Lent and Priesthood #4: The Priesthood of Forgiveness

Sunday of Forgiveness, February 26, 2017 Romans 13:11-14:4; Matthew 6:14-21 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. The Lord said: “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive…

The Final Day of Lent: Reflecting on 40 Days of Blogging

Today is the fortieth day of Great Lent. Tomorrow, we enter into the transition weekend between Lent and Holy Week—Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday. And this is also my fortieth daily post in a row since Lent began. When I committed to blog every day for forty days, I have to admit that I didn’t think it would be as it has been. I…

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,…

“Who Shall I Be at Pascha?”: The Cross at the Crossroads

Today is exactly the halfway point between the beginning of Great Lent and the holy day of Pascha (Easter), the Feast of Feasts. It is usually right around now, three and a half weeks in, that many of us begin to be ready for Lent to be over. But the fast is only halfway through. We have two and a half weeks of Lent…

Lenten Evangelism #6: St. Gregory Palamas and the Paralytic

Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, March 8, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. On this second Sunday of the Great Fast, we celebrate St. Gregory Palamas, that 14th century ascetic and archbishop whose contributions to Orthodox theology and life were so profound that he not only…

The Gospel of Fastnachts, Pączki and Pancakes

On the calendar of Western Rite Orthodox Christians (who probably number a few thousand people within the canonical Orthodox Church, out of a couple hundred million or so, which is why they are unknown to most Orthodox Christians), today is Ash Wednesday. So yesterday was their Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday (in French, Mardi Gras). And of course, these days were last…