The liturgical life of the Orthodox Church is one in which we find ourselves constantly surrounded by things. Icons, brass candle stands, vestments, bells, and incense invade our eyes, ears, and, indeed, our very minds, the moment we walk into a temple. As Orthodox Christians, we embrace beauty, ritual, and the practice of fashioning the materials of God’s creation into glorious means of worshipping the Creator.
The material needs of Orthodox worship are beautiful and wonderful, but also immense. These many material requirements of Orthodox worship create an interesting problem for new missions and small parishes. Worship in the Orthodox Church is brought to full bloom when the faithful are surrounded with beautiful icons, vestments, and all manner of liturgical items. The kingship and majesty of Christ is, in part, reflected in the furnishings of the Church.
However, many new Orthodox mission parishes must, understandably, choose to spend their limited financial capital on more pressing items of survival. These small mission parishes are often posed with the choice between spending money on a Gospel Book, or paying the electric bill.
With this reality in mind, Elijah's Mantle was brought into being. Elijah's Mantle allows more well-established parishes to donate used liturgical items for use in smaller parishes and missions. These donated items, upon reception, are cleaned, in some cases restored, and sent to a mission in need for only the cost of shipping.
Elijah the Prophet, when he knew that his time was coming to an end, joyfully passed on his mantle, his prophetic vestment, if you will, to his successor, Elisha. Likewise, we believe that it is a manner of joyfully giving to God to pass on from established parishes to missions. Passing on the mantle or Tradition is what we as Orthodox are called to do. At Elijah's Mantle, our mission is to do this in a very particular way, with the literal passing on of priestly vestments and liturgical items, to aid in the worship of Almighty God.
This program will, hopefully, enrich the liturgical life of these small mission parishes without draining their limited finances, and make a real connection with new growth in the global Church.
Housed on the campus of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, Elijah's Mantle is a seminarian-operated ministry. This ministry was founded in 2012 by Fr. Theophan Mackey, a 2014 graduate of St. Tikhon's Seminary. In May 2014, the role of Administrator for Elijah’s Mantle was taken over by Seminarian Matthew Joyner.
hrough the dedication of the volunteer staff, and the support of St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery, Elijah's Mantle has filled more than three hundred requests for liturgical needs from Canada to Haiti and beyond. Fulfilled requests have included everything from vestments to chalice sets, and even a portable iconostasis.
How can you help?
First of all, pray for us. The Great Commission of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ to Go and make disciples of all nations, in part, fulfilled by the planting of mission parishes. These parishes have needs, and we see it as our goal to aid these missions in their spread of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth by filling those needs! By your prayers, we can do this to the best of our ability.
How can Elijah’s Mantle help your mission parish?
If your mission parish is in need of items, send a list of these needed items to us via email, and we will create a request for you. When these items become available, we will contact you with the shipping cost, and arrange to have them sent to you.
Elijah's Mantle is here to assist new Orthodox missions in fulfilling the Great Commission, allowing them to have the items that they need for worship, while at the same time being good stewards of the limited financial resources at their disposal. You can help this great mission, and be a part of something truly eternal. Please help us, and help the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
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