The main elements of Great Lent are prayer and fasting. Prayer presupposes faith. Without prayer one is helpless, insecure, blind and alone. Tied to the earth, to matter, one is not aware that they can fly high, to shine in the heavens, to have needed heavenly assistance. They are magnetized, tied, attached to the perishable and earthly. They are not easily detached. They try to acquire treasure on earth. They constantly look for pleasure to cheer them up, instead they get pain out of it. It is sad and pathetic to look for happiness in the mud.
One of the most famous shrines of Constantinople, the Zoodochos Pege, is located outside the land walls to the west of the city, at the site now known as Balikli. Two versions of a very old tradition provide information on the origins of this ancient shrine.
Bright Week, otherwise known as Renewal Week, begins on Pascha Sunday and ends on the following Sunday of Thomas. The name probably originates from the fact that the newly baptized catechumens from Pascha are newly illumined and bright. For them it is a time of regeneration and renewal.
Mount Athos has a somber and completely spiritual atmosphere during Holy Week. Visitors to the Holy Mountain during this time find themselves in a completely different world from what they are used to in the world.
The Resurrection of Christ, the premier event in the mystery of the divine economy, gives us each year the opportunity to delve into this event and little by little to engage the mystery of the Resurrection with our own resurrection. Besides, this is the purpose for the establishment of the annual festive cycle of Pascha.
Death is a catastrophe for man; this is the basic principle of the whole of Christian anthropology. Man is an amphibious being, both spiritual and corporeal, and so he was created by God. Body belongs organically to the unity of human existence. And this was perhaps the most striking novelty in the original Christian message. The preaching of the Resurrection as well as the preaching of the Cross was foolishness and a stumbling–block to Gentiles.
a) The Cross leads to the Resurrection, Great Friday bears fruit on the bright Sunday of Easter. Sorrow, listlessness and despair make way for the joy and peace of the Resurrection. Without the Cross, the Resurrection is inconceivable and without the Resurrection the Cross has no point. It might be better to say that the […]
The importance of this unity is reflected in the chief sacrament, the Divine Eucharist, which is transmitted to the Church today. To be in communion with God, you have first to be in communion with other people. The Lord behaves towards Judas in the same way as He does towards the other disciples, even though He knows he will betray Him. All the actions of His presence on earth combine to reconcile human nature and morals and to show them the real human image as made by God, as made to love.
On Holy and Great Thursday, the Divine Fathers, who ordered all things aright, in succession to the Divine Apostles and the Sacred Gospels, have handed down to us the tradition of celebrating four events: the sacred Foot-washing, the Mystical Supper (that is, the bestowal of the dread Mysteries), the preternatural Prayer, and the Betrayal itself.
On Great Tuesday, in the evening, the tropario of Kassiani is sung in Orthodox Churches. This is a poetic rendition of the event described in the Gospels where a sinful woman shows her repentance by laving Christ’s feet with precious ointment and wiping them with her hair.