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Mary

Why the Orthodox Honor Mary »

August 12th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 30, 2015  The most difficult part of my Orthodox experience to discuss with the non-Orthodox is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is, on the one hand, deeply theological and even essential to a right understanding of the Orthodox faith, while, on the other hand, being intensely personal beyond the bounds of conversation. I […]

Dormition or Assumption? »

August 9th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

In our Orthodox tradition we are usually very careful to distinguish between the “Dormition” of the Mother of God and her “Assumption” into heaven. The former, we feel, is properly Orthodox, while the latter strikes us as a purely Western designation, derived from a Roman Catholic “misunderstanding” of the meaning of this feast, celebrated universally on August 15. It is true that some very genuine yet misguided interpretations of Mary’s […]

Praying with the Entire Church »

August 8th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

“O you apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body: And You, O my Son and my God, receive my spirit” (Exapostilarion of Dormition of the Theotokos) To be a genuine Orthodox Christian is to share in the joy of fellowship gathered around the holy Mother of God, Mary the ever-virgin one. Yet in America a hesitancy arises even with the Church among the faithful. What […]

The Dormition Fast: Ending another Year of Grace in Our Lord »

August 1st, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The Byzantine Church since at least the 5th century has practiced a period of fasting prior to the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. This ancient custom has much to offer contemporary Christians. Christians of the East have always recognized the mystery of Our Lady’s Dormition, her ‘falling asleep’ at the end of her natural life. The passage of Mary the Virgin Mother of God from this life to […]

Lazarus Saturday »

April 20th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

Saturday of the Holy and Righteous Friend of Christ, Lazarus Introduction On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church commemorates a major feast of the year, the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines […]