Feasts

Feasts

Dormition of the Holy Theotokos

The first chapter of St. Luke’s gospel contains an outstanding hymn by the holy Theotokos, which poured out of her heart in response to the salutation of her relative, the righteous Elizabeth: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” This Elizabethan prophecy, that we repeat so often in one of our most favorite prayers “Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos,” was followed by Mary’s hymn, Mary’s prayerful prophesy, which is especially important for our attention on…

Transfiguration and the Blessing of Grapes and Apples

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In August, we celebrate two Great Feasts of the Church: the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of Our Most-holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. The first of these feasts commemorates the events described by the Evangelists Matthew (17:1-13) and Luke (9:28-36). In view of His forthcoming death on the cross, the Lord revealed to His chosen disciples the voluntary character of His passion…

Pentecost 2018

On Sunday, May 27, the great and last day of Pentecost, the feast of the Trinity, we celebrated our patronal feast day. A gallery of photographs is available!

Pentecost: The Feast of the Church

With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that which we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.

Looking Ahead to Holy Week & Pascha

Looking Ahead to Holy Week & Pascha March 31 – April 8, 2018 On Lazarus Saturday (March 31), we enter into the special and sacred time of Holy Week and Pascha. Each and every one of us is called to truly “lay aside all earthly cares,” i.e., all activities and concerns that distract from the great mystery which is happening for us and to us. It must be an experience that transcends the fulfilling of an annual religious obligation or…

Fifth Week of Lent: March 19-24, 2018

During this week, the Fifth Week of Great Lent, we celebrate additional church services that are a little longer. This is by design, and helps us intensify our Lenten efforts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. If a believer is accustomed to attending only the Sunday Liturgy during Great Lent, then the opportunity for a deeper Lenten experience will, alas, be missed. What should one expect this week? On Wednesday evening, at the Presanctified Liturgy, the usual Psalms will be replaced…

Meeting of the Lord

On February 2nd,  the Church commemorates an important event in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 2:22-40). Forty days after His birth the God-Infant was taken to the Jerusalem Temple, the center of the nation’s religious life. According to the Law of Moses (Lev. 12:2-8), a woman who gave birth to a male child was forbidden to enter the Temple of God for forty days. At the end of this time the mother came to the Temple…

The Blessing of Water

In the Book of Genesis, we read that creation began when the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. (Gen. 1:2) Throughout the Bible, water plays an important and a ‘mystical role’ in human existence and in man’s relationship with God the Creator. Water has the capacity to produce death, as recounted in the story of Noah and the ark (Gen. 6); or to produce life, as noted in the story of Moses’ striking the rock in…