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When You Fast: A Reflection Before Great Lent

What appears to happen in the Passion of Christ and what actually happens are not at all the same. What appears to happen is not that extraordinary. The Romans crucified a Jewish man in order to keep public order. During their long rule over Judea, the Romans had killed many Jews, making the death of…

Forgiveness (Cheese-Fare Sunday)

Written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent is a book of spiritual reflections on the journey through Lent to Pascha. This particular excerpt is from the first chapter, entitled “Preparation for Lent.” And now we have reached the very last days before Lent. Already during Meat-Fare Week, which precedes “Forgiveness Sunday,” two days – Wednesday…

Meeting of the Lord and Zacchaeus

A homily delivered in the Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple and Zacchaeus Sunday (Sunday, February 2, 2014). Today, as we celebrate the meeting of Christ and the righteous Simeon and Anna, in the temple, we come to an end…

Holy Thursday: A Feast of Humility

Every year, the services of Holy Week bring before us selections from the Old Testament, of Jacob, of Joseph and his brothers, the great prophets Moses and Job.  We hear the ancient prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah with an awareness that everything that has happened before, everything that has been spoken, reaches its fulfillment in…

The Matins of Holy Thursday: A Meditation

“Great are you, O Lord, and marvelous are your works, and there is no word which suffices to hymn your wonders!” These words, which come from the blessing of water at the baptismal service and at the water blessing on Theophany, are probably not the first words that come to mind now, at the midpoint…

Bring Forth Fruit With Patience

Written by Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Lenten Spring is a book of spiritual readings for the season of Great Lent. The Lenten season is the time for bearing fruits worthy of repentance, the fruits of the Spirit. In a sense, this is what Lent, like life itself, is all about. To produce these holy fruits is…