A New Akathist for St. Herman

Once upon a time I had the privilege of being at a lecture given by the very wonderful Father Michael Oleksa, well-known author of the book Orthodox Alaska.  Fr. Michael was giving a lecture to a group of us Canadian Orthodox clergy, and saying that, despite the “standard” akathist which lauds St. Herman almost exclusively for his prowess as a monk, he was famous among those who first knew him and loved…

Concerning the “S” Word

Recently I read an article on 1 Peter 3:1-7, which passage contained advice to Christian women married to non-Christians. In this passage the apostolic author counselled the women to “be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word they may be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives as they observe your chaste and respectful behaviour…For in this way in…

Biblical Women: Judith

The Book of Judith is a war story. It may be difficult for us to appreciate it fully, since most of us have never experienced the danger and horrors attending the invasion of one’s country—especially the dangers and horrors for women during such invasion. My own nation Canada has never really been invaded. The last time America was invaded, if memory serves, was early in the 19th century, and it was us…

The Church and Politics

This last Monday Canada had (or rather “endured”) another federal election. It was called in the midst of a pandemic and at a time when the country was badly divided. Given this, feelings have been running high all over, and the Church is caught in the midst of it. This provokes the question: how involved should the Church be in politics? Please note the precise form of the question. It is not,…

Toll-houses

It is, I suppose, a sign of how strange and ubiquitous the internet is that I often receive questions from new inquirers into Orthodoxy about toll-houses. Note: not the divinity of Jesus, or the Eucharist, or baptism, or the love and grace of God, or the nature of the Church. Not even about Mary’s role as the Mother of God. Nope: toll-houses. It always struck me as majoring in minors, as if…

Tabor and Hermon Shout Your Name

When the psalmist wanted to declare the power of Yahweh in Psalm 89 to emphasize the security of David’s throne, he literally searched high and low for images. The high heavens praised the wonders He had done for Israel, and God’s divine council of holy ones applauded His might (v. 5-6). Yahweh quelled the swelling and tumultuous sea below, crushing Rahab, the personified power of Egypt, at the Red Sea (v. 9-10).…