The Final Day of Lent: Reflecting on 40 Days of Blogging

The Raising of Lazarus

Today is the fortieth day of Great Lent. Tomorrow, we enter into the transition weekend between Lent and Holy Week—Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday. And this is also my fortieth daily post in a row since Lent began. When I committed to blog every day for forty days, I have to admit that I didn’t […]

Synaxarion for the Saturday of the Akathist

I’m off to Philadelphia for much of the day today to give a couple of talks at one of the churches there, so I thought I would leave you with this today, the synaxarion for the Saturday of the Akathist, the Fifth Saturday of Lent, which is today: On the fifth Saturday of the Great […]

Sweet Partings: The Final Akathist


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” […]

“Who Shall I Be at Pascha?”: The Cross at the Crossroads


Today is exactly the halfway point between the beginning of Great Lent and the holy day of Pascha (Easter), the Feast of Feasts. It is usually right around now, three and a half weeks in, that many of us begin to be ready for Lent to be over. But the fast is only halfway through. […]

Lenten Evangelism #6: St. Gregory Palamas and the Paralytic

Christ and the Paralytic

Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, March 8, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. On this second Sunday of the Great Fast, we celebrate St. Gregory Palamas, that 14th century ascetic and archbishop whose contributions to Orthodox theology […]

The Gospel of Fastnachts, Pączki and Pancakes

Fastnachts (from Discover Lehigh Valley)

On the calendar of Western Rite Orthodox Christians (who probably number a few thousand people within the canonical Orthodox Church, out of a couple hundred million or so, which is why they are unknown to most Orthodox Christians), today is Ash Wednesday. So yesterday was their Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday (in French, […]