Today the Holy Passion shines forth upon the world with the light of salvation; for Christ in His love hastens to His sufferings. He who holds all things in the hollow of His hand consents to be hung upon the Tree, that He may save mankind.

-Orthros for Holy Monday

Holy Week: An Explanation

 

Great Lent and Holy Week are two separate fasts, and two separate celebrations.  Great Lent ends on Friday of the fifth week (the day before Lazarus Saturday).  Holy Week begins immediately thereafter. Let's explore the meaning of each of the solemn days of Passion Week. ...read more

 

Joining the Whole Church at the Tomb: The Experience of Holy Week

by Fr. John Hainsworth


What happens then during Holy Week and Pascha? How do the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, events that happened in history, come alive for us today? The answers to these questions lie in the way Orthodox understand Scripture, remembrance, and the covenant between God and Israel. ...read more


A Journey through Holy Week

by Fr. Nicholas Magoulias


On Good Friday afternoon, the touching service of the Burial of our Lord takes place. This rite is especially loved by children because of its dramatic solemnity. A specially constructed sepulchre of four pillars surmounted by a dome on which stands a cross is stationed in the center of the Nave. The symbolic tomb of our Saviour is completely covered by beautifully arranged floral decorations. During the afternoon service the Body of the Crucified Christ is taken down from the Cross. And a beautifully embroidered cloth bearing the representation of the Sacred Corpse of our Lord is placed in the center of the flower-adorned sepulchre. ...read more

 

Holy Saturday: The Blessed Sabbath

by Fr. Thomas Hopko


The Vespers and Matins of the Blessed Sabbath, together with the Divine Liturgy which follows, form a masterpiece of the Orthodox liturgical tradition. These services are not at all a dramatic re-enactment of the historical death and burial of Christ. Neither are they a kind of ritual reproduction of scenes of the Gospel. They are, rather, the deepest spiritual and liturgical penetration into the eternal meaning of the saving events of Christ, viewed and praised already with the full knowledge of their divine significance and power. ...read more


Great and Holy Saturday: The Forgotten Feast

by Daniel Manzuk


It is a tragic fact that today Holy Saturday is viewed by many as an unimportant “day off” between the sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Pascha. This is absolutely false. That view negates the essential link between the despondency of Good Friday and the ecstasy of Pascha. Holy Saturday is that indispensable link between Christ’s death and Resurrection. It is on Holy Saturday that we commemorate Christ’s conquest of death, which is sealed through the Resurrection. It is a day centered on a mystery beyond our comprehension. ...read more

 

The Orthodox Celebration of Great and Holy Saturday

by Fr. Alexander Schmemann


By using this title the Church links Holy Saturday with the creative act of God. In the initial account of creation as found in the Book of Genesis, God made man in His own image and likeness. To be truly himself, man was to live in constant communion with the source and dynamic power of that image: God. Man fell from God. Now Christ, the Son of God through whom all things were created, has come to restore man to communion with God. He thereby completes creation. All things are again as they should be. His mission is consummated. On the Blessed Sabbath He rests from all His works. ...read more


 

Holy Tuesday: The Hymn of St. Kassiane

 

"Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline to the groanings of my heart, O Thou who in Thine ineffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my heads, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise and hid herself for fear." ...read more

 

 

Holy Unction

by a monk of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, in The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings, Copyright 1986 by the St. Tikhon Seminary Press

 

This Sacrament is described in Holy Scripture by St. James the Brother of the Lord: Is any among you sick? Let him, call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:14–15). From the above text, we can see that this Sacrament has a twofold purpose bodily healing and the forgiveness of sins.  ...read more


 

The Cross in Our Life

by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph

 

 

By His divinity He made the cross the sign of the new life. Our cross is through baptism and repentance. For this reason we become communicants of His cross by our baptism, life, struggle and suffering for the sake of Jesus. ...read more


 

 

On the Saving Passion of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ

by St. Theodore the Studite


Do we not see the burning incitements of divine love? Who ever dwelt in prison for a friend? Who accepted slaughter for their beloved? But our good God not only did the one and both of them, but accepted ten thousand sufferings for the sake of us. ...read more

 

 

 

On the Passion of the Savior

by St. Ephraim the Syrian

 

Glory to you, Lover of humankind! Glory to you, O Merciful! Glory to you, O Long-suffering! Glory to you, who pardon every fault! Glory to you, who came down to save our souls! ...read more

 

 

 

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