It’s not that we Orthodox don’t have a sense of humor. It’s just that most non-Orthodox don’t have a clue what it’s about!
A few samples:
Orthodox Christians: Until recently, most scholars agreed that Orthodox Christians didn’t really exist. Like werewolves, fairies and Romanians, they were simply a charming Old World fable designed to delight children with outlandish details regarding the rich, luxurious beards and interminable arguments about the proper interpretation of Greek words. Upon further reflection, some scholars now cautiously hazard the guess that there are roughly 250 million Orthodox Christians in the world, with a lineage stretching back to the earliest days of the Church. As for what these strange, chanting, hirsute folk actually believe, though, no one is yet confident enough to hazard a guess.
— Tom Breen
Two people meet on a train. After some introductory chat, they discover both are Orthodox and of Russian descent.
Vlad: Old Calendar or New Calendar?
Vlad: Very good. Do you have a three-hour Vigil in church every Saturday night and before every holy day, even if the holy day is on a Monday?
Vlad: Excellent. Pews or no pews?
Vlad: Clean-shaven or bearded priest?
Vlad: Does he wear his cassock and cross on the street?
Vlad: Is your jurisdiction ecumenist or non-ecumenist?
Vlad: Do you have an old-man Trinity icon?
Alex: Uh, yes.
Vlad: Aha! Heretic!
The Light-Bulb Joke:
OK, how many Russian Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Orthodoxy never changes, and, in addition to burning candles like the Catholics, uses oil-burning lamps. ‘Electricity is for those Gregorian calendar-using, liberal ecumenist jurisdictions.’
Which Is The Tradition?
In the village of Omsk all was not well in the local Pokrov Parish. Every year, during Lent, at ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes’, half of the congregation would make a metany at the waist, and half would make a full prostration. The little metanists would start whispering sharply, ‘No! No! From the waist!’ To which the great metanists would hiss back even louder, ‘Wrong! Full prostration! Who are you following, the Devil?!’ And fistfights would break out and the service could not even be completed.
Finally the war-weary parishioners decided to ask their priest, Fr Veniamin. ‘Batiushka, what is the tradition? In Lent, at “Blessed art Thou”, do we make a little metany, or a great metany?’ Knowing the rancour attached to the dispute, poor Fr Veniamin trembled, grew pale, then fainted dead away and fell backwards.
So next they went to the Skete of the Forerunner, and asked Fr Onouphry: ‘Batiushka, we want to know, we have a terrible argument at Omsk–what is the tradition? Because half the people say to make small metanies at “Blessed art Thou” now, and half say great metanies. And we start fighting, terrible, terrible. So, tell us, what is the Tradition?’ Seeing the ferocity in their faces, poor Hieromonk Anatoly simply fainted dead away.
Then someone shouted, ‘Let’s go to Elder Ioann and ask him!’ It was a marvellous idea. Surely the elder’s answer would bring peace, for he was respected by all, a native of Omsk, and his hoary 94 years guaranteed a knowledge of what the old tradition had been.
So a large crowd gathered at the elder’s dacha on the outskirts of town. Some 15 men from both sides entered the dacha, and found frail Elder Ioann lying on his bed. As he struggled to draw himself up and offer tea, they cut him off: ‘Elder Ioann, you have to help us! What is the Tradition? Every year in Lent, at “Blessed art Thou, O Lord”, half of the people at Pokrov make little metanies, and half the people great metanies, and we start to argue, and the service doesn’t even finish because of the fistfight!’ Then Elder Ioann said firmly, in his voice shaking with age, and with tears streaming down his joyful face, ‘That… IS… the Tradition!’
Top Ten Signs You Might Be Russian Orthodox
By ‘Dmitri Letterman’
• On Wednesdays and Fridays you eat Japanese food.
• You’re used to skipping breakfast on Sundays.
• You can automatically subtract 13 days from today’s date.
• On your first encounter with long words, you pronounce them stressing the ‘next to the next to last’ syllable.
• You wonder why the Pope crosses himself backwards when you see him on TV.
• You wear comfortable shoes to church, because you know you’ll be standing a long, long time.
• To you, a ‘topless’ gal is one without a headscarf.
• You get great deals on Christmas trees and Easter candy.
• You spend time figuring out the best way to remove smoke stains from your ceiling.
• When you see a shopping-mall Santa, your first instinct is to hold out your hands to get his blessing.
• Before you pray, you say a prayer.
• You don’t flinch when someone throws water at you.
• When you first tell people who ask what religion you are, at first they think you’re Jewish. Oy!
• You’re experienced at removing wax from clothing.
• When you go to the movies, you and your spouse sit on different sides of the theatre (and you both feel uncomfortable sitting down in public).
• The service routinely starts at least 15 minutes late and lasts 2 ½ hours — and nobody around you complains.
• You know you’re in an Orthodox church when the priest says, ‘Let us complete our prayer to the Lord’, and there’s still half an hour to go.
• When you saw The Deer Hunter for the first time you sang along with the choir during the wedding scene… and knew they were singing Archangelsky’s Praise the Name of the Lord.
• (Slavic) Every woman in church is called Mary, Irene or Helen.
• (Convert) There’s somebody in your church called Barsanuphius and you think nothing of it.
• You find yourself instinctively drawn to jurisdictional chaos. ‘I don’t believe in organized religion; I’m Orthodox!’
• At the end of Holy Week, you have rug burns on your forehead.
• Your Easter isn’t Easter without an all-night party (featuring vodka and 10 dishes of sausage with cheese).
Suggestions for Orthodox Bumper Stickers
(theologic principles that would fit on a bumper sticker)
- Communion: Theosis you can sink your teeth into.
- Love Jesus? Honk 40X
- Orthodoxy: The Church of Acts!
- Lord have Mercy! (40X)
- Orthodoxy: Proclaiming the Truth since 33AD
- Orthodoxy: My Church wrote your Bible
- Orthodox Christianity: Not New, Not Improved
- “Of All Holy Works, The Education of Children is The Most Holy.” – St. Theophan the Recluse
- “The Cross is the gate of mysteries” – St. Isaac the Syrian
- “The way to God is a daily Cross.” – St. Isaac the Syrian
- “Glory to God for All Things!” – Metropolitan Tryphon
- “Obedience with abstinence gives men control over wild beasts.” – Abba Antony
- “As a flame of fire in dry wood, so too is a body with a full belly.” – St. Isaac the Syrian
- Don’t let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
- Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever
- We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
- Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death!
And upon those in the tombs bestowing Life!
- Bidden or unbidden, God is present.
- Orthodox Christianity: Kickin’ it old school since 33AD
- Go East young man go East.
- If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.
- Tired of organized religion? Try Orthodoxy!
- God became man that man may become god.
- If it aint Orthodox, IT’S CRAP!
- That which is not assumed is not healed
- Protestantism: The mixed omelette of the Roman egg.
- Orthodoxy: so easy a caveman can do it.
- God has sovereignly predestined me to choose freely
- Orthodoxy: For kids who love to stay up all night, drink wine, and play with fire
- Orthodoxy: 51% Atkins-Friendly
- Not so close! I may need to do prostrations!
- The Orthodox Church: No only standing for the Truth, but never sitting down either!
- Orthodoxy: Faithfully mainting the tradition started at the Tower of Babel
- Orthodoxy: Fili-Not-Okay
- Orthodoxy: Putting the FUN back in “fundamentalism!”
- In case of rapture, can I have your car??
- Orthodoxy: Universality, Antiquity, Consent.
- Orthodoxy: Pro-Life! Pro-Christ! Pro-Baklava!
- Have you kissed your Mother’s Icon today?
- When in doubt, cross yourself!
- Wisdom! Let us attend … to the road!
- Orthodoxy – Ancestors you can’t remember are part of our Church
- Horn broken. Listen for Anathema.
- Eastern Orthodoxy: the only Church with the word “Easter” in its title!
- You might be Orthodox if … you have rug burns on your forehead 50 days out of the year!
- You might be Orthodox if … you have the words “consubstantial,” “hypostasis” and “filioque” in your vocabulary.
- I’d rather be censing.
- Fish sticks have NO Backbone!
((Last 19 cribbed from the newsletter of one of the Greek Orthodox Churches online that I can’t remember – hit me with a 2×4 and make me say “DOH” – no original thought here!!))
- Orthodoxy: Putting the MENTAL back in “fundamentalism!
- Roman Catholicism: Salvation by works.
Protestantism: Salvation by faith.
Orthodoxy: Salvation by better nutrition
- Anglicanism: Where there’s Four there’s a Fifth!
Orthodoxy: Where there’s Four there’s Food!
(Most of these came from the Orthodox Christian Way Forum on Delphi)
This Conversation Actually Took Place
Born Orthodox, from ‘the old country’: So I’ve heard you’re converting to Orthodoxy.
Born: Why would you do that? I myself was born Orthodox, and I’ll die Orthodox. I’d never leave my religion.
Convert: And out of curiosity, how often do you go to liturgy?
The born Orthodox shrugged: Never.
Are You a Geek Orthodox?
by Steve Lammert
I have come to the conclusion that there really *is* more that unites us than separates us. In fact, I have decided that most of us are really part of the same jurisdiction, after all: The Geek Orthodox. So, ask yourself: Are you Geek Orthodox?
If you have searched the Web for the rules for calculating the date of Pascha, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you have written a Perl script which calculates the date of Pascha, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have noted the major fast/feast days in your Palm Pilot, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you have downloaded the entire Trebnik into your Palm, and made the .CSV file available to other priests via anonymous FTP, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have the telephone numbers of your priest and parish in your cell phone’s memory, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If your priest has ever sent a text message to your pager via e-mail, then you are both Geek Orthodox.
If you read an Orthodox Discussion List from your laptop, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If the laptop runs Linux, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you’re using AOL with a Microsoft operating system, you’re probably not Geek Orthodox (yet). If you have used the Web to find a parish when travelling, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you maintain a Web site for your parish or jurisdiction, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have met a priest through an Orthodox Discussion List, and later visited his parish, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you have met a priest through a List, and later sought spiritual counseling from him via e-mail, then you are Geek Orthodox. If he answered you, and began a long correspondence, then you’re both Geek Orthodox.
If you can recall more user ids than names of List subscribers, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you have ever prayed for a subscriber by user id instead of name, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have ever started an argument on the List, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you have ever tried to settle an argument in your parish by distributing printouts from the List, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have ever gotten carried away with an argument on the List, and kept on pursuing it long after everyone else is tired of it, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you have set up your Mail User Agent to permanently kill-file a particular subscriber of the aforementioned type, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have ever mistaken the List for the Church, then you might be Geek Orthodox. If you have ever reminded someone else that the List is not the Church, then you are Geek Orthodox.
If you have ever thought that the List might dissuade more people from Orthodoxy than it attracts, then you might be Geek Orthodox.
If you became Orthodox even after subscribing to the List for several years, then you are Geek Orthodox.
You might be Orthodox if…
* 10. You are still in church more than ten minutes after the priest says, “Let us depart in peace.”
* 9. You forget to change your clock in the spring at Daylight Savings Time, show up an hour late, but the service is still going on…
* 8. …but there are people in your community who still can’t get to church on time when the clock gets set back an hour in the fall.
* 7. You consider an hour long church service to be “short.”
* 6. You buy chocolate bunnies on sale (after Western Easter).
* 5. When someone says, “Let us pray…” you reflexively stand up.
* 4. You went to church four or more times in a week.
* 3. Your priest is married…
* 2. …and your vocabulary includes at least three words that describe the wife of a priest.
And the number one sign you might be Orthodox is…
* 1. You say a prayer before you pray.
. . . St. Vladyka’s Press has published a new confession guide for these mind assaulters. Entitled Your Sin in Other People’s Brains, the guide places bans on specific stories that have infected a generation of Orthodox brains.
The news has been received with both joy and trepidation in the Orthodox world. Barsanuphius Johnson, head of the alumni association of St. Vladyka’s Seminary has said that the need for a deterrent to this kind of recurrent brain paralysis is obviously necessary.
“Of our graduates, 90 percent of them suffer from brain gophers and have to slow down at one point in the Liturgy of St. Basil,” Johnson said. “They’re afraid of repeating the mistake of a tongue-twisted priest who said, ‘…Round about You stand the Seraphim, one with six wings and the other with six wings; with two they cover their faces; with two they cover their fly…’ ”
Johnson added that only eight people were present at the moment of the original gaffe, however the story has been retold no fewer than 8,000 times at seminarian parties.