Archive | Meditations

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent–St. Mary of Egypt

On the fifth Sunday of Fast, we are enjoined to celebrate the memory of our Holy Mother Mary of Egypt.

The Church service for this Sunday is devoted to the memory and glorification of the spiritual efforts of Saint Mary of Egypt, who “has cut down with the sword of abstinence the desires of your soul and the passions of your flesh. [Read more…]

Share

Fourth Sunday of Great Lent – St. John Climacus

On the Fourth Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Holy Father John, the author of the Ladder.

In the Church services for the fourth Sunday the Holy Church offers us a great example of the life of fasting in the person of the Venerable John of the Ladder, who, “having overcome the flesh through fasting” and “by the sweat of his ascetic efforts quenched the fiery arrows of the enemy” …[read more]

Share

Third Sunday of Great Lent: Veneration of the Holy Cross

The Third Sunday of Lent is called “The Veneration of the Cross.” At the Vigil of that day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week-with a special rite of veneration following each service. It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. More than that, the theme-songs (hirmoi) of the Sunday Canon are taken from the Paschal Service-“The Day of the Resurrection”-and the Canon is a paraphrase of the Easter Canon. Read more…

Share

The Second Sunday of Lent: St. Gregory Palamas

On the Second Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Father among the Saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica.

The situation in St. Gregory’s time was that Orthodoxy was being debased; it was becoming worldly and being changed into either pantheism or agnosticism. Read more…

Share

The First Sunday of Lent: The Sunday of Orthodoxy

Introduction
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy.”

Historical Background
The Seventh Ecumenical Council dealt predominantly with the controversy regarding icons and their place in Orthodox worship. It was convened in Nicaea in 787 by Empress Irene at the request of Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople. The Council was attended by 367 bishops. (Read more…)

Share