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Daily Meditations

The Fifth Day of Great Lent. The Icon of Music »

March 15th, 2019

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 28, 2015  This Sunday, the First Sunday of Great Lent, marks the return of the holy icons to the Churches in 843 A.D.  It is celebrated as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy.” This article offers a reflection on a different form of the icon – of equal importance – and equally worth protection and care. Orthodox theology is a “seamless garment”: no part of Orthodox doctrine, […]

The Fourth Day of Great Lent. Bright Sadness. »

March 14th, 2019

For many, if not for the majority of Orthodox Christians, Lent consists of a limited number of formal, predominantly negative, rules and prescriptions: abstention from certain food, dancing, perhaps movies. Such is the degree of our alienation from the real spirit of the Church that it is almost impossible for us to understand that there is “something else” in Lent—something without which all these prescriptions lose much of their meaning. […]

The Third Day of Great Lent. The Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. »

March 13th, 2019

The Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts has a distinct character and order. It is comprised of three major parts or components: a) the service of Great Vespers peculiar to this Liturgy; b) the solemn transfer of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts to-the holy Table; and c) the preparation for and the distribution of holy Communion. The Liturgy does not contain the Anaphora, the Gifts of the bread and wine having been consecrated […]

The Second Day of Great Lent. “When You Fast…” »

March 12th, 2019

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 Jesus one among these many.  But, only in appearance.  The reality was very different.  The […]

The First Day (Pure Monday) of Great Lent: The Journey to Pascha »

March 11th, 2019

By Alexander Schmemann When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Pascha, “the Feast of Feasts.” It is the preparation for the “fulfillment of Pascha, the true Revelation.” We must begin, therefore, by trying to understand this connection between Lent and Pascha, for it reveals something very essential, very crucial […]