Wednesday Evening of Holy Week

The usual service on Wednesday evening of Holy Week is the Holy Unction.  It replaces in parish practice the Matins service for the Last Supper.  However, this year our Bishop has asked us to pray this Matins service.  I speculate that one of the reasons it is normally replaced by Holy Unction is that the hymns for this Matins service are extremely sad.  The themes of the service are Christ’s humility in the…

Tuesday Evening of Holy Week

On Tuesday evening of Holy Week, we commemorate the anointing of Jesus’ feet by the sinful woman.  The hymns for this service contrast the beauty of her humility and repentance with the betrayal of Judas.  Of all of the hymns that we chant throughout the year, I think tonight’s hymns are the most beautiful and profound. The harlot came to You who love humanity.  She poured perfume and tears over your feet,…

Unity Through Freedom

Archimandrite Vasilios in the booklet, I Came That They May Have Life, And Have It Abundantly, Available from Alexander Press, makes this statement: “The open door that leads to freedom is the same one that leads to unity.” The powerful irony here is no less true for being ironic.  Unity only comes in freedom. The Inquisition of the late Middle Ages and the Communist movement of the 20th century should be sufficient…