The Power of Resurrection

I wanted to offer a few words as Orthodox Christians around the world are experiencing Paschal joy, rippling across the time zones with shouts of exultation in the glory of Christ’s rising from death. I’m not sure why, but this year in particular I have strongly felt a sense of the pervasiveness of the power of the resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps it is because…

No, Pascha does not have to be after Passover (and other Orthodox urban legends)

Right around this time of year, various articles and images begin circulating, giving explanations as to why the Orthodox Pascha (Easter) celebration is usually a week or more after the Western Easter. Most will mention something about the Julian calendar and how its spring equinox is different from the one on the Gregorian calendar. The traditional formula for the date of Pascha (the Paschalion)…

Why celebrate Christian holidays that aren’t in the Bible?

A quick perusal of the major feast days on Orthodox Church’s liturgical calendar will show that many of those great feasts are not mentioned in the Scriptures. The Nativity of the Theotokos (Sept. 8), the Entrance of the Theotokos (Nov. 21) and the Dormition of the Theotokos (Aug. 15) are all not based on events found in Scripture. Neither is the Elevation of the…

Meeting the Lord

Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, February 2, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We arrive now at the fortieth day from our Lord’s birth, when His mother and foster father Joseph bring Him to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill what was written in…

The Annunciation and the Absence of God

Annunciation of the Theotokos, 2012 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, who was the Orthodox Church of Russia’s bishop in London from 1957 to 2003, in the opening paragraphs of his book Beginning to Pray, directly addresses what is perhaps the most central struggle and disappointment of anyone who…

Canticle for the Meeting of our Lord

Canticle for the Meeting of Our Lord Long years ago I heard the Voice of God— foreshadowing to me the news of Christ, that death I would not see ’til I had seen th’awaited coming of the Son of Man. “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive,” I read, Isaiah’s vision did foretell the One to bring salvation to old Israel, His flesh and blood to…