“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
We all know this passage from scripture – I have seen it quoted by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike, yet I have searched and searched my Orthodox Study Bible and cannot find the passage. And then I realized that as Orthodox Christians we may believe or think certain things are Orthodox when they could just be a local or family tradition.
I recently read an interesting post from an Orthodox priest explaining that in his parish this year they were going to change the “traditional” chanting of Christ is Risen to match the standard translation from the Archdiocese. He went to great lengths explaining that “almost exactly the same melody” would be used, only the wording has “been corrected slightly to match the original version of the hymn”. He concluded by stating that this was “not an innovation” but rather “a return to the ancient and traditional Orthodox practice”.
And although this is just one concrete example, it is important that we take the time to truly learn about our faith so we can be lights of Orthodoxy helping to illumine the whole world. Not keepers of an old family lamp, collecting dust in the garage, simply because we believe it to hold some important value.
While we can continue to have Lamb for Pascha, try to keep our candle lit throughout the entire Resurrection Service, or fold our palms into crosses, we must acknowledge the universality of our rich and deep Orthodox Faith and recognize that no matter which language we prefer, or which local customs we choose to maintain, Christ is Truly Risen and through His life giving Resurrection we are granted entrance into Eternal Life!