“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. We have two and a half weeks of Lent…

Ego Patricius peccator rusticissimus

My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. This photo was taken in the summer of 2001 during a nearly month-long pilgrimage I took to Great Britain and Ireland. It was a dreary day in Downpatrick (and the photo was taken with real film! remember that stuff?), the place where St. Patrick returned to…

The Gospel of Fastnachts, Pączki and Pancakes

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, Mardi Gras). And of course, these days were last…

Day After Christmas

On this day after Christmas, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Theotokos, remembering in a special way the Virgin Mary’s role in giving birth to our Savior. A number of our great feasts have a secondary celebration the day after focusing on what may be called the “supporting cast” in the feast. So, the day after the Annunciation, we celebrate the Synaxis…

What Are We Waiting For?: Andrew, Advent and Emmanuel

Feast of the Apostle Andrew, November 30, 2014 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 day, the thirtieth of November, we celebrate the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called. As you may imagine, he is a saint who is special to me and always has been. And…

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

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 found in Scripture. Neither is the Elevation of the…

Meeting the Lord

Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, February 2, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We arrive now at the fortieth day from our Lord’s birth, when His mother and foster father Joseph bring Him to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill what was written in…

The Beginning of Baptism

Sunday after Theophany, January 12, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick A recording of this sermon can be heard via Ancient Faith Radio. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today is the Sunday after the Great Feast of Theophany, and even though the feast is now past, we are still within the…