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Looking for an article on Pasha baskets

PhosZoe

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Hi everyone!

For my parish I'm putting together a "mock up" pasha basket. In addition to the mock up basket, I'm putting together recipes and a list of foods. I have been looking for a good "history" on the Pasha basket. I haven't had much luck "googlin."

Thanks! :) ;)
PZ
 

TomS

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That's because your syntax is all wrong; try "easter basket" :0)
 

PhosZoe

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TomΣ said:
That's because your syntax is all wrong; try "easter basket" :0)
I tried that too, I couldn't find what I was looking for.
 

ambrosemzv

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I wonder if spelling could be the culprit? I went to Yahoo, typed in "pascha basket," and got a huge amount of pertinent and interesting "hits."
 

arimethea

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I have never seen a written history of this practice but looking back at it historically let us remember that it is early church practice (apostolic age) for people to bring food to join together in an Agape meal every Sunday. Every Sunday commemorates the Resurrection and therefore is a mini Pascha. The practice of bringing food to be shared with the whole community is remembered on Pascha in particular because of the tradition to bless flesh meats and dairy after the Resurrection Liturgy.

This is a tradition that is becoming very popular among non-slav parishes in the United States. When my family came to our parish (an Antiochian parish) over 20 years ago there were 3 baskets at Pascha, ours, and 2 other Russian families. Today there are close to 50 baskets, and new people bringing them every year. I have seen the usual ethnic suspects like the Pascha Bread & Cheese, kilbosi, and even kibbee and grape leaves, but also things like Big Macs and KFC.

Any ideas on what I should put in my basket this year??
 

katherine2001

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I'm with you, bring on the hamburgers! One of our men brings the grill and meat and grills cheeseburgers for everyone that wants one. Others bring steaks and the kielbasa. Personally, I think it's better if people put what they like in their baskets, as long as it is a lot of meat and dairy! Since it is kind of a potluck, the more variety, the better.
 

Mor Ephrem

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katherine 2001 said:
Since it is kind of a potluck, the more variety, the better.
I've heard this word before, and understand the concept kinda-sorta, but where does this word come from, and what does it exactly mean?
 

PhosZoe

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arimethea said:
I have never seen a written history of this practice but looking back at it historically let us remember that it is early church practice (apostolic age) for people to bring food to join together in an Agape meal every Sunday. Every Sunday commemorates the Resurrection and therefore is a mini Pascha. The practice of bringing food to be shared with the whole community is remembered on Pascha in particular because of the tradition to bless flesh meats and dairy after the Resurrection Liturgy.

This is a tradition that is becoming very popular among non-slav parishes in the United States. When my family came to our parish (an Antiochian parish) over 20 years ago there were 3 baskets at Pascha, ours, and 2 other Russian families. Today there are close to 50 baskets, and new people bringing them every year. I have seen the usual ethnic suspects like the Pascha Bread & Cheese, kilbosi, and even kibbee and grape leaves, but also things like Big Macs and KFC.

Any ideas on what I should put in my basket this year??
Big Macs? Now that's American! :D I have seen people do a "sweets basket" that is loaded with cheesecake and fancy chocolates. That might be one. I have also seen other themed baskets too.

I have encouraged the non slav converts to use thier favorite Easter recipes as basket content. There are some "white" converts in my parish who were raised on miracle whip, pepsi salad and fried chicken. They wouldn't know the difference between kielbasa and kibbe. They were not especially comfortable with some of the ethnic foods. I think it's possible to use the foods your family knows and loves and put it together to enjoy. This is a tradition that can easily be made ones own. It's completly "folksy" in it's origins.

If it's popcorn chicken you want for Pascha, then by all means have it.
 

Aristocles

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It's 2:30AM EST. Last night's Lenten meal of bean (only) burritos is still asettlin' hard...and then I find this thread! Big Macs, chicken wings? This is torture! Stop, please, stop !!!
(Only "two weeks" to go)

Demetri
 

PhosZoe

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é said:
It's 2:30AM EST. Last night's Lenten meal of bean (only) burritos is still asettlin' hard...and then I find this thread! Big Macs, chicken wings? This is torture! Stop, please, stop !!!
(Only "two weeks" to go)

Demetri
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of beans prior to cooking and will alleviate the unpleasant side effects. ;D I've been a vegetarian for 14 years, I've eaten lots of beans.

This thread has taken a turn for the weird hasn't it?
 

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Personally, having lived for years in the South, what I would love after Lent is a BBQ Pork sandwich and a huge glass of sweetened iced tea. People from other sections of the country don't know what they are missing if they haven't had BBQ Pork. I will take that any day over BBQ beef.
 

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Pasha baskets were wicker baskets filled with tobacco, dried fruits and ground coffee which were offered as bribes to Turkish and other Arab rulers particularly in the period leading up to and during the Ottoman empire. Some historians believed that "Pasha basket" was a game sponsored by the Ottoman rulers, involving two teams of players bouncing and passing with their hands an inflated sheep skin while riding on horseback, all the while trying to throw it through a hoop in their opponents' territory, however these opinions have since been found to have no basis in fact.

I hope this was helpful :)

John.

P.S. the above post is quite possibly a complete lie ;)
 

JoeZollars

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katherine 2001 said:
Personally, having lived for years in the South, what I would love after Lent is a BBQ Pork sandwich and a huge glass of sweetened iced tea. People from other sections of the country don't know what they are missing if they haven't had BBQ Pork. I will take that any day over BBQ beef.
Mmm Mmm. You sure know how to warm this southern boys heart. I saw a show on tv a few weeks back for a special type of BBQ sauce out of North Carolina called Bone Suckin' Sauce. It sure looked good. I can't agree more on the pork vs. beef part. It ain't real BBQ if its made from beef or chicken.

I also had me a big glass of Mississipi tea today. Got to love our good Southern Traditions.

Joe Zollars
 

neworthodox

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North Carolina???What do they know about barbecue? The Chosen Land of Barbecue is South Carolina!
For all youse non-Southerners, barbecue is a noun, not a verb.
 

katherine2001

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Neworthodox, I can't agree with you on this, and I lived in South Carolina any day. I hate mustard-based BBQ. Thank goodness where I lived in Summerville, there was Duke's BBQ who made it with the tomato-based sauce. He made excellent BBQ pork, and I sure wish I had some now!
 

JoeZollars

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Lord have mercy!!!!!!!!! Y'all is making good and hungry. Unfortuanlyt I have class tonight so don't get to eat anything until after 9 o'clock.

Katherine2001: Have you ever had Maurice's BBQ out of Charleston? I have heard good thangs bout them.

Joe-bub Zollars
 

AmatorDeus

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Katherine,

Not all SC based barbeque uses mustard based sauces. At the University of South Carolina there is actually a map showing the regional variants of barbeque sauce in SC. The PeeDee(coastal) region uses vinegar based sauces, the Midlands uses the Mustard based, and the sections that border NC and GA tend to use ketchup or general tomato based sauces. In my area(upstate SC), most of the authentic barbecue restaurants just hickory smoke the barbecue and you can use whatever sauce you want or eat it plain(which is often the best way). One of the supporters of our marching band was the best barbeque restaurant I've been to, the Parkette in Pickens, SC(my hometown) but of course I am biased.

Joe, Maurices sure does have some fine barbecue...there are 7-8 Maurices restaurants in the Columbia Metro area. They make it mustard based and serve it with hash. Great stuff...Maurice Bessenger himself is currently persona non grata though since the Confederate flag controversy. He's a known racist(not a claim based on his support of the stars and bars but due to several decades of him fighting desegregation of SC schools and other race issues). In the south we tend to have a few people like this running around and refer to them as eccentric and eat the barbecue while throwing a blind eye to his political views. Much in the same way that we kept re-electing Strom. :) Also, Maurice's original restaurant is also a distributor of Baptist literature and bible study cassettes oddly enough. We all regarded him as a kook who made good barbecue until the flag business when all of his barbecue sauces were removed from store shelves. As most things in the south, there are four or five stories behind any simple inquiry. ;D
 

JoeZollars

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Thanks for the background info. Other than his racist issues (something I heartilly do not agree with) I have supported him (and HK Edgerton to boot) on their stances regarding the Southern Cross (the battle flag of hte confederacy--the one with the blue x on the red background with 13 stars) and the Third National.

Joe Zollars
 

JoeZollars

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sorry I shouldn't discuss my opinions with regards to my southern hereticage here. I did not mean to offend. Also such matters seem so infinityly unimportant anymore.

Joe Zollars
 

neworthodox

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all during Lent I had to drive right by the newly-opened Dreamland Barbecue in my town. Those jokers must have had huge fans on top of the restaurant just to blow that delicious smell my way!
btw, if anybody ever gets to Conyers, GA the best barbecue around is at Bradley's (just look for the sign of the smiling pig next to the Citgo)
(why is the pig smiling?)
 

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<---------------Vegetarian non BBQ eatin' Yankee. :p
 

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Sorry I didn't see this request earlier. At least you will be ready for next Pascha. The article refers to Carpatho-Rusyn/Slovak traditions.

HOW TO PUT TOGETHER A
TRADITIONAL EASTER BASKET

by Fr. Hal Stockert

This coming Sunday morning, at 6 o'clock A.M. I will begin the best-attended service of the entire year. *Everyone* will be there...children, grandparents, parents, visitors from out of town. That and the Midnight Mass (yes, Virginia, it *is* at Midnight!) are the best attended liturgies I have during the year. Which leads me to question seriously the policy of establishing the times and circumstances of liturgies by referring to factors of "ease and convenience." I know that most folks *claim* that they don't attend services because there's something "inconvenient" about it - either the time, or the day, or something. But it has been my experience that when a *real* sacrifice is demanded to attend (as opposed to those imaginary "sacrifices" we are all so enamored of), then is when folks DO, in *fact*, come out. The same is true, I think, of all areas of Christian spirituality. I.E., that we do not do our people any favors by accustoming them to the idea that Christianity is or ought to be a matter of ease and comfort, pleasure and joy - though through the mercy and goodness of God there is surely plenty of each. No, I think accustoming them to the idea that the harder a thing is to do the more likely it is to be *the* thing to do is the best service we can render them.

At any rate, following the Sunrise Service, "Voskresenije Utrenije," "Resurrection Matins," celebrated as the ancient monks of the fourth century and later celebrated them, and at the same time, I will begin to bless Easter baskets. If the weather is good, the blessing will be done outside on the lawn, with all the parish gathered around, and a huge array of brightly-decorated and overflowing baskets awaiting the censer, holy water, and blessings, which are chanted in the ancient tones, and accompanied by the congregation led by a cantor.

There are those here in this conference who plan to be there. It has been brought to my attention that perhaps they might wish to prepare a basket for the service, but don't know how. Here is how it is customarily done. There are traditional foods among every Slavic group; Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Serb, Croat, Slovenian, Montenegrin, Macedonian. (Yes, Macedonians *are* Slavs - and so was old Philip-One-Eye and his prodigy of a son, Alexander. Macedonians remain Slavs, though most of the Western world considers them "Greek," in its ethnic rather than it's national sense. It is an error).

PASCHA/KULICH: Be careful here and refer to my previous postings on KULICH. Some areas, like Russian "Old Catholics" like my father's family, which has *always* remained in communion with Rome throughout the centuries, despite the various breaks with Rome among Orthodox Russia (and paid the price of that loyalty, I might add), "Pascha" and "Kulich" *normally* refer to the same thing. But there *ARE* groups where "Pascha" and "Kulich" are quite different things. In fact, among those groups, the "Pascha" becomes the bread and the "Kulich" becomes what will appear below as "Sirets" or "Hrutka." Here it will be used to refer to bread: A sweet, yeast bread rich in eggs, butter and other condiments. It is symbolic of Christ Himself, who is our True Bread. Usually it is baked as a round loaf baked with a golden crust decorated with some symbol indicative of Christ, such as a braided cross, a lamb or something like that. Sometimes a cross of dough is placed on tope, and the entire loaf rimmed with a braided plait of dough giving it a crowned effect. Sometimes the abbreviations (in Greek or in Cyrillic - XB does NOT equal "ex bee" but "cha vuh," the initials for "Christos Voskres!" - "Christ is Risen!" much as IHS does NOT stand for "I Have Suffered" or some other "latin" expression, but is the GREEK abbreviation for the name of "Jesus," "IHSOUS" [with the S being represented by Greek Sigma]."

CHEESE: (Slavic "Hrutka" or "Sirets") A custard-type cheese shaped into a ball which has a rather bland but sweet taste, and is intended to be indicative of the moderation that Christians should have in all things. Also, creamed cheese is sometimes placed in a small dish and decorated with initials or patterns by placing peppercorns or cloves in appropriate patterns.

HAM: (Slavic "Shoon'-ka") The flesh meat popular among Slavs as the main dish for several reasons: a) the richness of its meat which is symbolic of the great joy and abundance of Easter and b) of the richness of the joy in Christ we ought to have, and c) our freedom from the Old Law, now that all things have been "made clean in Christ" (as indicated to Peter in the dream on the rooftop at Joppa). Being freed from the Old Law and from the death which is the wage of sin, all things are now permissible to eat - and ham, the most forbidden of all the "unclean" foods is now symbolic of our TOTAL redemption. Many will include meats like roasted veal, roast beef and other foods prepared well ahead of time - foods which can be enjoyed without a lot of last-minute preparation. Those who have been preparing all week are already exhausted, and looking forward to sitting down and doing nothing for a few hours.

BUTTER: (Slavic "Mas'-lo") Usually the butter is shaped into a figure of a Lamb or of a three-barred cross and decorated in much the same fashion as the cheese. Butter is to remind us of the goodness of Christ that we ought to be demonstrating to all men by our lives in Him.

SAUSAGE: (Slavic "Kohl-ba'-ssi") A spicy, garlicky sausage of pork, veal, beef and other products. Indicative of God's favor and generosity.

BACON: (Slavic "Sla-ni'-na") A piece of uncooked bacon cured with spices. Symbolic of the lavishness, the overabundance of God's mercy toward us.

SALT: (Slavic "Sol'") A condiment necessary for flavor reminding Christians of our duties toward others to "flavor" the world.

EGGS: (Slavic "py-san'-ky") Highly decorated eggs withs ymbols and markings made with beeswax. Extremely complicated and intricate designs, some of which have taken me a full week to make in the completion of a single egg. The word "pysanky" derives from the verb "pysat'" - "to write." Hence, "an egg which has been written/drawn upon." Indicative of new life and of resurrection. There are some *fascinating* pious legends concerning the origin of these pysanky. If there is interest, I will recount some of them in THE OPEN RECTORY or THE FORUM.

HORSERADISH: (Slavic "Hrin") Horseradish mixed with grated red beets. Symbolic of the Passion ofChrist which is still in our minds, but which is sweetened with some sugar because of the Resurrection. A bitter-sweet red- colored mixture which reminds us of the Blood and suffering of Christ, at which great price was purchased the astonishing gift of our Redemption.

WINE: In some places it is also customary to include a bottle of wine. Poorer areas of Eastern Europe tended to ignore this element of the basket (i.e., Southern Poland, Northern Czechoslovakia, Northeastern Hungary), but American descendants are beginning to include them once again.

The articles are placed in a WICKER basket, and a ribbon or bow is tied to the handle. A DECORATED CANDLE (usually available from the parish at little or no charge) is placed in the basket and it at the time of blessing. A LINEN COVER, normally quite intricately embroidered with various Resurection themes and symbols of Christ, or simply an intricate multi-colored border and the words "CHRISTOS VOSKRES" OR "CHRIST IS RISEN" (depending which language is more appealing to you), is placed over the food when it is brought to the church.

Following the Resurrection Matins and the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection, the baskets will be taken outside onto the lawn, where they will be placed into a large circle, in the middle of which will stand the priest, the altar boys with the processional cross, censer and incense, and the holy water, along with the cantor of the parish. It will usually be about 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. by this time. As soon as everyone has their basket prepared, their candles lit and quieted down, the priest will begin the opening chant: "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," the cantor will reply, and the foods are blessed, in three different groups with three different blessings. First will be blessed the bread products, then the dairy products, then the meat products.

It is customary to break one's Easter Fast with foods blessed at this time and only *then* proceeding to the foods now ready on groaning tables, foods which have been in process of preparation for the past three days.

For those of you who can NOT be there, may I extend my sincerest wishes for a joyous and a blessed Easter, an Easter which brings nothing but an abundance of all good things from the hand of a merciful and a generous God to you and to all your loved ones.

______________

It's Easter time again. Next week I'd planned to put up a full menu for a dinner of Russian Zakusky (literally 'tidbits'). But before I do that, just in case a couple of you want to do something seasonal and exotic, I'm going to publish the recipes for two of the most famous Russian Easter foods - Kulich and Pascha. "Kulich" is a kind of bread, and "Pascha" is a kind of butter-cheese dish. Unless you're from the area of Russia where my father was born, in which case they're just reversed. Ironic, I know, but there's no predicting a Russian.

*KULICH* (Easter Sweet Bread with Raisins and Almonds)

INGREDIENTS :

1/4 oz. package of active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. dark rum
small pinch crumbled Spanish Saffron threads
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

GLAZE

1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Proof the yeast in a large bowl with 1 tsp. of the granulated sugar in 1/4 cup lukewarm water for 10 minutes, or until it's foamy. While the yeast is proofing, in a small saucepan scald the milk over moderate heat, stir in the rum and the saffron, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture with the remaining half cup of granulated and one cup of the flour. Blend the sponge well and let it rise in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap, for at least an hour. Stir in the butter, the whole eggs, the yolks, the salt, the raisins, the almonds and the 2 cups of the remaining flour, or enough flour to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, kneading in enough of the rest of the flour to keep it from sticking, for eight to ten minutes, or until it's smooth and elastic and has developed a sheen.

Put the dough into a buttered bowl, turn it to coat it all over with the butter, and let it rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for an hour and a half or until it's doubled in bulk.

While the dough is rising, butter the inside of a 2-pound coffee can and line the sides with a sheet of wax paper. Cut a circle of wax paper and place it in the bottom of the can. Cut the wax paper which extends beyond the can into strips and fold the strips over the outside of the can. Punch down the dough and knead it 3 or 4 times, and put it in the can. Let the dough rise, covered with a kitchen towel instead of the plastic wrap, in a warm place, for 45 minutes to an hour. Or until it has risen to the top of the can. Bake the KULICH in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until it sounds hollow with a thunk when tapped. Turn the KULICH out *carefully* onto a rack, and let it cool - UPRIGHT, not on its side. The KULICH may be prepared a day in advance and kept tightly wrapped and chilled. Good Friday or Holy Saturday are the traditional days to make it, and it isn't eaten until immediately after the Sunrise Resurrection service when it, along with the PASCHA and other foods are the first eaten from the newly-blessed foods in the baskets folks bring to church specifically to *be* blessed.

MAKE THE GLAZE: Whisk together the confectioner's sugar (sifted) the lemon juice, the almond extract and 2 teaspoons of water (or enough to make a pourable glaze) in a bowl. Set the KULICH on a plate and drizzle the glaze over it, letting the glaze drip down the sides. Let the KULICH stand until the glaze has hardened and then transfer it to a serving plate.

Serve this with freshly-brewed coffee. It's best NOT to butter it...it's quite sweet enough as it is. Enjoy. And say "Thank you, Mom." She's the one who taught me how to make this - as well as how to cook the other stuff you've gotten here.

______________

*PASCHA* (Russian Easter Cheese Mold)

INGREDIENTS:

2 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. packaged farmer cheese, (or small curd cottage cheese, ricotta, or similar cheese), drained between several layers of paper towels for half an hour (or left to hang in a well-washed muslin pillowcase overnight and drain into the sink), and forced through a sieve
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. freshly-grated orange zest
1/3 cup finely-chopped almonds
1/4 cup dried currants plus some additional for decoration finely-diced glaceed cherries for decoration angelica for decoration
KULICH for an accompaniment (see previous posting)

Beat the whole eggs and the yolk together with the sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the cream, scalded, in a thin stream, beating constantly as you add it, and transfer the custard to a heavy saucepan. Cook the custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it's thickened (175 degrees or so on a candy thermometer), BUT DO NOT LET IT BOIL! Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, and let it cool down stirring occasionally.

While the custard is cooling, in another bowl with the electric mixer cream the butter, add the cheese gradually, beating all the while, and beat the mixture at moderate speeds for five minutes. Beat in the custard, the vanilla, the orange zest, the almonds and 1/4 cup of the currants. Line a 7- to 8-cup new clay flowerpot with a double layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth, and add the cheese mixture, packing it tightly and smoothing the top level. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top. Put the flowerpot into a small bowl, and weight the top of the cheese mixture with a four-pound weight that just fits inside the pot (you can get a small plate and put another coffee-can filled with water on top of the plate to make the weight). Chill the PASCHA for at least 12 hours or overnight. Again, this recipe, like the KULICH, is traditionally made on Good Friday afternoon, following the Vesper service, and not eaten until first thing after the Resurrection Liturgy at dawn on Easter Sunday morning.
 

Deacon Lance

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This is also a nice article:

http://www.carpatho-rusyn.org/customs/easter.htm
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
I've heard this word before, and understand the concept kinda-sorta, but where does this word come from, and what does it exactly mean?
Read here for more info: http://euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2160

In Christ,
Deacon Nikolai
http://www.EuphrosynosCafe.com
http://www.RussianOrthodox-ROAC.com
http://www.Stanosheck.com
 
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