It’s so easy to forget why we celebrate December 25th each year – it’s all about the birth of Jesus Christ. This is the season to thank God for the greatest gift of all – true joy, peace and eternal life.
We celebrate the joy that God has given us in His presence on earth, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, here to save us. We embrace and experience the true peace that a life devoted to God gives. We thank God for His forgiveness, and the possibility of our own resurrection from the limitations and materiality of our limited human existence.
All Glory to God!
Let us share again, the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, found in Luke, Chapter 2:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation…
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Perfect for yourself or a group. Go in-depth, discover the ancient history of the Church, learn how the prayer of the heart — the Jesus Prayer — came to be, and how it developed over centuries. Use the music and meditations CD at home, on your PDA, and wherever you go.
Watch the film over and over again — compare and illuminate the previously hidden spiritual treasures of monastic practices with the companion book. See 10 additional expanded scenes and interviews with the Study Guide, online.
** Note: order now, and we’ll ship all 3 (DVD, book, CD) in one package. You can download the Study Guide immediately, with the link provided on your email receipt. The Study Guide is a PDF file, and may be printed by you, or used online to access the additional scenes and interviews. It is NOT a printed book. The Study Guide is for use by one person only. Purchase additional copies for each member of your group.
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BOOK (in-depth companion to the film and Study Guide) Ordering from our webstore helps us.
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For nearly two millennia, the holy men and women of Eastern Christianity have built lives of reflection, humility, and constant connection to God around a simple sentence, the Jesus Prayer. Now you can use the Jesus Prayer to deepen your own practices and spiritual beliefs.
Dr. Norris J. Chumley—a documentarian and professor—reveals the history, practices, and abiding wisdom of this mystical tradition to the rest of the world. Chumley traveled to some of the early Church’s holiest sites with the Very Reverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, a priest and professor—to St. Anthony’s Monastery in the Egyptian desert and St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, to convents in Transylvania and to monasteries in Russia, the Ukraine, and Greece—in search of Christianity’s first mystical tradition and its modern-day practitioners.
The monks and nuns he met taught him how to move through the stages of the Jesus Prayer, and how it can foster an unceasing, and ever deepening, conversation with God.
Enriched with stunning color photographs of these holy sites, where photography is rarely allowed, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer reveals the powerful theology packed into this prayer’s few words.
“The Jesus Prayer can be used by everyone . . . When prayer culminates in silence, we awaken to new awareness. Then, prayer becomes a way of noticing more clearly and responding more effectively to the world within us and around us.”
—Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, from the Foreword
“The famous Jesus Prayer has helped believers move closer to God for centuries. Chumley’s entirely fascinating new book takes us on a spiritual journey that explores the origins of this rich mystical tradition. Prayer does not need to be complicated for us to communicate with God.”
—James Martin , SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
“This isn’t just a book about prayer. It is a full-on plunge into a prayer-filled adventure. Chumley takes you on a pilgrimage to some of the most enchanted places, and all you have to take with you is a one-line prayer that has been changing the world for centuries. Dive in.”
—Shane Claiborne, author, speaker, activist, and co-compiler of Common Prayer
“Led by twelve words of an ancient prayer, Chumley traverses a spiritual landscape unfamiliar to most westerners where he discovers a way of peace open to those who seek a deeper connection with God. Take this book and read. Even better, read this book and accept its invitation to pray.”
—Diana Butler Bass, author of A People’s History of Christianity
ORDER NOW — PURCHASING HERE ONLINE HELPS US IN OUR MISSION TO SHARE THE JESUS PRAYER. A not-for-profit film.
DVD (full-length theatrical version — plays anywhere — REGION 0)
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Discover the ancient and powerful Jesus Prayer in this spiritual adventure of a lifetime. Known by generations of eastern Christians, this mystical prayer has been in use since the Apostles, but remains largely unknown in the west. For the first time on film, desert hermits, monks and nuns reveal the simple prayer, bringing us into their private cells, caves and sanctuaries in the Middle East, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Russia. Narrated by Dr. Norris J. Chumley and Very Rev. Dr. John McGuckin.
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*Please note: Purchasing from our store online, helps us support our efforts to teach people the Jesus Prayer, and to recoup the significant costs of making this not-for-profit film. Thank you.
“ It is with spiritual delight that we welcome and introduce... the living tradition and profound Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer.” – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
“...a pilgrimage to some of the most enchanted places, and all you have to take with you is a one-line prayer that has been changing the world for centuries. Dive in.” (about the companion book)
– Shane Claiborne, AUTHOR, SPEAKER, ACTIVIST, AND CO-COMPILER OF COMMON PRAYER
“In a time when all people yearn for Divine Stillness in their hearts, this film lifts one from the noise and chaos of the ‘much too with us’ world to that place where God speaks quietly to every person.”
– A Humble Priest
With 31 pages of lesson plans, descriptions, historic teachings, topics for contemplation and discussion, and ideas for prayer and outreach – the Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer Study Guide is perfect for churches, universities, seminaries and individual use. It may be used with a teacher or group leader, or as independent study. It is full of beautiful color photographs from each location in the movie – places where cameras have never been before. Eleven (11) short online films featuring extended footage, scenes not included in the movie, extra interviews and demonstrations — the study guide is in PDF form (instantly downloadable) with links to online films.
* Each Study Group member needs an individual copy, please. We are offering this Study Guide without copy restrictions, on the honor system, but we do need to recoup costs of making the film and writing the materials. Thank you for your understanding and support.*
NOTE: It is necessary to view the films online. Internet access is necessary for the links to the films. The Study Guide is not available in DVD form, nor are the film sections downloadable. Each Study Guide PDF download contains everything needed: descriptive texts, topic points for contemplation and discussion, suggestions for participation and practice, and private links to the online films.
NOTE: It is necessary to view the films online. Internet access is necessary for the links to the films. The Study Guide is not available in either print or DVD form, nor are the film sections downloadable. Each Study Guide PDF download contains everything needed: descriptive texts, topic points for contemplation and discussion, suggestions for participation and practice, and private links to the online films.
1) Monasticism: What is it?
Tour of St. Antony Monastery and Conversation with Fr. Lazarus & Fr. Antony
2) The Jesus Prayer
Interview with Mother Maria, Agapia Convent, Romania
3) Desert Monasteries
A visit to St. Catherine’s monastery at Mt Sinai, and talk with His Eminence Archbishop Damianos of Sinai.
4) Monastic Vows
Abbess Josephina, Varatec Monastery, Romania
5) Two Hagiographies: The Life of St. Antony the Great & Life of St Sergei of Radonezh
Father Lazarus & Father Ruwais, Saint Antony’s Monastery, Egypt
Tretyakov Gallery, Vision of the Youth Bartholomew painting
Visiting Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius, Sergyiev Posad, Russia
6) Holy Mountain Monasteries
His Eminence Archbishop Iustinian, Saint Ana Monastery, Romania
7) Icons and Orthodoxy
His Eminence Patriarch Daniel of Romania, on icons
The Mandylion icon by Andrei Rubilev – Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
8) Epilog: What is The Mystery?
Patriarch Kiril’s Pentecost sermon on the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God
CD: (Music and Meditations)
Music from the feature documentary film. Meditative, contemplative and peaceful. A transcendent mix of ancient and contemporary music, sounds and natural elements. With ancient Christian chants and prayers that you can use in your practices.
Composer Rich Devletian says:
- I went about researching and collecting music from each location/culture we visit in the film. – The movie’s score moves through time as we progress through the locations, starting first with monophonic drones, moving to simple chord structures, and eventually indulging in complex harmony (similar to the growth of the musical tradition in the church over the course of thousands of years). – Took elements from folk arrangements of each culture to provide direction in instrumentation & modality. – Fused the sounds of the clergy’s everyday life with the original music in order to create a seamless soundscape to accompany us on our journey.
Purchasing the actual CD from us helps a great deal, although it may also be downloaded on iTunes and CDBaby.com immediately.
For a sample of the Main Theme music, please click here.