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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Icon of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring, Zoodochos Pigi.

Commemorated on Friday of the Bright Week. There once was a beautiful church in Constantinople built in the fifth century by the holy Emperor Leo the Great that was dedicated to the Mother of God. Before he was emperor, Leo walking in a wooded area met a thirsty blind man who asked Leo to help him find water. He searched for water, but was unable to find any. Suddenly, he heard a voice telling him

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

Submitted by Fr. John Breck, May 2, 2009 Attributed by all of the extant manuscripts to St John Chrysostom, this little-known, pseudepigraphical homily from the fifth century focuses on “the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[1] It begins by summarizing various fruits of the resurrection in the lives of believers, then exhorts readers or listeners to assume conduct appropriate to the day of Holy Pascha. In the rhetorical style typical of the period, it stresses antitheses,

The Sixth Friday of Great Lent: An Atonement of Shame – Orthodoxy and the Cross

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 6, 2017 Some decades ago in my early (Anglican) priesthood, a parishioner brought a crucifix back from South America. The question for me as a priest was whether I would accept the crucifix as a gift and place it in the Church. I like crucifixes, my taste was always towards the Catholic direction. But, you have to bear in mind that Spanish/Latin crucifixes have a tendency to be, well, rather

Everywhere Present

By Father Stephen Freeman, June 10, 2016 Everything you do, all your work, can contribute towards your salvation. It depends on you, on the way you do it. History is replete with monks who became great saints while working in the kitchen or washing sheets. The way of salvation consists in working without passion, in prayer…. May God give you the strength to keep your spirit, your mind, and your heart in the spirit of

Democracy in the Kingdom of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 27, 2016 Nothing is equal because nothing is the same. All things are unique and unrepeatable. This is especially true of persons. Understanding this helps us deal with reality. But the mindset of our modern world suggests in a very seductive manner that things are quite different. It suggests that all things are indeed equal and that wherever inequality exists, it should be overthrown or corrected. Elsewhere, I have called

Joachim & Anna

The holy and righteous Joachim and Anna are the parents of the Theotokos, the grandparents of Jesus Christ. Their feast day is celebrated on September 9, following the Nativity of the Theotokos; the dormition of St. Anna is commemorated on July 25. St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and a descendant of King David. St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High

The Act of Veneration

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 17, 2016  No spiritual activity permeates Orthodoxy as much as veneration. For the non-Orthodox, veneration is often mistaken for worship. We kiss icons; sing hymns to saints; cry out “Most Holy Theotokos, save us!” And all of this scandalizes the non-Orthodox who think we have fallen into some backwater of paganized Christianity. It is not unusual to hear Orthodox who more or less apologize for this activity and seek to

The Dormition Fast: The Most Holy Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 13, 2008  On August 15, the Orthodox Church (new calendar) commemorates the Dormition (falling asleep) of the Most Holy Mother of God. The feast is considered to be one of the 12 Great Feasts of the year and thus an integral part of the proclamation of gospel of Jesus Christ. Many who are not familiar with Orthodoxy, or its manner of understanding saints, easily see feast days and the veneration

The Dormition Fast. The Dormition of the Theotokos: Our Promise and Hope

By Lea Povozhaev, August 12, 2017 The Dormition of the Theotokos was not celebrated for the first five centuries of Christianity. There was silence regarding the holy mystery of the Mother of God’s “falling asleep”. In the beginning, God willed that the details of His mother’s death and glorified, or resurrected, state remain veiled from the world. In the centuries to follow, Christians would revere the Theotokos’s (God-bearer’s) transition from this life to the next.

The Dormition Fast: The Mystery of the Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 3, 2010 The 15th of August is the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (her death). Orthodox Christians fast for two weeks prior to this great feast and celebrate it with great solemnity. A question was recently placed by a reader about the “perpetual virginity” of Mary. I am offering this small post to address that question and to look at the place of the Most Holy