Sweet Partings: The Final Akathist

akathist-icon

We now come to the part of Lent where we begin to say farewell to various services that have accompanied us on the journey. Today is the Fifth Friday of Lent. In the practice of my archdiocese, we celebrate the Small Compline service with the Akathist Hymn on the first five Fridays of Lent. On […]

The Great Canon and St. Mary of Egypt: Impressions

St. Mary of Egypt and St. Zosimas, 15th c. French

(From Wikimedia Commons)

Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. – St. Ignatius of Antioch, “To the Ephesians” […]

Lenten Evangelism #7: The High Priest on the Cross

Communion of the Apostles

Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, March 15, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. The cross which we adore today, the third Sunday of Lent, is most often discussed in the Orthodox tradition in terms […]

“Everyone was a saint there”: Who are we in worship?

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Jordanville, New York

In a conversation I was having with my wife yesterday, she was reflecting on the funeral of a dear friend we attended recently, especially how, surrounding the funeral services, the love people showed each other and the bereaved was so deep and palpable (she didn’t use that kind of language, but that’s my “translation”!). And […]

Should religion be physical?: Great Lent and Polycarp the Palpable

The Martyrdom of Polycarp

Today is the beginning of Great Lent for most Orthodox Christians (a handful of Western Rite Orthodox Christians will begin with their Ash Wednesday the day after tomorrow), and I’ve decided to try my hand at doing 40 days of blogging—posting at least once a day from today through the Friday before Lazarus Saturday. This […]

Why celebrate Christian holidays that aren’t in the Bible?

From Wikimedia Commons

A quick perusal of the major feast days on Orthodox Church’s liturgical calendar will show that many of those great feasts are not mentioned in the Scriptures. The Nativity of the Theotokos (Sept. 8), the Entrance of the Theotokos (Nov. 21) and the Dormition of the Theotokos (Aug. 15) are all not based on events […]

A Firm Foothold

shire

I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again. —Frodo Baggins I happened upon this quotation again yesterday evening, while I was reading my daughter The Lord […]