis book is based on the same formula as her other book At the Corner of East and Now She writes in this book specifically of the beginning of hers and her husbands life as converts to the Orthodox Christian Church Alternating chapters that explain the liturgy or feast days are chapters on the life of those in their home children and guests and in their church Frederica's husband becomes an Orthodox priest and shepherds a newly planted Orthodox churchI like what she writes about the newness of their discoveries in the ancient liturgy of the Orthodox Church But it is kind of the same thing as she has written in At the Corner of East and Now Perhaps I should read a few of her other booksWhat struck me most in this book is that she is writing about converts from western Christian denominations to Eastern Orthodoxy There are only 2 cradle Orthodox I think in their church Knowing a few former Orthodox Christians myself she paints a much different experience and attitude than that reflected by my friends some of whom converted from Orthodoxy to Protestant denominations so they could learn to read the Bible and love Jesus They fled the unfocused and mystical you never know what you are doing attitude and also the rather oppressive regime of fasting Frederica mentions that of course this Orthodox fasting is as you can do it but since it is highly stressed my former Orthodox friend likened it to concentration camp Frederica likens the eastern Orthodox fasting practices to boot camp I guess it depends on your perspective I was also struck with trying to understand the scriptural basis for separating the Orthodox congregation with the work of the priests that they carry out behind the iconostatis It seems that when Jesus died and the temple veil was torn from top to bottom it signified that there was no longer priest standing between God and man now but that man had direct access now to God It seems to me that the Orthodox tradition re establishes that veil but I don't really know whyIt would be worthwhile to find a book by a contemporary cradle Orthodox and read it and compare


  7. says:

    In 1992 the husband of Frederica Mathewes Green decided to leave the Episcopal Church for the fullness of Orthodoxy a move which she approached with nervousness but ultimately embraced Mrs Mathewes Green has since become one of the foremost writers on Orthodoxy in America FACING EAST introduces Orthodoxy by following the activities of her small parish Holy Cross Orthodox Mission in MarylandI enjoy the small pieces that often appear from Mrs Mathewes Green but I find that her style becomes rather exhausting at greater length In writing a work of this size she often can't resist the temptation to go off on tangents While some are uite fascinating such as her thoughts on the artist Rev Howard Finster most are dramatic expositions of the lives of her parishioners and children The book certainly doesn't stand up to academic presentations of Orthodoxy such as Kallistos Ware's classic THE ORTHODOX CHURCH or even Fr Peter Guiluist's BECOMING ORTHODOX as rigorous theological arguments are missing People wishing to know about Orthodoxy as a system of belief are advised to look elsewhereRather than being a presentation of theology this work is useful for learning about the cultural expressions of the Orthodox faith The various rituals and fasts of the liturgical year are show in greater detail than in most works As a parishioner in the OCA I found the descriptions of customs of other juridictions to be interesting And as a member of a relatively established parish with its own church building and parish house the book helped me understand the challenges which missionary parishes faceIf you are curious about the Orthodox Church and have not read any materials about it previously I would recommend Ware's THE ORTHODOX CHURCH The work of Mrs Mathewes Green though I wouldn't describe it as essential reading may make a nice light piece to read as you discover ever about the Church


  8. says:

    Facing East recounts a year in the life of a small Orthodox mission one created by six families that include a newly minted priest Mathews Green's husband The M Gs as the author refers to her family later on are both converts to the faith and throughout this piece she reflects on the way her experience has changed in the last three years as she and her husband begin to soak in the liturgy and live the Orthodox life deeply While this is not a formal introduction to Orthodoxy or even a conversion testimonial Mrs M G often provides exposition about the what and why of service Like the faith itself however this tale is experiential than epistemological We encounter the sacraments Baptism for instance not through lectures but through the lives of the congregants communicated in the intimate and awe filled style of the author Short though it may be Facing East provides a hint of how deep a well the Orthodox tradition is The mission of Holy Cross may be small and relegated to renting a space that has to be evacuated every Sunday afternoon to make room for the weekday tenants but in their religious life they are as firmly established as any of the grandest metropolitan seats or parishes across the world


  9. says:

    I have been undergoing the slow process of updating my library's non fiction collection over the last year and a half I have been at LPL The purchase of this book was part of my attempt to bolster the 200s and offer something for each of the faith communities in our townI confess I am not Orthodox but the research librarian in me likes to discover about topics of which I know very little and this book was just the ticket for that endeavor It's not a theological treatise or a how to book on how to convert to the faith but the vignettes offer a glimpse into what it's like to be a part of this particular faith community and body of believers I appreciated Frederica's honesty and humor; her writing style was reminiscent of a motherly figure sharing stories over a cup of tea and a plate of cookies In short it was exactly what I needed to get me out of this reading slump I have found myself in


  10. says:

    I want to be on record reading this book to be able to recommend her other book “Introducing Orthodoxy” for seekers be read first This is a wonderful and fascinating book regarding aspects of Orthodoxy but a better follow up to the aforementioned work by the author Do read both books and then for depth of understanding pick up any book by Bishop Ware He is brilliant at distilling complex theological ideas to understandable and relatable notions One of the first I recommend is ‘The Jesus Prayer” a short but illuminating book that reveals the essence of Orthodoxy


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Facing East A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy[PDF / EPUB] Facing East A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy The Classic Story of a Family's Pilgrimage into the Orthodox Church Veiled in the smoke of incense the Eastern Orthodox Church has long been an enigma to the Western world Yet as Frederica Mathewes Gr A Pilgrim's PDF/EPUB æ The Classic Story of a Family's Pilgrimage into the Orthodox Church Veiled in the smoke of incense the Eastern Orthodox Church has long been an enigma to the Western world Yet as Frederica Mathewes Green discovered it is a vital living faith rich in ritual beauty and steadfast in integrity Utilizing the framework of the Orthodox East A Pilgrim's Journey into PDF \ calendar Mathewes Green chronicles a year in the life of her small Orthodox mission church elouently illustrating the joys and blessings an ancient faith can bring to the worshipers of today.