Κατηγορία

In English

Encyclical of Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto for Holy Pascha (Metropolitan of Toronto Sotirios)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The Risen Christ and the World The Resurrection of Christ is a historical event. It demonstrates that Christ is truly God, and that He is the expected Messiah who will return to judge the living and the dead. The Risen Christ is the True God, which means that He perfectly embodies Truth, Life, Love and Goodness. As soon as evil perceived that the ultimate Good was crucified and then resurrected, it revolted. It did whatever it could to hide the truth. It used deceit, lies and bribery. For its first wicked act, it bribed the soldiers who stood guard over the tomb of Christ. They were told to say that they slept while His disciples came and stole the body. This tendency, as exemplified ...

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Easter in the Liturgical Year (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In the center of our liturgical life, in the very center of that time which we measure as year, we find the feast of Christ’s Resurrection. What is Resurrection? Resurrection is the appearance in this world, completely dominated by time and therefore by death, of a life that will have no end. The one who rose again from the dead does not die anymore. In this world of ours, not somewhere else, not in a world that we do not know at all, but in our world, there appeared one morning Someone who is beyond death and yet in our time. This meaning of Christ’s Resurrection, this great joy, is the central theme of Christianity and it has been preserved ...

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He has no choice (Elder Sophrony of Essex)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Many people take His silence as an indication that God ‘doesn’t exist’. But if we consider the position we put God in through our passions, we’ll see that He has no choice but to be silent. We ask Him to indulge us in our evil deeds. He doesn’t openly bother us. He allows us to continue in our wicked ways and to reap the fruit of our personal sins. God’s silence is the most eloquent, the kindest answer to our bad behaviour. We’ve thrown the Word of God out of our lives. We’ve ignored His words and, well, now we’re facing the consequences of our actions.

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Christ is risen! (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

We are keeping today the Resurrection of Christ which is the victory of God over death but also over evil. But this victory is not won by God alone. When the Son of God became Man it is in His humanity by His Divine power that He overcame evil. And so let us rejoice not only in the love of God, in the mercy of God, in the greatness of God, in His generosity, but let us rejoice also in the fact that we, human beings are capable of uniting with God in such a way, in such a manner that in and through us evil may be destroyed. Not only our private sin, not only our weakness, but “the ...

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On the Lord’s Resurrection (Elder Aimilianos Simonopetritis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Before daybreak, at night, in the innards, in the belly of the grave, the Risen Lord sprang up. ‘From the belly, before the morning-star’, the heavenly Father raised Him and since then He has been our eternal High Priest. Christ’s resurrection is a special gift, the last gift on earth of the Lord Who welled like myrrh from that tomb. There has never been a more beautiful treasure-chamber than the Lord’s tomb. There has never been a more beautiful opening than the opening of Christ’s tomb. The Father agreed to His Son being cast into the tomb by the transgressors precisely because He intended light to rise from the grave. The Father would have remained unknown, inaccessible, but for the coming of ...

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On the Mystery of Christ’s Obedience (Elder Aimilianos Simonopetritis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In a few hours, we’ll stand before the Lord, the naked Servant, Who is crucified but Whose mien, nevertheless, is one of majestic triumph, regal glory and serenity. If we are to understand the love we should have towards other people, or our love towards God, or His towards us, we have to understand the love shared by the Father and the Son. Otherwise, we’ll never understand what’s meant by the word ‘love’ and it’ll simply be something that calls to mind certain feelings, certain acts of tenderness and something human. Everything starts with the Father. There’s a monocracy in the Holy Trinity. It’s not possible that this great moment in the divine dispensation could occur except through the Father. In the first ...

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Tenfold (Saint John of Kronstadt)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Most people don’t merely bear willingly the weight of Satan in their heart, but gradually become so accustomed to it that they don’t notice it any more and even increase it. And sometimes the evil one increases the load ten times.

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Today Is Suspended – The 15th Antiphon (Fr. Stephen Freeman)

Κατηγορίες: In English

At the Matins service of Holy Friday the following hymn is sung: Today is suspended on a tree He who suspended the earth upon the waters. The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a spear. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious resurrection. This version (below) is being sung by the late Archbishop Job of Chicago (OCA). In the service, the 12 Passion Gospels ...

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Great Wednesday (Matins for Great Thursday)

Κατηγορίες: In English

‘Humbled by Your loving-kindness, You washed the feet of Your disciples, directing them to the path divine’. This sentence encapsulates one of the most prominent scenes of humility in the life of Christ, an extraordinarily strange image for a teacher, a leader, someone with authority over heaven and earth. Christ kneels and washes the feet of His disciples and, moreover, rejects any discussion of the propriety of the act. If Peter doesn’t agree to having his feet washed, he will have no relationship with the Lord, will be cut off, because, by refusing the gift and the humility, he would be allowing himself to be ruled by his own egotism. It’s unusual for leaders in any era to behave with simplicity. ...

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Great Tuesday (Matins for Great Wednesday)

Κατηγορίες: In English

‘Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins…fulfilled the task of a myrrh-bearer and, lamenting, brought you sweet-smelling oil before your burial’. The Tropario (Hymn) of Kassiani dominates the service of matins for Great Wednesday. A sinful woman, a harlot in her body, realizes the state she’s in, undertakes the role of a myrrh-bearer and brings myrrh to Christ before His entombment. In a most moving gesture of love, she silently anoints the Lord’s feet, washes them with her tears and dries them with her hair, thus demonstrating the reality of her repentance, which the Lord accepts. A myrrh-bearing harlot of a woman, whose soul remained sensitive and aware of her sinfulness. Tears, myrrh, humility are all mixed with feelings ...

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Great Monday: The Bridegroom

Κατηγορίες: In English

Burning love is the trade mark of our times. Wherever you are, wherever you go, this is what people talk about. Songs, films, plays, literature, advertisements, young, old, painting and cooking, all praise erotic love, describe the sufferings of this kind of love, the mysterious power that attracts people and makes it so that one person can’t live without the other. So much so that you wonder whether we can really exist, can continue in any other mode of life. Because erotic love is promoted as the only way of life. The other is that special element that’s missing, the complement, the other half. Without that other half, you can’t feel whole and fulfilled through experience. This is why most people ...

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On the Holy Feast of the Palms (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

‘Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they made a meal for him’. Martha was serving and Lazarus ate. This was a sign of Lazarus’ real resurrection: that many days later, he was alive and eating. It’s clear, then, that the meal took place in the home of Martha. They welcomed Jesus because they were friends and were loved by Him. ‘When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead’. And when they saw the miracle they all believed. Not satisfied with their own ...

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Rachel’s Lament (Mina Boulekou, Author-Poetress- Columnist)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Rachel was weeping for her children. These words were spoken by prophet Jeremiah The scripts have fulfilled . † Unbearable pain was spread in Ramah Ruthless soldiers surrounded innocent souls obeyed to a blind verdict death everywhere. Vindictive swords took their youth! took their breath! took their life! Oh! Devious Herod your hands are with blood Oh! hear the voices of despair Oh! hear the screams that drown me down to the valley of shadows. I followed my little angels with sorrow in my heart The sunlight faded to these blooming smiles. A heavy winter spread everywhere around the world. Their laughs were vanished Where are the white lilies? lying now.. in dark tombs? away from our blessing land. Where are you my son? Where are you my daughter? The angels guardians shed tears everywhere… Oh! Bloody Herod you wrote a black history in your wreckless kingdom. And now ...

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Bridegroom Services

Κατηγορίες: In English

On the days following His entry to Jerusalem, Christ spoke to His disciples in particular about the signs that will precede the Last Day (Matt. 24 and 25); and so this forms the theme of the first part of Holy Week. In Western worship, on the other hand, the ‘last things’ are commemorated mainly during the pre-Christmas season of Advent. The eschatological challenge of the first three days of Holy Week is summed up in the troparion and exapostilarion at Matins+, both of which are repeated three times to a slow and solemn melody. The troparion, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night…,’ is based on the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13); the exapostilarion, ‘I ...

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