Forefeasts and Afterfeasts: Becoming Present in the Periphery

I don’t know about you, but these autumnal days have been busy and bleary. I always want autumn to tarry, to pass me slowly and contemplatively by. It never seems to obey, though–falls are always busy, the leaves bid farewell too quickly, and the rough winds fly like they are in a hurry. When I am busy like this, I…

Cycles of the Orthodox calendar (and why they matter)

The end of September marks the start of a somewhat quieter time, liturgically speaking. The next of the major feast days isn’t until 21 November (Presentation of the Theotokos) and there are no major fast periods until that of Nativity,  starting on 15 November. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of good stuff happening in the Church between…

23 September: a Conception, a Caesar and an Equinox

On September 23rd, we commemorate the conception of St. John the Baptist, who paved the way for Christ’s message of salvation. In Orthodox circles, he’s often called the Forerunner, i.e. the precursor, to Christ. Although St. John is a pretty big deal, his conception is prone to falling off our annual radar—it’s not preceded by a fast, it’s not…

(Re)learning to Wait: the Nativity of the Theotokos and other September Feasts

On September 8, we commemorate the nativity—or birth—of the Theotokos. It’s the first of the twelve major feasts of the Orthodox calendar following the start of the ecclesiastical new year on September 1st. With this particular feast, the annual narrative of Christ’s life, death and resurrection begins anew. The previous Church year, which concluded with the falling asleep…

Indiction: Beginning a Year in Gratitude

As I announced earlier, today marks the beginning of a new series within Time Eternal that focuses on the liturgical year. Welcome to “A Year in Time”! And welcome to a New (ecclesiastical) Year! On September 1st, we also enter into a new ecclesiastical year in the Orthodox Church–a fitting “time” to start thinking anew about time and…

A Year in Time

Tomorrow is the first day of September–Καλό μήνα, or happy [first day of the] month! Not to mention, happy (early) Church New Year! The beginning September also marks the start of a series within Time Eternal—here on the blog and the podcast. We’ll be embarking upon a year-long journey through the underpinnings of the Orthodox liturgical year. I’ve called it “A Year in…