Holy and Great Thursday

Holy Thursday Commemorations Along with the commemoration of the Lord’s washing of the disciples’ feet, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas, the Church commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, on Great and Holy Thursday. At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and…

Holy and Great Wednesday

Holy and Great Wednesday The theme of Holy and Great Wednesday is the commemoration of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus before his Crucifixion and Burial; a second theme is the agreement to betray Jesus made by Judas Ascariot. The day begins with the celebration of the Presanctified Liturgy on Tuesday afternoon. Later that evening, the Matins follows the special…

Holy and Great Tuesday

The Bridegroom Bridegroom Matins is a service specific to the first three evenings of Holy Week: Sunday evening (in anticipation of Monday,) Monday evening (in anticipation of Tuesday), and Tuesday evening (in anticipation of Wednesday.) On Wednesday evening we celebrate Matins for Holy Thursday, but it is not a “Bridegroom” Matins. This service is sometimes “replaced” by the Sacrament of…

Holy and Great Monday

Holy and Great Monday On Holy Monday, the Orthodox Church remembers the cursing of the fig tree. This event is a display of Christ’s divine power and of God’s judgment upon those who do not follow Him. Also on this day, the Church remembers the patriarch Joseph. The Old Testament story of Joseph is reflective of Christ because Joseph fell…

Palm Sunday

Beholding our King on Palm Sunday On Palm Sunday we believers greet our king, the Word of God made flesh. Christ is greeted not simply as the One who came to us once riding on a donkey, but as the One who is always present with us, coming to us in every act of love, in all our acts of…

The Egg

The tradition of the Paschal Egg There is a beautiful tradition within the life of the Church for believers to have as their last meal before beginning the Great Lenten Fast, to eat a hard boiled egg, white in color. This egg represents our sinful nature, and we eat this egg with the hope that the Lenten journey will bring…

Pure Theology

Metaphysical philosophy and pure theology There are only a few Orthodox saints who’ve been given the honor of being called, “theologians”. Saint John the Theologian, and Saint Symeon the New Theologian, to give two examples, were declared Theologians by the Church because their theology was the result of their having encountered the Living God. Theologians, in the strict sense of…

Sobornost

Divine-Human Oneness Sobornost is a word that means spiritual harmony based on freedom and unity in love. It is a necessary component in our membership within the Body of Christ, for if we are not bound together in love, our freedom becomes our enemy, separating us from others, and, ultimately from Christ Himself. This concept was so important to the…

Imaging Righteousness

We must be images of Christ to our neighbor When we are surrounded by  people who always take the moral high road, and who are honest in their business practices and respectful in the way they treat other people, our own adherence to the commandments of God is made easier. But when we are called to the moral high ground,…

The Poor

The Orthodox Christian response to the poor As many conservative members of Congress continue to press for cutbacks in programs such as food stamps, medical coverage for all, and housing subsidies for the poor and the elderly, all of which have been a lifeline for countless poor families, it would be prudent for us to examine the words of some…

Authenticity

Authenticity and the authority of the Church If she be true to herself, the Church acts with an authority that is grounded in love. She holds within her realm the authority to make her people the children of God. She has the authority to forgive, and the capacity to love. And just as her Head, Jesus Christ, she exists to…

Entering into the Silence

Silence as a way to discover ourselves and deepen our experience with God’s presence All Orthodox Christians are aware of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in our journey to God. These three practices are at the heart of the Great Lenten Fast. Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis, and fasting days (Wednesday…