Urnes Stave Church – Scandinavian Orthodoxy?

Urnes Stave Church is a medieval wooden church located in the village of Ornes in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is the oldest of its kind in the country, dating back to around 1130 AD. The church is notable for its unique blend of Christian and Norse architectural styles, as well as its extensive use of intricate carvings and ornate decorations.

It is dangerous when Christians begin to pull apart the traditions of other Christians relating to the external trappings surrounding their rites. I have encountered Orthodox who believe the only church building that should be built is a Greek style building. While the Greek tradition is beautiful in its own way, Orthodoxy itself is undermined when these externalities are placed above the Faith. The Saints of our past worshipped Father, Son and Holy Spirit in temples like these in Europe. They venerated the Saints as is clear in the iconographic tradition. It was good enough for the Saints but we should only honor the Saints of the Greeks? Certainly not.

The question should always be: Is the Orthodox Faith being taught and practiced by the Bishops, Priests and Laity? Do we believe in a Faith once delivered by the saints?

Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

Saints of Northern Europe. Please pray for us to grow Orthodoxy in Northern Europe and for Northern European people throughout the world. For those of us who are Northern European, we need to honor our Orthodox history and our Orthodox Saints.