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FEASTDAYS IN THE ORTHODOX YEAR

THE FEAST OF MID-PENTECOST AND THE PENTECOSTARION

Fresco iconography

The fifty days following Pascha until the Feast of Pentecost are known as the period of the Pentecostarion in the Orthodox Church. At the mid-point between these great feasts of Pascha and Pentecost, on the twenty-fifth day which is always a Wedneday, is one of the most beloved feasts for the most devout Orthodox Christians known quit simply as Mid-Pentecost. ... Read More »

THE FEAST OF MID-PENTECOST

Fr Seraphim Rose

For too many of us, perhaps, the weeks following the radiant Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are a time of relaxation and even of indulgence; the rigors of the Fast being ended, the body revels while the spirit grows weak. But if this is unfortunately so, it is our own fault and not the fault of ... Read More »

SUMMARY: ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN OBSERVANCE OF PASCHA

A Journey through Holy Week

The Orthodox date for Pascha (or “Passover”) is based on a decree of the Council of Nicaea, Asia Minor, held in 325 A.D.  According to this decree, Pascha must be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox but always after the Jewish Passover to maintain the Biblical sequence of events of the Crucifixion and ... Read More »

A Homily on the Importance of Dogma according to the Three Hierarchs

Icon of the Three Hierarchs

Introduction.             Moments ago, brothers and sisters, we heard the Holy Apostle Paul offer a hymn in praise of faith: “By faith Moses refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”[1]  By faith kingdoms have been subdued, righteousness has been worked, ... Read More »

Development of the Lenten Fast

e-zaitsev-the-path-of-the-elders-e1269700454474

Fasting, in preparation for Pascha was universal in the Early Church, both in the East and in the West, as evidenced by various second and third century references to the practice. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History makes reference to St Irenaeus who had written on the debate regarding the date for Pascha and on the nature of the period of ... Read More »

THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON

Sunlight & Clouds

  By Archbishop Stylianos of Australia   Sisters and Brothers, In accordance with the order of Feast Days for the Ecclesiastical Year as designated by the Church Fathers (who decreed wisely on all matters!), the Sunday of the Prodigal Son has come upon us once again, with its two ‘Readings’ which are so characteristic, so educational and so necessary for ... Read More »

SERMON ON THE NATIVITY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

Icon of Nativity of the Theotokos

The birth of any person is a mysterious event. This is not just another event for the registrar; a new being is come into the world, filled with inextricable mystery. In fact: what will this newborn person bring to the world, and what will life give him? This is why parents and relatives greet each new child with awe and ... Read More »

DISCOURSE ON THE NATIVITY OF THE MOST HOLY MOTHER OF GOD

Mosaic - Nativity of the Holy Theotokos

By St. Andrew, Archbisop of Crete The present feastday is for us the beginning of feastdays. Serving as boundary limit to the law and to foretypes, it at the same time serves as a doorway to grace and truth. “For Christ is the end of the law” (Rom 10:4), Who, having freed us from the writing, doth raise us to spirit. ... Read More »

September 1: The Ecclesiastical New Year

Original Festal Icon of the Indiction with Christ preaching the Word

September 1 is the beginning of the Orthodox ecclesiastical year. According to Tradition, it was on September 1 that our Lord and Saviour entered the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth and was given to read a scroll from the prophet Isiah. It was customary at that time for the Jewish male to read in the synagogue once he had ... Read More »