Great and Holy Friday

The Orthodox Observance of Great and Holy Friday The commemorations of Holy Friday begin with the Matins service of the day which is conducted on Thursday evening. The service is a very unique Matins service with twelve Gospel readings that begin with Christ’s discourse at the Last Supper and end with the account of His burial: John 13:31-18:1, John 18:1-29,…

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 WEEK

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 WEEK

Holy and Great Tuesday Bridegroom Matins is a service specific to the first four evenings of Holy Week (though it is often omitted on Holy Wednesday in favor of the service of Holy Unction) and commemorates the last days in the earthly life of the Lord. Incorporated into these services is the theme of the first three days of Holy…

HOLY WEEK

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

The Christ’s Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem As the crowds acclaim him their King, Jesus entered into the holy city of Jerusalem. Jesus does not silence the people, and tell them he is not their King, but this king arrives on a donkey. He is not accompanied by an imperial court, nor is he surrounded by an army as symbolizing his…

Emotional Intelligence

The Ability to be Empathetic to the Needs of Others When we are in our head, we are more judgmental, yet when we are in our heart, we become non-judgmental. Being critical of others is not an Orthodox trait, for being critical, whether of other people, or even the way we approach our faith, can be a sign we are…

Casting Aside Despondency

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it As a priestmonk I am often troubled by the knowledge that I am a poor example to others, and that I fall short, daily, of living out the image of Christ in me. Yet I am compelled to live out every day with joyfulness of heart, no matter what.…

The Whole Person

We have been created as both soul and body Unlike angels, who are entirely spiritual beings, God has made each of us as creatures dwelling in a material world. To be whole, we must worship God both in body and soul. This teaching is central to our Christian faith and is an affirmation of the sacramental nature of this material…

Sharing the Gift of Love

We must all be purveyors of the gift of love My father was a golf pro in Spokane, Washington during my grade and early middle school years, and the country club was the center of our family’s social life. My brother, Dwayne, and I used to play an average of 18 to 36 holes of golf every day, during the…

The Divine Presence

In Eternity God’s love consumes all According to Saint Gregory of Nyssa, heaven and hell are not about location, but about relationship. God is everywhere, and He did not create a heaven for some, and a hell for others. If we love God, His fire will be a comforting warmth, but if we choose not to have a relationship with…