Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the new covenant of the Messiah, the passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to

The Fourth Wednesday after Pascha: The Feast of Mid-Pentecost

By Sergei V. Bulgakov On Wednesday of the fourth week we celebrate the Mid-Feast of Pentecost, i.e. half of the period from Pascha to Pentecost. This day we commemorate that event from the life of the Savior, when He on the Midfeast of the Tabernacles taught in the temple about His Own Divine ministry and the mystery of water, under which we understand the beneficial teaching of Christ and the beneficial gifts of the Holy


On The Lord’s Pascha, by Saint Melito of Sardis Once, the slaying of the sheep was precious,but it is worthless now because of the life of the Lord;the death of the sheep was precious,but it is worthless now because of the salvation of the Lord;the blood of the sheep was precious,but it is worthless now because of the Spirit of the Lord;a speechless lamb was precious,but it is worthless now because of the spotless Son;the


Homily by St. Gregory the Theologian on Great and Holy Pascha It is the Day of the Resurrection, and my Beginning has good auspices. Let us then keep the Festival with splendor, and let us embrace one another. Let us say Brethren, even to those who hate us; much more to those who have done or suffered anything out of love for us. Let us forgive all offenses for the Resurrection’s sake: let us give

Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple (tomorrow, February 2)

[Tomorrow] the Church commemorates an important event in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 2:22-40). Forty days after His birth the God-Infant was taken to the Jerusalem Temple, the center of the nation’s religious life. According to the Law of Moses (Lev. 12:2-8), a woman who gave birth to a male child was forbidden to enter the Temple of God for forty days. At the end of this time the mother came

Christmas Advent: The Sixteenth Day

THE PROPHET MALACHI, chosen in church tradition to conclude the Hebrew Scriptures, has for us both a blessing and a warning. Yes, the Lord we seek will come, suddenly, to his temple. “The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?” This passage is echoed in the Revelation to John, when

Christmas Advent: The Fifth Day

CONSIDER THE WORDS “SOILED, DEFILED, OPPRESSING”—spoken of God’s people—and the human character qualities that follow them in the book of Zephaniah—deaf, obstinate, untrusting, distant. These words express the Almighty’s disgust and disappointment that his chosen ones, given multiple opportunities to live in the realm of his blessing, have ignored or despised him. Now listen to the exuberant contrasts uttered a few verses later about the same people by the same prophet: “The LORD . .

Transfigured Life (Part II)

In his “Second Century on Theology,” St Maximus the Confessor makes a startling claim, which was nevertheless understood as both a promise and an exhortation to be received by anyone who lives “in Christ.” “In those found worthy,” he declares, “the Logos of God is transfigured to the degree to which each has advanced in holiness, and he comes to them with his angels in the glory of the Father. For the more spiritual principles

Staying by Oneself (Part I)

The ancient fathers continually advise the monks to remain in their kellion, to hold out and not run away from themselves. Stabilitas — constancy, holding on, staying by oneself — is the condition for every kind of human and spiritual progress. St. Benedict sees in stability the cure for the sickness of his day (the time of the great tribal migrations), of uncertainty and constant movement. Stabilitas means remaining in the community that one has