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  • A Brief History of our Cathedral

    Holy Trinity Cathedral Parish traces its history to December 2, 1857, when the first Orthodox Society was founded in San Francisco. In those early years, the Orthodox population of the Bay Area was spiritually and sacramentally served by chaplains from Russian Navy ships that frequented San Francisco Bay. During the Holy Week of 1868, an Orthodox Priest was sent to the City from Alaska to conduct the Paschal services here... Read More

  • Nativity Fast

    The Nativity Fast begins on November 15, ushering Orthodox Christians into a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. How are we to fast? Simply and effectively—each person struggling to his or her true potential, to keep the divinely-inspired guidelines of the fast (i.e., no meat, dairy, etc), to increase prayer, worship and of course, to make a conscious effort to give alms.

  • Fr John leads Advent Retreat

    We hosted our annual Advent Retreat on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Archpriest John Takahashi spoke on "San Francisco and Tokyo in 19th Century Orthodox Christianity.” Parishioners from across the Bay Area attended two talks by Fr. John on the intricate connections in the stories of the missionary work and cathedrals of Tokyo and San Francisco. Photographs...

  • Upcoming

    Tue, Dec 12: 6:00 pm Vespers; followed by parish council meeting.

    Wed, Dec 13: St Herman of Alaska. 9:00 am Divine Liturgy.

    Sat, Dec 16: 6:00 pm Vigil.

    Sun, Dec 17: 10:00 am Divine Liturgy, followed by fellowship meal; IOCC Care Package Assembly and Tree Trimming.

    Visit our full calendar of services.

Holy Week and Pascha

Taking Down from the CrossThe Eastern Orthodox calendar consists of a sequence of feasts and fasts commemorating the Incarnation and its fulfillment in the Church. Pre-eminent among all the festivals is Pascha, the Feast of Feasts, which determines all the movable feasts for the liturgical calendar.

The week before Pascha in the Orthodox Church, called Great and Holy Week, is set apart in the ecclesiastical year, so that we might stop and change our pace, meditate upon and relive the last week in our Lord's life which opened the doors of paradise. The events are presented as a drama bringing us to identify ourselves with them and elevate us in an all-embracing movement upward to God. As we relive the annual drama, we receive its benefits and allow the events to transform us into renewed Christians. We fully participate in the services as if actually entering God's Kingdom with hearts filled with faith, minds open to revelation, and a will of concern for spiritual ascent. The scenes take place in Jerusalem. The participants are real. The events, though historical, occur in the present. The laity responds to what it sees and hears... More

Forgiveness and the Gift of Lent

by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

A Homily delivered to the community at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary

Forgiveness Sunday of 1983

As once more we are about to enter the Great Lent, I would like to remind us – myself first of all, and all of you my fathers, brothers, and sisters – of the verse that we just sang, one of the stichera, and that verse says:"Let us begin Lent, the Fast, with joy." 

Only yesterday we were commemorating Adam crying, lamenting at the gates of Paradise, and now every second line of the Triodion and the liturgical books of Great Lent will speak of repentance, acknowledging what dark and helpless lives we live, in which we sometimes are immersed. And yet, no one will prove to me that the general tonality of Great Lent is not that of a tremendous joy! Not what we call "joy" in this world – not just something entertaining, interesting, or amusing – but the deepest definition of joy, that joy of which Christ says: "no one will take away from you" (Jn. 16:22). Why joy? What is that joy?

So many people under various influences have come to think of Lent as a kind of self–inflicted inconvenience. Very often in Lent we hear these conversations: "What do you give up for Lent?" – it goes from candy to, I don’t know what. There is the idea that if we suffer enough, if we feel the hunger enough, if we try by all kinds of strong or light ascetical tools, mainly to "suffer" and be "tortured," so to speak, it would help us to "pay" for our absolution. But this is not our Orthodox faith. Lent is not a punishment. Lent is not a kind of painful medicine that helps only inasmuch as it is painful...

  • Feb 25 2017

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