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Holy Ascension

The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection. On this Thursday, the fortieth day after Pascha, He appeared again in Jerusalem. After He had first spoken to the disciples about many things, He gave them His last commandment, that is, that they go forth and proclaim His Name

The Great and Holy Monday. Services of the Bridegroom

Introduction Beginning on the evening of Palm Sunday and continuing through the evening of Holy Tuesday, the Orthodox Church observes a special service known as the Service of the Bridegroom. Each evening service is the Matins or Orthros service of the following day (e.g. the service held on Sunday evening is the Orthros service for Holy Monday). The name of the service is from the figure of the Bridegroom in the parable of the Ten

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 13

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) I’d like to say a few words about the breathing practices that are associated with the Jesus Prayer because I think this is one of the most misunderstood things. People sometimes warn people about this, which I don’t agree with. As we’ve said over and again, it’s not easy to free ourselves from distractions. One priest friend said we can’t even say one single Jesus Prayer without being distracted. How wretched

Figures of the Nativity—Herod

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, December 11, 2018 Most movies have a villain. In fact, the storyline in many movies, as well as in life in general, is the conflict between good and evil. In Christian terms, church fathers and saints have written about spiritual warfare—the conflict between Godliness and things that are against God. In the Nativity story, we have our villain, and it’s King Herod. When the wise men came to Jerusalem asking King

The Elevation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross

Each year on September 14 the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of “The Elevation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross.” This is one of the great feasts of the Church year, and one which has an important historical background. Although one or two of the hymns for the day refer obliquely to the vision of the cross in the heavens, the actual commemoration is not that of Constantine’s vision before his battle with Maxentius on

Monday of the Holy Spirit

On the day after every Great Feast, the Orthodox Church honors the one through whom the Feast is made possible. On the day following the Nativity of the Lord, for example, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). On the day after Theophany, we commemorate St John the Baptist (January 7), and so on. Today we honor the all-Holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, Who descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost in

The Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Jesus did not live with his disciples after his resurrection as he had before his death. Filled with the glory of his divinity, he appeared at different times and places to his people, assuring them that it was he, truly alive in his risen and glorified body. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). It

The Sixth Wednesday after Pascha. CHRISTOS ANESTI! CHRIST IS RISEN! Persons in Communion: From Individual to Person (Part I)

The Body of Christ is not only unity but interchange, by which the ‘movement of love’ of the Trinity is conveyed to humankind. This movement, in which each effaces himself in order to give, is the transition from individual to person, a growing to maturity certainly, but only achieved by means of a succession of death-and-resurrections, in the course of which we are stripped down and recreated. We become unique, escape the repetitive character of

Palm Sunday. The Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [On Palm Sunday] Christ enters the path not only of His sufferings but of that dreadful loneliness which enshrouds Him during all the days of Passion week. The loneliness begins with a misunderstanding; the people expect that the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem will be the triumphant procession of a political leader, of a leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery,

The Thirty-Ninth Day of Great Lent. Approach to Holy Week

Holy Week in the Eastern Orthodox Church institutes the sanctity of the whole calendar year of the Church. Its center of commemorations and inspiration is Easter wherein the glorified Resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. Every Sunday is dedicated in the Eastern Orthodox Church to the Resurrection of the Lord. One hundred days also are dedicated to Easter, 50 before it for preparation, and another 50 after it for commemorating the glorification of the Lord.