The Apostle of Organ Music

Last week, I wrote about the introduction of organs into Greek churches in America, but I didn’t really know why they were introduced. Thanks to David Mastroberte, we now have a plausible explanation: someone specifically set out to popularize organ music. That man was George Anastassiou. Courtesy of Mr. Mastroberte, here are Anastasiou’s own words,…

The death of Fr. Misael Karydis

On December 22, I wrote about the tragic death of Fr. Misael Karydis, longtime pastor of the Greek church in New Orleans. You’ll want to read that article first, to follow what I’m talking about today. After I published that piece, I unconvered several more reports on Karydis’ death, from the New York Sun, Tribune,…

Organs in Greek Orthodox churches

As regular readers of this website know, I am particularly interested in the “Americanization” of Orthodoxy in the New World — things like clergy appearance (beards vs. shaved faces, cassocks vs. collars), pews, church music (organs and mixed choirs), early converts, the use of English, and so forth. Today, I’m going to talk about organ…

Fr. Misael Karydis and his flying machine

Archimandrite Misael Karydis spent twenty years as the priest in New Orleans, from 1881 until 1901. Two decades at a single parish is a long time, especially in the early years of American Orthodox history. Before Karydis, only one priest (that I know of) had ever served such a lengthy tenure — Hieromonk Nikolai Militov,…

Greeks in Florida, 1768

Recently, multiple people have asked me to write about the Greek colony in New Smyrna, Florida in the 1760s. Today, I’m doing just that, but I have to admit, I’ve been rather hesitant. Unlike many of the subjects I tackle here at OrthodoxHistory.org, the New Smyrna story is pretty well-known, especially among Greeks, who call…

The First Orthodox Liturgy in Chicago

Fr. Misael Karydis served at Holy Trinity Greek Church in New Orleans from 1881 to 1901. Throughout the 1880s, he was the only Orthodox priest in between the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and even in the 1890s, he was basically the only Orthodox priest in the American South. As such, his duties were not limited…

Early priests in New Orleans

Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans was the first organized Orthodox parish in the contiguous United States. Despite that fact, precious little is known about its early history. The first priest to visit New Orleans was the infamous Fr. Agapius Honcharenko, but, contrary to popular belief, Honcharenko was not actually the parish priest. He was…

Orthodoxy in Colonial Virginia (Part 2)

On the latest episode of our American Orthodox History podcast, Nicholas Chapman recounts the almost incredible story of Orthodox Christianity in colonial Virginia. Last month, we published Nicholas’ first article on the subject. Below, he continues his series. On July 4, 1789, after nearly five years of service, Thomas Jefferson was coming to the end of…

The Sorcerer on the Golden Horn

The following is a translation from the French of the article “Un Conquete du Patriarcat Oecumenique,” from Échos d’Orient, Volume 11, 1908, concerning Fr. Raphael (Robert Josias) Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. The article uses his middle name “Josias.” The translation was done using Google Translate with a little cleaning afterward. A…