A Tale of Two Rich Young Men

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost / Twelfth Sunday of Matthew, August 27, 2017 I Corinthians 15:1-11; Matthew 19:16-26 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today let’s hear the stories of two rich young men—one whose name we do not know, who encounters Jesus directly during His earthly…

Who Are Funerals For? And Who Are They About?

It’s an old question: Who are funerals for — the living or the departed? If I had to give a quick answer, I would say that funerals are for all concerned, including the departed (in many Christian traditions, we are praying for the departed). But in terms of their impact “on the ground,” they are probably mostly for the (earthly) living. But the bigger…

Is Witness More Important Than Worship?

Today, I came across a meme image on Facebook showing a man walking out of church and featuring the following statement: Your most significant witness is how you treat others after the worship service ends. I’ve seen this sentiment before. The idea here is that, while worship is important, its true purpose is to equip or inspire believers to go out and bring Christ…

What Do You Hold Sacred? Christ and the Woman at the Well

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, May 10, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Christ is risen! In this beautiful story appointed to be read on the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the conversion of the Samaritan Woman by the Lord Jesus—who is later known to the Church…

Making Some Noise: Anticipating Holy Saturday and the Harrowing of Hell

So, who’s ready for Holy Week? When I first learned of the practice of making noise during the “Arise, O God” of Holy Saturday (which is in imitation of the uproar of hell as Christ enters into it and destroys the power of death), I thought, “This is awesome!” And then I thought, “How would you ever introduce such a practice into a parish?”…

Synaxarion for the Saturday of the Akathist

I’m off to Philadelphia for much of the day today to give a couple of talks at one of the churches there, so I thought I would leave you with this today, the synaxarion for the Saturday of the Akathist, the Fifth Saturday of Lent, which is today: On the fifth Saturday of the Great Fast, we celebrate the praise of our Most-holy Lady,…

Sweet Partings: The Final Akathist

We now come to the part of Lent where we begin to say farewell to various services that have accompanied us on the journey. Today is the Fifth Friday of Lent. In the practice of my archdiocese, we celebrate the Small Compline service with the Akathist Hymn on the first five Fridays of Lent. On the first four, the akathist is divided into quarters,…

The Great Canon and St. Mary of Egypt: Impressions

Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. – St. Ignatius of Antioch, “To the Ephesians” Yesterday evening, for the first time in its history,…