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The Friday before Pentecost: A Little Pentecost at Every Liturgy

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, ”Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Third Monday of Pascha: A Letter from Butyrskaya Prison – Pascha 1928

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 4, 2008  Serge Schmemann, son of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in his wonderful little book, Echoes of a Native Land, records a letter written from one of his family members of an earlier generation, who spent several years in the prisons of the Soviets and died there. The letter, written on the night of Pascha in 1928 is to a family member, “Uncle Grishanchik” (This was Grigory Trubetskoi who had managed to

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent. The Spiritual Fruits of Lent.

+ DEMETRIOS Archbishop of America This month…we entered the sacred period of Holy and Great Lent, a season of the Church that accords us with splendid opportunities to prepare ourselves for the glorious feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate this year in April. Our journey throughout these next few weeks is, thus, of extraordinary significance for our spiritual lives. During this time, our occasions for prayer and worship are greatly increased,

Lazarus Saturday

By Fr. Lev Gillet, April 20, 2019 Strictly speaking, Lent ends on the Friday which follows the fifth Sunday of Lent: the period of forty days is then over. The time of the Passion lasts from the end of Lent until the Resurrection, anticipated on Holy Saturday. It therefore comprises the Saturday which follows the fifth Sunday of Lent, called ‘Lazarus Saturday’, and the first six days of Holy Week. Lazarus Saturday has a very

Holiness Means “Set Apart”

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, June 2, 2018 The word we use in the Greek language for “saint” is agios for male saints and Agia for female saints.  Agios means “holy” and “holy” means “set apart.”  The “saints” or the “holy ones” are those who strived in their lives to put God first in all things.  They “set apart” the relationship with the Lord and put it ahead of everything else. The decision to strive for holiness isn’t easy, and it

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 7

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) St. Paul says you are the dwelling place of God. Is this how we normally understand ourselves? To be dwelling places inhabited by God? This is a very powerful assertion; do we take it seriously and understand what it means and what our lives mean in the context of such a statement? Do we live consistently with such a statement? It’s a wonderful thing to be able to begin the day

The Third Friday after Pascha. CHRISTOS ANESTI! CHRIST IS RISEN! A Pascha of Beauty – In a Soviet Prison – 1928

Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 8, 2018  Serge Schmemann, son of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in his wonderful little book, Echoes of a Native Land, records a letter written from one of his family members of an earlier generation, who spent several years in the prisons of the Soviets and died there. The letter, written on the night of Pascha in 1928 is to a family member, “Uncle Grishanchik” (This was Grigory Trubetskoi who had managed to emigrate

The Thirty-Second of Great Lent. “. . . BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (Part VI)

What could be the meaning of Lent during the long hours we spend outside of home—commuting, sitting at our desks, taking care of our professional duties, meeting our colleagues and friends? Although no clear-cut “recipe” can be given here as in any other area, some very general considerations are possible. In the first place, Lent is a good time to measure the incredibly superficial character of our relations with men, things, and work. The “keep

The Thirty-First Day of Great Lent. “. . . BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (Part V)

Everyone will no doubt agree that the whole style of family existence has been radically altered by radio and television. These media of “mass communication” permeate today our whole life. One does not have to “go out” in order to “be out.” The whole world is permanently here within my reach. And, little by little, the elementary experience of living within an inner world, of the beauty of that “interiority,” simply disappears from our modern

The Twenty-Fifth Day of Great Lent. “. . . BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (Part III)

[Fasting] should be practiced on two levels: first, as ascetical fast; and second, as total fast. The ascetical fast consists of a drastic reduction of food so that the permanent state of a certain hunger might be lived as a reminder of God and a constant effort to keep our mind on Him. Everyone who has practiced it—be it only a little—knows that this ascetical fast rather than weakening us makes us light, concentrated, sober,