Category Archives: Holy Week & Holy Pascha

Holy Tuesday, Pre-Sanctified Divine Liturgy

14/04/2020

In this ancient and inspired service, we receive Holy Communion which was consecrated at the Divine Liturgy on the previous Sunday.

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Holy Monday, Evening Service of the Bridegroom – Parable of the Ten Virgins

HOLY WEEK BEGINS

Part 1

Part 2

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New Life through Repentance

In reading the Gospels, we often note the all-too-human responses of the disciples to Jesus and to the situations in which they find themselves. For example, they failed to understand His parables (Luke 8:9); they lost faith in His power, as when they were caught in the storm on the lake (Luke 8:24); they often failed to grasp that He indeed was the Messiah (Luke 9:18-20). Particularly during the events of Holy Week we see clearly the human weaknesses of the Apostles. At the Last Supper they argued over who among them is to be regarded as the greatest (Luke 22:24). When Jesus asked them to keep prayerful watch with Him in Gethsemane, they fell asleep twice (Luke22:40-46)1 When the soldiers arrested Jesus, Peter struck out in fear and anger, while Jesus responded in divine love to those who
sought to hurt Him and healed the ear which Peter severed from the slave (Luke 22:50-51). Finally, Saint Peter denied his Lord three times in fear for his life and safety.

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The Cross

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a Cross, the sun made dark, and again flaming out; for it was fitting that creation should mourn with its Creator. The Temple veil rent, blood and water flowing from His side: the one as from a man, the other as from What was above man; the earth was shaken, the rocks shattered because of the Rock; the dead risen to bear witness of the final and universal resurrection of the dead. The happenings at the Sepulchre, and after the Sepulchre, who can fittingly recount them?

Yet not one of them can be compared to the miracle of my salvation. A few drops of Blood renew the whole world, and do for all men what the rennet does for milk: joining us and binding us together.

St Gregory the Theologian

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The Disorienting Shock of an Empty Tomb: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

We all know what it is like to receive shocking news. Sometimes it is simply impossible to be prepared to hear an astounding message that we did not expect at all. Today we commemorate the people who received the most shocking news of all time from the angel: “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He is Risen. He is not here…Go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

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His Bodily Wounds and Ours: Homily for Thomas Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Sunday of Thomas, John 4: 5-42

Christ is Risen!

I was surprised a few years ago in one of my college classes when even the best students were surprised to learn that Christian hope for eternal life includes the resurrection of the body. They were comfortable thinking of human souls experiencing eternal life, but doubted that our actual physical bodies would have any part in the Kingdom of Heaven. Especially on this Sunday of St. Thomas, we celebrate how Christ’s bodily resurrection is the basis of hope for our own. Today we proclaim that our Savior brings healing and transformation to whole, embodied persons, for that is how He conquered death on the third day.

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The importance of the Resurrection

Fr. Dumitru Staniloae explains in his book, Orthodoxy, Life in the Resurrection, the importance of the Resurrection for the Orthodox Church, stating that:

“The deepest foundation of the hope and joy which characterise Orthodoxy and which penetrate all its worship is the Resurrection. Easter, the centre of Orthodox worship, is an explosion of joy, the same joy which the disciples felt when they saw the risen Saviour. It is the explosion of cosmic joy at the triumph of life, after the overwhelming sorrow over death – death which even the Lord of life had to suffer when he became man. ‘Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult, and let all the world invisible and visible keep holiday, for Christ our eternal joy is risen’ All things are now filled with the certainty of life, whereas before all had been moving steadily towards death. Orthodoxy emphasises with special insistence the faith of Christianity in the triumph of life”.

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ST VASILIOS SERVICES – HOLY WEEK/PASCHA 2018

Click here for the 2018 Holy Week Program

Readings:

Fr Ephraim and Fr Athanasios, The Church Committee,
the Ladies’ Philoptohos Group, the Sunday School Teachers
and Christian Youth Group of our Church
wish all the community a
BLESSED HOLY WEEK AND JOYOUS HOLY PASCHA

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Paschal Hours 2016

From Easter Sunday until the Saturday of Renewal or ‘Bright’ week, in place of morning and evening prayers, compline, and the thanksgiving prayers after communion, the Paschal Hours are read.

Paschal Hours 2016 in Greek and English

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Entering into the Joy of the Resurrection: A Homily for St. Thomas Sunday in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Risen!

On this Sunday of St. Thomas, we have only begun our celebration of Pascha, of our Lord’s victory over death in His glorious resurrection on the third day. Perhaps one of the reasons that Pascha is a season of forty days is that it takes us a good while to let the good news sink in. For not only is Christ raised from the dead, we are too. The tomb is no longer a shadowy place of separation from God or a disappearance into oblivion, but an entry way to the Kingdom of Heaven where the departed are in the presence of the One Who has conquered death. Yes, the Risen Lord calls every human being to life eternal, including you and me and all our departed loved ones. Continue reading

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