Triumph of Orthodoxy

This Sunday will be the first Sunday of Great Lent, on which we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy. In our parish and in parishes around the world, we will process with icons held high, celebrating together the rightful return of icons to the church so many years ago. As you know, icons were removed from our churches in the 8th century, and then fully restored in the 9th century. The Sunday of…

Quick Poll for Orthodox Mothers

I’m working on a presentation about the specific pressures put on Orthodox Moms, and I’d love some help understanding what those are exactly. Discussions about gender roles and the distribution of parenting labor abound in our society — but I’m curious about how these things work in Orthodox homes. Is it any different from anywhere else? What is our Orthodox parenting culture looking like as we finish up this decade? Fathers are…

I said YES because…

Today is Giving Tuesday (or should I say, today is #GivingTuesday?), and as an Advisory Board Member and tremendous fan of a non-profit organization, naturally it’s a good day for me to talk to people about giving to our ministry. Youth Equipped to Serve’s director, Katrina Bitar, suggested that we offer up social media posts beginning, “I said YES because…” and as I considered why I love YES so much, I started…

Guest Post: Hannah Vazquez on her new podcast on Mothering!

I’m happy to introduce Hannah Vazquez, who has recently released a wonderful new podcast for parents on Ancient Faith Radio! All These Things is likely to become a favorite among Raising Saints fans, so I recommend that you subscribe now!     Hello everyone! I’m Hannah Vazquez. When I met Elissa at the Ancient Faith Writer’s Conference this summer, and shared my idea with her, she was so enthusiastic and supportive. I’m…

Contemplating the Incarnation: Pilgrimage and Sunday of Orthodoxy

I spent ten days on pilgrimage in the Holy Land. (That’s right! You can call me Elissa Hadzi-Bjeletich now!) As they say, we walked in Christ’s footsteps; we touched the stones that He touched. Again and again, we said to ourselves, This is where it happened. Right here on this spot. As I prepared to embark on this pilgrimage, I thought a lot about what that means. God is everywhere; He is…

Group Work for Great Lent

Let us fast in a way that is acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. True fasting is flight from evils, temperance of the tongue, refrain from anger, separation from lustful desires, and from lies, from falsehood and from perjury. The absence of all these makes our fasting true and acceptable. (From Vespers Service on Clean Monday) Let us fast. When we sing about fasting on Clean Monday, we’ll sing together, a community…