Alexander Schmemann

Alexander Schmemann


Born
in Tallinn, Estonia
May 13, 1921

Died
December 13, 1983

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Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann was a prominent Eastern Orthodox theologian and priest of the Orthodox Church in America.

Average rating: 4.38 · 3,749 ratings · 303 reviews · 40 distinct worksSimilar authors
For the Life of the World: ...

4.38 avg rating — 2,174 ratings — published 1973 — 5 editions
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Great Lent: Journey to Pascha

4.46 avg rating — 565 ratings — published 1969 — 5 editions
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The Eucharist: Sacrament of...

4.49 avg rating — 181 ratings — published 1985 — 3 editions
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Of Water and the Spirit: A ...

4.47 avg rating — 137 ratings — published 1997
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Introduction to Liturgical ...

4.19 avg rating — 107 ratings — published 1966 — 2 editions
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The Journals of Father Alex...

4.53 avg rating — 107 ratings — published 2000 — 3 editions
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O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

4.34 avg rating — 87 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Great Lent: A School of Rep...

4.15 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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The Historical Road of East...

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3.94 avg rating — 65 ratings — published 1966 — 2 editions
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Our Father

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4.56 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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More books by Alexander Schmemann…
The Liturgy of Death: Four ...
(1 book)
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4.13 avg rating — 8 ratings

“The liturgy of the Eucharist is best understood as a journey or procession. It is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom. We use the word 'dimension' because it seems the best way to indicate the manner of our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. Color transparencies 'come alive' when viewed in three dimensions instead of two. The presence of the added dimension allows us to see much better the actual reality of what has been photographed. In very much the same way, though of course any analogy is condemned to fail, our entrance into the presence of Christ is an entrance into a fourth dimension which allows us to see the ultimate reality of life. It is not an escape from the world, rather it is the arrival at a vantage point from which we can see more deeply into the reality of the world.”
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

“Centuries of secularism have failed to transform eating into something strictly utilitarian. Food is still treated with reverence...To eat is still something more than to maintain bodily functions. People may not understand what that 'something more' is, but they nonetheless desire to celebrate it. They are still hungry and thirsty for sacramental life.”
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

“A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not ‘die to itself’ that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of ‘adjustment’ or ‘mental cruelty.’ It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would ‘do anything’ for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolization of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it. In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only ‘natural.’ It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But ‘by the cross, joy entered the whole world.’ Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken ‘until death parts,’ but until death unites us completely.”
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

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