In Abkhazia

[vodpod id=Video.15506091&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

In Abkhazia, posted with vodpod

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.





28 responses to “In Abkhazia”

  1. NW Juliana Avatar
    NW Juliana

    This is the Church I love. Thank you so much for posting this, Father Stephen. Our family was much blessed by it this afternoon.

  2. Andrew Avatar

    Father this makes perfect sense, thank you. I could make out only one word, любовь but it was the right one.

  3. Sean Avatar

    Is this a normal liturgy or some other kind of service?

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    These are highlights from a normal liturgy. The iconostasis is quite minimalist, probably for recent (even rebuilding efforts). The liturgy is in Abkhazian and in Slavonic. Some of the chants are quite old.

  5. Dana Ames Avatar
    Dana Ames

    Indeed a blessing. What a fabulously beautiful place of worship!

    Lovely to see a woman leading the choir. It’s hard for my Protestant friends to understand how much responsibility women can actually have in the Orthodox Church.


  6. Jeffery Avatar

    What a beautiful church! I feel so blessed to be part of so great a Faith. Thanks for posting this video, Father. It moved me greatly.

  7. Molly Avatar

    Very beautiful, thank you for sharing. I’m living near South Ossetia for the school year, and it’s terrible how politics have affected the relationship between the people here, including the churches, these past several hundred years.

  8. Philip Jude Avatar

    Amazing how they stand the entire liturgy. Is this the practice in American Orthodox churches, as well?

  9. Karen Avatar

    So beautiful. . . . May the Lord have mercy on His people in this part of the world, so strife torn.

  10. fatherstephen Avatar

    Philip Jude – only in some places do people stand for the entire liturgy in America. Mostly those whose liturgical tradition is rooted in Russia.

  11. Philip Jude Avatar


    Maybe you can explain something to me. In my exploration of Orthodoxy, I have gone to a few Greek liturgies. I was surprised to see people walking in and out of the main room (not the technical term, but you know what I mean), talking in the adjacent galleries, praying individually before icons — all during the liturgy! Needless to say, I was taken a back. I know from my Catholic heritage that people used to pray rosaries and private devotions during the Latin Mass . . . is this a similar phenomenon? It seemed borderline rude, but I figured it was probably something cultural that I was losing in translation, so to speak.

  12. fatherstephen Avatar

    Practice will vary from place to place, but Orthodoxy sees the Church as temple, a place to pray and the House of God. There is more freedom of movement indeed. However, conversations would be considered disrespectul and be discouraged. But acts of piety (lighting candles, etc.) would be fine except during certain time (the Epiclesis, etc. or the processions, etc.).

  13. Ryan Avatar

    Is this church part of the Georgian church, or is it one of the Abkhaz breakaways?

  14. Niphon Avatar

    Pardon my possibly offensive two cents, but I think the question fraught with peril and somewhat missing the point. Please forgive me if I offend.

  15. Gocha Avatar

    It is indeed a Georgian Orthodox church currently in a temporary disobedience due to politics…

  16. Tommy Estep Avatar
    Tommy Estep

    The only Orthodox Church within reasonable distance of where I live currently has no priest as he died a year ago. My heart aches and yearns to join the one true church. Just watching this video almost had me in tears.

  17. OldToad Avatar

    Tommy Estep–Are you able to get in touch with member[s] of the congregation? Perhaps they could help you solve the difficulty. It’s very sad to contemplate the sheep without a shepherd.

  18. Andrew Avatar

    Father, might I suggest we revisit the meaning of communion, in order that the left hand be disuaded from knowing what the right is doing — and vice-versa?

  19. Angela Weaver Avatar

    Absolutely wonderful. I wish we would see many, many more women cover their heads in American Orthodox Churches. Thank you for posting Father.

  20. John Avatar

    I’m a Catholic but this service reminds me of how much we owe to our Orthodox brothers. Truly magnificent!

  21. Ken Kannady Avatar
    Ken Kannady

    We are all brothers and sisters, but even tho we live in different houses……we must all meet together in love. Ken

  22. Anita Avatar

    It’s an Abkhaz Church, not Georgian.

  23. jose Avatar

    Awww, i wish i could go someday to this kind of liturgy, it seems so perfect, it reflects the real contemplation of God, something totally different to other liturgies, that is something i don´t really understand, why there are so many liturgies, and wich one is the right one?, I mean there has to be one perfect liturgy, the one most close to God, to heaven the most saint one, (sorry for my english)

  24. Tengo Avatar

    In Sukhum, in the Central exhibition hall of the Union of artists of Abkhazia opened a photo exhibition “New Athos monastery and Abkhazia in it” and the premiere of two films – “One day of the monastery life” and “History of Christianity in Abkhazia “, every of these movies lasts 26 minutes. The first film shows the life of New Athos monks, and the second tells about the Christianity in Abkhazia from the first preachers to the present days.

    “One day of the monastery life”

  25. fatherstephen Avatar

    Beautiful film! Thank you.

  26. Andrew Avatar

    Thank you Father!

  27. John Avatar

    I was just wondering what some of those people were doing. I see the comments are gone. I wish we could talk on email, but I guess not. Just delete this when you read it. I reckon it will go straight to your iphone.

  28. fatherstephen Avatar

    I am sorry that I am not able to give proper time to cmments and emails lately. My time has been minimized by circumstances. I hope to return to a fuller schedule in about six weeks or so.

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