Conception of the Theotokos

Today, those of us in the Easter Church, celebrate the Conception by St. Anna of the Holy Theotokos. Yesterday the Western Church celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Celebrating the same feast but in different ways. The difference in the two feasts revolve around the understanding of Ancestoral or Original Sin. The difference comes in how the sin is transmitted and what needs to happen for the sin to be removed. This is a topic for a longer post so for now we can just say that in the Orthodox tradition the sin is inherited but not the stain or guilt of the sin therefore the Theotokos did not need to be Immaculaty Concived by her parents.
Here is a little snipit from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Website about the fest:

According to the ancient tradition of the Church, since Saint Anna, the Ancestor of God, was barren, she and her husband Joachim remained without children until old age. Therefore, sorrowing over their childlessness, they besought God with a promise that, if He were to grant them the fruit of the womb, they would offer their offspring to Him as a gift. And God, hearkening to their supplication, informed them through an Angel concerning the birth of the Virgin. And thus, through God’s promise, Anna conceived according to the laws of nature, and was deemed worthy to become the mother of the Mother of our Lord

I am working on the longer post so stay tunned.

Update: I found this great essay that I think will answer all of the questions. Written by Rev. Fr. Antony Hughes, Rector of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I don’t think I could do a better job. I am not a theologian, I am a historian and I think Fr. Antony has done fine work here.

error: Content is protected !!